About CVEC

Culex tarsalis mosquito, a vector of West Nile virus. (Photo by Jack Kelly Clark) The Center for Vectorborne Diseases (CVEC) was established on the University of California, Davis campus in 1996 as a joint venture between the School of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Core funding for the Center was provided through the transfer of the Arbovirus Research Unit, a world-renowned research program previously affiliated with the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.


The center brings together the activities and complementary strengths of a wide range of faculty with interests in vectorborne infectious diseases within the School of Medicine, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the School of Veterinary Medicine.


CVEC encourages participation of faculty from other academic units on the Davis campus and on other campuses in the UC System. Center research focuses on the biological interactions between vectors and infectious agents and between the vectors and vertebrate hosts of these pathogens and parasites.


In addition to the viral diseases of humans, domestic animals and wildlife that are transmitted by mosquitoes and other biting flies, the center also engages in research on rickettsial, bacterial, protozoan and helminth disease pathogens carried by vectors such as ticks, fleas, crustaceans, mollusks, and rodents. Faculty associated with the center have expertise in vectorborne veterinary and human infectious diseases and in public health entomology.


A unique aspect of CVEC is that its research encompasses the full range of activities from developing rapid and more accurate molecular methods for disease diagnosis and surveillance, to understanding the ecology of diseases in its natural setting, to the development of strategies and tools for disease prevention and management.


The center maintains a BS Level 3 containment facility located on the periphery of the campus. Insectary facilities are available in several locations for faculty research on West Nile, dengue fever, malaria and other serious diseases. New facilities for a BSL-3 laboratory will be included in the School of Veterinary Medicine research and instruction building. The 30 faculty currently affiliated with the Center generated more than $6 million in grant and contract funding in support of their research during 2006-2007.


The interim co-directors of CVEC are Shirley Luckhart and Janet Foley.


    Past Directors of CVEC: