Human & Animal Health

Discovering Curiosity: Brain Puzzles with UC Davis Center for Neuroscience Director Kimberley McAllister

August 19, 2019

Puzzles always fascinated UC Davis Center for Neuroscience Director Kimberley McAllister. They’re initially what attracted her to science.

Raised in rural northern Virginia, McAllister enjoyed exploring the woods with her sister and dogs. She developed an avid interest in botany and ornithology, intrigued by the complexities of the natural world. She wanted to figure out answers to nature’s mysteries.  Eventually, McAllister’s ambition drew her to one of the most complex puzzles in the universe: the human brain.

Engineering a Balanced Diet? Hormone FGF21 Promotes Protein Preference

May 13, 2019

To function daily, your body gleans energy from three food-derived macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats and proteins. How you divvy up those macronutrients in your diet is a matter of personal preference.

But what if you could train your brain to prefer one macronutrient over the other?

Discovering Curiosity: Mining the Frontiers of Neuroscience with Wilsaan Joiner

January 09, 2019

What are the unmined frontiers of human knowledge?

As an adolescent, Wilsaan Joiner was asked this question by his father, but in classic parental fashion, his dad already had a couple of answers in mind. Space exploration was one.

“I hate to fly, so that was out,” said Joiner. “And the other area he thought was understanding how the brain works. He strongly suggested that neuroscience was an area where there was a potential amount of room to explore and grow and really contribute.”

Discovering Curiosity: Making Music, Studying Memory with Charan Ranganath

October 22, 2018
Charan Ranganath’s journeys in science and music unfolded on parallel and different tracks, but there are similarities to how he approaches the two. For Ranganath, a cognitive neuroscientist studying memory, both his research and his music are expressions of curiosity, a concept that’s also becoming a focus of his lab.

Jennifer Whistler: On the Search for Safer Opioids

April 21, 2018
The opioid epidemic has been called the “deadliest drug crisis in American history” by the New York Times. According to Center for Neuroscience Associate Director Jennifer Whistler, professor of physiology and membrane biology, drug development is headed in the wrong direction. Whistler wants to create a balanced opioid that more closely mimics the way endorphins in the body switch pain relief on and off.