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:

  • To provide training of graduate students in multiple cross disciplines in biology of vector and arthropod-borne pathogens in the format of forums under the following headings:
    1. Vectors and specifically those aspects of the biology of the vectors that affect disease transmission intensity and patterns
    2. Modern methods of vector-borne disease diagnosis and surveillance
    3. Parasite/host and vector relations
    4. Basic epidemiological techniques
    5. Diversity of arthropod-borne diseases
    6. Current and future methods of disease control.
  • To provide opportunities and forums for students to learn about research being conducted by DEBVBD student colleagues. This will broaden student knowledge and provide opportunities for students to learn about different current techniques that they, in fact, may find useful for their own research.


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.