Designated Emphasis in Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases (DEBVBD)

The Center for Vectorborne Diseases is the administrative home for the Designated Emphasis in Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases (DEBVBD). It is an intergraduate group program that allows Ph.D. students to receive and be credited for training in the area of vector-borne diseases. Chaired by UC Davis Professor Shirley Luckhart, the DEBVBD includes training in the biology of both the vectors and the pathogens.

 

The DEBVBD supplements a student's PhD curriculum; those completing the DEBVBD will obtain an official designation on their diploma and transcript indicating a qualification in Biology of Vector-borne Diseases.

 

Example: Doctoral Degree in Entomology with a Designated Emphasis in Biology of Vector-borne Diseases.

 

The intention of the DEBVBD is to provide an environment for students to learn about the numerous arthropod-borne diseases that exist today and the multiple strategies that are being researched and conducted to diagnose, survey and control them. When students complete their PhDs, with emphasis in biology of vector-borne diseases, they should have sufficient background knowledge and applicative skills to become lead teachers, researchers and public health officials both within and outside the United States.

 

DEBVBD Mission:

 

DEBVBD Coursework:

Curriculum requirements for students admitted to DEBVD program will include the core course, Changing Patterns of Vector-borne Infections (PHR 214/ENT 214), and 2 elective courses/seminars from a list of courses in vector-borne disease biology as approved by the Executive Committee. Courses may not be repeated for credit. Students are encouraged to present a 10 minute presentation at the Annual Research Retreat on the Biology of Disease Vectors which will be held annually on the UC Davis campus. Students are also encouraged to give presentations and attend the bi-monthly Vector Biology Interest Discussion Group meetings.

Admissions Criteria

Prior to taking the Ph.D. qualifying examination of his/her degree program, a graduate student in good standing in a relevant affiliated program must declare an interest in the DEBVD program and be admitted by unanimous decision of the Executive Committee. Specific criteria to determine whether students will be admitted to the DE include:

 

  1. Agreement to take the DEBVD required course and two elective courses/seminars approved by the Executive Committee.
  2. The student will agree to participate in the annual DEBVD student competition by presenting a poster of his/her research results. Interest in the DEBVD should be declared as soon as possible after graduate admission so that the student can complete the DEBVD requirements in the appropriate time frame of the affiliated graduate program.
  3. Impact on normative time to degree in affiliated Ph.D. programs: The time required to satisfy the requirements of the DEBVD should not substantially affect the time taken to complete the affiliated Ph.D. degree since it is anticipated that most of the courses required for the DEBVD will serve to fulfill concurrently the course requirements of the affiliated graduate program. It is anticipated that the DEBVD course requirements will constitute no more than 3 of the courses required of their affiliated program but will vary depending on the course requirements of the affiliated graduate program.
  4. Appointment of the faculty to the Qualifying Examination and Dissertation Committees: The Executive Committee, in consultation with the Chair of the students’ Ph.D. program, will recommend at least one DEBVD faculty member to the Dean of Graduate Studies for appointment to the students’ Qualifying Examination and Dissertation Committees. The same faculty member may sit on both committees or two different faculty members of the DEBVD may be recommended. It is recommended that, and in the usual case, the major professor would be a member of the affiliated graduate program as well as the DEBVD program.
  5. Examination requirements: The Ph.D. qualifying examination shall include examination of a general understanding of biology of vector-borne diseases and an in depth comprehension of the specialty area of the affiliated graduate program. At least one faculty member of the designated emphasis shall participate in the qualifying examination. Satisfactory performance on the qualifying examination for the Ph.D. will be judged independently from performance on the designated emphasis portion of the examination.
  6. Dissertation requirements: The dissertation topic shall focus on research appropriate to the academic focus of the DE. The dissertation committee shall include at least one faculty member of the DE.
  7. Degree conferral process: The DE will be awarded solely in conjunction with the Ph.D. and will be signified by the degree designation Ph.D. in X with Emphasis in the Biology of Vector-borne Diseases, where X is one of the affiliated graduate programs.

Student Advising

Each student’s academic progress will be reviewed annually by the Executive Committee. This evaluation will include a short interview/discussion with each student in the presence of all the members of the Executive Committee.

