May 10, 2023
UCI Digest
Photo of cacti
Happy National Cactus Day! (Photo: Ian Parker/UCI)


UCI scientists develop DNA enzyme with new disease treatment potential

John Chaput, UCI professor of pharmaceutical sciences
UCI researchers including John Chaput, UCI professor of pharmaceutical sciences (above) have developed a DNA enzyme – or DNAzyme – that can distinguish between two RNA strands inside a cell and cut the disease-associated strand while leaving the healthy strand intact. This breakthrough “gene silencing” technology could revolutionize the development of DNAzymes for treating cancer, infectious diseases and neurological disorders. A description of how the team achieved this enzyme evolution was recently published in the online journal Nature Communications.

Getty Foundation awards grant to UCI’s Beall Center for Art + Technology

UCI’s Beall Center for Art + Technology has received a $200,000 exhibition grant from the Getty Foundation to present “Future Tense: Art, Complexity and Predictability,” a thematic show and artist residency program. The Beall Center is among more than 45 Southern California awardees participating in the third collaboration of Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative. The landmark regional event, returning in September 2024 with the theme PST Art: Art & Science Collide, will feature exhibitions and programs exploring the intersections of art and science, both past and present.

Campus COVID reminders for remainder of spring quarter

Although the Federal Public Health Emergency Declaration ends on May 11, please remember four campus executive directives are still in effect: contact tracing, symptom check, testing and training, in addition to the UCOP policies.  

Below are additional courtesy reminders:

These requirements and resources will remain in effect at least through spring quarter. Watch for future campus communications as we evaluate updates to policies and requirements.


UC’s 2023 Grad Slam winners feted at May 5 event

UC’s 2023 Grad Slam contest winner UCLA student Brandon Tsai
At a May 5 event in downtown San Francisco, UC’s 2023 Grad Slam contest winner UCLA student Brandon Tsai (above) was awarded 1st place and $7000 for his discoveries regarding how to create better chemistry inside our current COVID-19 vaccines. Also reaching the finals was UCI Ph.D. candidate Muhammad Twaha Ibrahim, who had previously tried to make the Grad Slam final three times. His talk described a solution for improving collaboration among surgeons working together remotely and in-person at the operating table, smoothing the experience for them and improving outcomes for patients.


Anteater Spotlight: Bradford Chin

@UCIrvine posted: Let's get to know some of our fellow Anteaters! We're shining the #AnteaterSpotlight on the people that make #UCIrvine such a special place to learn, grow and explore. Bradford Chin, MFA Candidate, Dance, specializes in physically integrated dance (disability in dance) and critically inclusive dance pedagogy and has taught contemporary, modern, ballet and improvisation.
#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.
Eric Rignot, chancellor professor of Earth system sciences, cited in The Washington Post

A Greenland glacier’s rapid melting may signal faster sea level rise

The Washington Post, May 8
Cited: Eric Rignot, Distinguished Professor of Earth system sciences

Melissa Loble, assistant dean, distance learning, cited in U.S. News and World Report

Why Some College Professors Are Embracing ChatGPT

U.S. News & World Report, May 9
Cited: Melissa Loble, assistant dean, distance learning

Tony Smith, professor of political science and law, cited in KNX

Calls getting louder for Senator Dianne Feinstein to resign

KNX, May 5
Cited: Tony Smith, professor of political science and law


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Daily COVID-19 symptom check

By coming to campus each day, students and employees are attesting they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and are not COVID-19 positive. If you currently have symptoms of COVID-19 or recently tested positive, do not come to campus, or if you currently live on campus stay in your residence, and follow instructions for reporting your case or assessing symptoms on the UCI Forward page. Close contacts to a COVID-19 case are not required to stay home or quarantine, but should follow guidance for close contact instructions for masking and testing on the UCI Forward page.

Potential workplace exposure

UCI provides this notification of a potential workplace COVID-19 exposure. Employees and subcontractors who were in these locations on the dates listed may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You may be entitled to various benefits under applicable federal and state laws and University-specific policies and agreements. The full notification is available on the UCI Forward site. If you have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, the UCI Contact Tracing Program will contact you and provide additional direction.

UCI Forward – information on campus status and operational updates

UCI Health COVID-19 Updates – important information related to UCI Health

Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services – assistance with COVID questions including vaccines and vaccine uploads or to report a case, available at or 949-824-2300

Employee Experience Center – employee information on COVID benefits

For questions specific to your personal health situation, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.

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