uc davis materials science and engineering phd student biotechnology
Amanda Dang: fourth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Student Spotlight: Amanda Dang and the unique research opportunities of the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB)

Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB) Program Celebrates 20 Years of Preparing Ph.D. Students like Amanda Dang

About 70 doctoral students from different departments — Integrative Genetics and Genomics, Food Science, Microbiology, Materials Science and Engineering — fill room 1022 in the UC Davis Life Sciences building for course MCB 294, “Current Progress in Biotechnology.”

The Friday seminar is part of the Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology program, what everyone refers to as “the DEB.” Every week there’s a different speaker with a different area of specialty in the biotech industry. Earlier in the quarter, industry experts presented seminars on intellectual property, building a biotech startup, producing a profitable probiotic and pioneering a novel class of antibody therapeutics for cancer.

Amanda Dang learned about the DEB before she applied to UC Davis. “It piqued my interest because it seemed like a unique opportunity to learn about the biotechnology industry and pursue interdisciplinary research.” Now a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Amanda has attended about 15 DEB seminars. Her favorite so far was given by the director of toxicology at Genentech, who, she says, shared her personal story as well as the innovative research being conducted by her team. “Her talk exposed me to a new, yet relatable perspective that clarified my understanding of what it would be like to work in the biotechnology industry,” Dang says.

For more information on the program and other Ph.D. students’ experiences in DEB, check out http://research.ucdavis.edu/biotechnology-program/?platform=hootsuite!

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