Independent Expert

Denneal Jamison-McClung, Ph.D.

Associate Director, UC Davis Biotechnology Program

Dr. Denneal Jamison-McClung earned her PhD in Genetics with a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology from UC Davis. She is now Associate Director of the UC Davis Biotechnology Program and coordinates the NSF CREATE-IGERT training program in transgenic plant technologies.

As an educator, her primary focus is interdisciplinary training in the life sciences and engineering, with emphasis on biotech-related regulatory, policy, ethics, entrepreneurship and IP paradigms. Dr. Jamison-McClung is also Director of the BioTech SYSTEM, a regional consortium promoting K-14 biotech education.

From this Expert

Posted On: Saturday, 10/12/2013 5:00 pm
A: Good questions – congratulations on planning ahead!  Each academic program will be slightly different, but generally speaking, the specific life science or engineering bachelor’s degree obtained does not matter as much as the skill sets you acquire during your undergraduate training.  Look for STEM majors that offer a broad, solid foundation in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, with the opportunity to get hands-on experience in laboratory settings. During sophomore or... Continue Reading
Posted On: Saturday, 8/10/2013 7:31 pm
A: Thanks to the genomics revolution and new molecular tools, such as “genome editing”, very specific genetic changes can be easily made to plant genomes, from single nucleotide changes to the insertion or deletion of whole genes (Cressey, 2013; Li, 2013). Genomic changes or “events” moving forward for potential commercialization are well-characterized, from the molecular level through to the performance of the whole organism. Thanks to the relative ease and affordability of DNA sequencing, plant... Continue Reading
Posted On: Sunday, 8/04/2013 1:30 am
A:  A promoter is the main regulatory portion of a gene.  The simplest analogy is that a promoter is a “switch” that turns a gene “on” or “off.” It is the portion of the gene where cellular machinery binds before transcribing the DNA blueprint into a useful RNA.  There are different types of RNA that may be transcribed, including messenger RNA’s (mRNAs) that encode useful proteins and regulatory RNAs that mediate gene silencing.  But, the first step is always binding of an RNA... Continue Reading
Posted On: Monday, 7/29/2013 4:31 pm
A: High school science standards in California require students to learn the fundamentals of cell biology, genetics, evolution and ecology, topics that form a theoretical knowledge base supporting the applied science of biotechnology. Biotechnology is taught in many middle school and high school life science classes, including single-unit modules within a course, stand-alone elective biotechnology courses, and structured, multi-year academies that interact with local research universities and... Continue Reading
Posted On: Wednesday, 7/17/2013 6:07 pm
A: GM foods have a long, safe track record (17 years in the marketplace). From their introduction in 1996 until now, scientists have found, through repeated and extensive testing, that GM foods are no more risky than comparable non-GM foods, nor do they differ in nutritional value.  Currently approved GM crops developed through specific genetic additions or subtractions are as safe as conventional and organic crops developed via random genetic shuffling.  Most people do not realize... Continue Reading
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