 

The interview will focus on discussions of student progress in completing the necessary core and elective courses/seminars and on progress in completing proposed thesis research. Discussion on the research project will not focus on content but rather on progress in meeting timelines of experimentation, data accumulation, analysis and thesis writing. Student knowledge and progress in scientific content of projects will be reviewed by the qualifying examination committee.

Students in Program

One of the designated emphasis students is Nicole Mans, recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, who is doing research in Peru.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)The Center for Vectorborne Diseases is the administrative home for the Designated Emphasis in Vector-Borne Diseases (DEVBD). It is an intergraduate group program that allows Ph.D. students to receive and be credited for training in the area of vector-borne diseases. Directed by UC Davis medical entomologist Anthony Cornel, the DEVBD includes training in the biology of both the vectors and the pathogens.

 

Current students:

 

Graduates:

Affiliated Faculty

UC Davis medical entomologist Anthony Cornel collecting mosquitoes. Affiliated Ph.D. programs are in italics:

 

By-Laws and Other Resources

The DE shall be governed by bylaws that will be used to direct the administration of the DE, and define the requirements for both student and faculty participation in the program. The bylaws were prepared as outlined in the Bylaws Guidelines for Graduate Programs – Departmentally based Graduate Programs, Graduate Groups and Designated Emphasis Programs.

 

In order to initiate the DE on Biology of Vector-borne Diseases no additional resources are required since participating faculty are currently responsible for curricular requirements:

  1. the core course ENT/PHR 214
  2. courses and seminars on vector-borne diseases and related areas.

 

Stipends of current students are covered by participating faculty home departments and by federal and other research grants of faculty. Further funding will be requested from the NIH (training grant) which requires that this DE first be approved and in place before proposal submission. Facilities and other resources for students are provided by departments and the Center for Vector-borne Diseases. The DE will be reviewed by the Graduate Council five years after the first cohort of students is admitted into the program. Thereafter, the program will be reviewed by Graduate Council on the periodic 7-year cycle. The "sunset clause" will be reset at the end of each successful review by Graduate Council.

Curriculum

Curriculum requirements for students admitted to DEBVD program will include the required course, PHR 214 or ENT 214 Changing Patterns of Vector-borne Infections, and 2 elective courses/seminars from a list of approvded courses (found below) in vector-borne disease biology as approved by the Executive Committee. Courses may not be repeated for credit.

 

College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

 

School of Medicine

 

School of Veterinary Medicine

 

Courses not listed here can be submitted for approval to the Executive Committee to fulfill elective credits. The required curriculum, and any subsequent changes to the required curriculum, must be approved by the Executive Committee.

Funding Opportunities

At present, one funding opportunity is available.

Training Program in the Biology of Disease Vectors

Recognizing the need to curb the spread of vectorborne diseases, the University of California at Davis has approved a Designated Emphasis in the Biology of Vectorborne Diseases, the goal of which is to train graduate and postgraduate fellows in the biology of vectorborne viral, bacterial, and parasitic agents of human and animal diseases and their arthropod vectors. This grant Training Program in the Biology of Disease Vectors focuses on training pre-doctoral and post-doctoral scholars in the biology of arthropod vectors of human and animal diseases.


Grant funds have been made available to enhance the training program by providing support for two pre-doctoral and two post-doctoral trainees per year for a 5-year funding period. In addition, UC Davis has provided institutional matching funds to support two additional Ph.D. students.


Trainees will be selected by an Advisory and Admissions Committee based upon academic excellence and demonstrated interest in the biology of vectorborne diseases, with special recruitment effort from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Pre-doctoral trainees will be recruited from six affiliated Ph.D. programs, namely the Department of Entomology, and the Graduate Groups in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Comparative Pathology, Epidemiology, Immunology, and Microbiology.


Didactic courses in microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, genetics, population genomics of pathogens and arthropod vectors, vector ecology and control, disease pathology and diagnosis will be offered in the curriculum for trainees. In addition, trainees will attend courses on responsible conduct of research as well as a series of lecture-discussion and guest-speaker seminars on research ethics offered through the Office of Research and Office of Graduate Studies. Trainees will be required to attend research seminars and discussion groups on topics relevant to the training program and present their research at an annual research retreat. Each trainee's academic progress will be reviewed annually by an Advisory and Admissions Committee.


