Denneal Jamison-McClung, Ph.D.

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 June 17, 2016
Response from Denneal Jamison-McClung, Ph.D., Associate Director, UC Davis Biotechnology Program • July 27, 2016
Scientists working as genetic engineers have acquired a broad set of life science research skills via academic training in cell and molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics and related fields. Genetic engineers study the flow of information within cells via biological molecules, such as DNA or RNA, and may use molecular tools to modify these "genetic blueprints." Applications of genetic engineering cross disciplinary boundaries and students pursuing this career track may choose to... Read More
Posted on December 1, 2014
Response from Denneal Jamison-McClung, Ph.D., Associate Director, UC Davis Biotechnology Program • August 6, 2015
Becoming the best scientist that you can be is a worthy goal. As an educator, there is nothing better than seeing students reach their intellectual potential and grow as thoughtful, contributing members of society. As much as I love to see folks having fun and enjoying their work, genetic engineering is a powerful technology and begs the question, “Because we can do this, should we do this?”   In university labs, where serving the public good is the ultimate mission (... Read More
Posted on May 2, 2014
Response from Denneal Jamison-McClung, Ph.D., Associate Director, UC Davis Biotechnology Program • October 9, 2014
Great question! There are many options for students interested in learning about modern plant-breeding techniques and crop improvement through biotechnology, including mutation breeding, marker-assisted selection, transgenesis, RNAi and genome editing. Land-grant universities, established by the U.S. Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, including the University of California, Davis, have strong academic programs in agronomy, plant breeding and plant biology. Every state has at least one land-... Read More
Posted on October 12, 2013
Response from Denneal Jamison-McClung, Ph.D., Associate Director, UC Davis Biotechnology Program • December 6, 2013
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... Read More
Posted on December 3, 2013
Response from Denneal Jamison-McClung, Ph.D., Associate Director, UC Davis Biotechnology Program • December 3, 2013
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... Read More
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