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Bacteriology
Biochemistry
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Biological Chemistry
Biological Sciences, Division of
Botany

Bacteriology
See Microbiology.

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Biochemistry
The Department of Biochemistry was one of the premier teaching departments at UC Davis. The department's three founding members--Paul Stumpf, Eric Conn, and Lloyd Ingraham--were joined by ten new colleagues between 1959 and 1969, and all proved adept at garnering grants for educational activities. Blessed with generous support from the NIH and the Shell Company Foundation, the department was able to invite many nationally prominent biochemists to give seminars and become acquainted with the campus. (Departmental hospitality usually also included acquainting many of the guests with the pleasures of the enology department.) Beginning in 1967, funding for an annual Shell Lectureship supported a series of speakers of Nobel caliber, who usually stayed for several days of interaction with faculty and students. Awards by the Stauffer Company and the California Foundation for Biochemical Research supported other aspects of the educational program, while the annual Swackhamer Award honored outstanding graduate students.

In 1971, after more than a decade of rapid development, the Department of Biochemistry moved into spacious new quarters in Briggs Hall. Nationally known for good teaching, the department offered a very successful undergraduate major in biochemistry, and biochemistry majors at Davis at one time comprised 7 percent of all such majors in the country, often becoming top graduate students at other schools. Several faculty members wrote highly effective textbooks that moved into national use and eventually ran into several editions.

The department also graduated a relatively high number of Ph.D.s. The Graduate Group in Biochemistry convened biochemists from a number of other Davis departments to help administer the graduate program in biochemistry. Thus biochemists from agronomy, vegetable crops, botany, zoology, microbiology, food science, the veterinary school, and several medical school departments contributed to the strength of the program. The format developed at Davis was later adopted at several other universities.

One of the greatest strengths of the department was the exceptional stability of its faculty and support staff. Throughout its long history, only four faculty members left the department, and the hardworking staff was equally devoted. Chairs of the department between 1958 and 1993 were P. K. Stumpf, E. E. Conn, S. Chaykin, J. Priess, R. H. Doi, J. L. Hedrick, J. R. Whitaker, D. M. Carlson, and M. McNamee.

In 1983 the department celebrated its silver anniversary with a daylong symposium. After 35 years, however, the department as an entity ceased to exist: In 1993 it was subsumed into the larger administrative unit called Molecular and Cellular Biology within the Division of Biological Sciences. source

See also Molecular and Cellular Biology and Division of Biological Sciences.

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Biological and Agricultural Engineering
There is no history currently available for this department. See College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and College of Engineering.

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Biological Chemistry
There is no history currently available for this department. See School of Medicine.

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Biological Sciences, Division of
Although its founding departments were created as early as 1922, the Division of Biological Sciences was officially established as an intercollege unit in 1970. Designed to provide an organizational framework for undergraduate biology programs, the division linked the College of Letters and Science departments of bacteriology, botany, and zoology with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences departments of animal physiology, biochemistry and biophysics, and genetics. At its inception, the division administered an interdepartmental major in biological sciences as well as the six departmental undergraduate majors. Associate Dean S.R. Snow headed the division, holding a joint appointment and reporting to the deans of both colleges.

The division became an administratively independent unit in 1979. Donald McLean was appointed the division's first dean. Robert D. Grey of the zoology faculty became dean in 1985. That year the division was given responsibility for developing and coordinating campuswide programs in basic biological sciences that transcended the boundaries of colleges and schools. The advisory Biological Sciences Council subsequently began forming an academic plan for the biological sciences and in 1988 recommended that the division be reorganized.

During the previous 25 years, campus biology departments had changed little even though traditional disciplinary boundaries had blurred and new interdisciplinary fields had emerged. The council formulated a plan for the division that reflected the integrated nature of biological subdisciplines. In addition, given the rapid and continuous developments in biology, council members wanted a structure that would be flexible and encourage new directions in research, reflecting the major themes of modern biology. After an intense reexamination of the biological sciences programs, the council recommended reorganizing the original six departments into five sections: (1) evolution and ecology, (2) microbiology, (3) molecular and cellular biology, (4) neurobiology, physiology, and behavior, and (5) plant biology. The council strengthened the dean's role, assigning responsibility for resource planning and budgeting, coordination of academic planning, and faculty appointments, and the dean began reporting to the campus provost. To ensure that divisional academic priorities and programs would continue to be in accord with those of the two colleges, the division model included an administrative council comprising the division and college deans.

In 1993 the reorganization plan was enacted. Faculty members chose their new section affiliation, and each section's budget was officially transferred from the colleges to the division. The Division of Biological Sciences currently comprises the five sections listed above. Concurrent with the administrative reorganization, the undergraduate biology curriculum was redesigned, and the division instituted a coherent series of introductory courses to encompass the diverse areas of biology, reflecting a commitment to integrated teaching.

At the time of the reorganization, division sections were housed separately in Robbins Hall (plant biology), Hutchison Hall (microbiology), Storer Hall (evolution and ecology), and Briggs Hall (molecular and cellular biology; neurobiology, physiology, and behavior). In 1997 divisional faculty members with research programs in cellular and molecular biology moved to the new Life Sciences Addition. This building brought together more than 30 faculty research laboratories and is architecturally designed to foster research collaborations, featuring interconnected laboratories and common-area spaces that house essential research equipment.

The division currently has 108 faculty members. It administers eight undergraduate majors in biology, enrolling approximately 3,500 students: (1) biological sciences, (2) biochemistry (3) cell biology, (4) evolution and ecology, (5) genetics, (6) microbiology, (7) neurobiology, physiology, and behavior, and (8) plant biology. Additional majors may be established as new biological themes emerge. The division also provides administrative support for ten graduate groups involving approximately 480 students. To promote campuswide collaborative projects, the division administers the Center for Population Biology, the Center for Animal Behavior, the Center for Neuroscience, and the Biotechnology Program. source

See also Evolution and Ecology; Microbiology; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior; and Plant Biology.

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Botany
See Plant Biology.

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