The Director of the Training Program is Gregory C. Lanzaro and the Associate Director is Shirley Luckhart.


The Advisory and Admissions Committee members are Shirley Luckhart (chair), Bruce D. Hammock, Anthony J. Cornel and William K. Reisen.

Post-doctoral Fellowship Application

Applications for a Post-Doctoral Fellowship are provided as either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF.

All applicants must:


  1. Complete all sections of the application.
  2. Email their completed application and a current curriculum vitae to the Program Director Gregory Lanzaro (gclanzaro@ucdavis.edu) and Associate Director Shirley Luckhart (sluckhart@ucdavis.edu).
  3. Arrange for letters of recommendation, from three persons, to be sent by email to Gregory C. Lanzaro (gclanzaro@ucdavis.edu) and Shirley Luckhart (sluckhart@ucdavis.edu)

Pre-doctoral Fellowship Application

Applications for a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship are provided as either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF.

All applicants must:


  1. Complete all sections of the application.
  2. Email their completed application and a current curriculum vitae to the Program Director Gregory Lanzaro (gclanzaro@ucdavis.edu) and Associate Director Shirley Luckhart (sluckhart@ucdavis.edu).
  3. Arrange for letters of recommendation, from two persons, to be sent by email to Gregory C. Lanzaro (gclanzaro@ucdavis.edu) and Shirley Luckhart (sluckhart@ucdavis.edu)

Participating Faculty

There are 14 faculty members participating in this training program.


Stephen W. Barthold, D.V.M., Ph.D., Professor
Director, Center for Comparative Medicine
Department of Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology
School of Veterinary Medicine
swbarthold@ucdavis.edu


Nicole Baumgarth, D.V.M., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Center for Comparative Medicine
Department of Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology
School of Veterinary Medicine
nbaumgarth@ucdavis.edu

Dori Borjesson, D.V.M., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology
School of Veterinary Medicine
dlborjesson@ucdavis.edu


Aaron C. Brault, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Assistant Arbovirologist
Department of Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology
School of Veterinary Medicine
acbrault@ucdavis.edu


Anthony J. Cornel, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Entomology
College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
cornel@uckac.edu


Kathryn DeRiemer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Division of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences
School of Medicine
kderiemer@ucdavis.edu


Janet Foley, D.V.M., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Medicine & Epidemiology
School of Veterinary Medicine
jefoley@ucdavis.edu


Ian A. Gardner, B.V. Sc. Ph.D., Professor Epidemiology
Department of Medicine & Epidemiology
School of Veterinary Medicine
iagardner@ucdavis.edu


Bruce D. Hammock, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Entomology
Department of Entomology
College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
bdhammock@ucdavis.edu


Gregory C. Lanzaro, Ph.D., Professor
Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
School of Veterinary Medicine
gclanzaro@ucdavis.edu


Shirley Luckhart, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
School of Medicine
sluckhart@ucdavis.edu


William K. Reisen, Ph.D., Research Entomologist, Adjunct Professor
Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
School of Veterinary Medicine
wkreisen@ucdavis.edu, arbo123@pacbell.net


Thomas W. Scott, Ph.D., Professor
Department of Entomology
College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
twscott@ucdavis.edu


Renée M. Tsolis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
School of Medicine
rmtsolis@ucdavis.edu

Acknowledging the Training Program

According to the NIH Guidelines on Publications & Citations, recipients of fellowships are required to list them under Acknowledgements in any publication they participated in while receiving support. This includes Publications, Powerpoint Presentations, Posters, Book Chapters etc. and of course your thesis. Please use the verbage as posted below:


If you are receiving an NIH fellowship, for each publication that results from NIH grant-supported research, grantees must include an acknowledgement of NIH grant support and a disclaimer stating the following:


  • "This publication was made possible by Grant Number T32-AI074550 from NIH-NIAID"
  • "The project described was supported by Grant Number T32-AI074550 from NIAID-NIH" and "Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIAID or NIH."