What Matters to Carlito Lebrilla?
Immediate application of basic science.
I am a professor of chemistry. With my team at UC Davis over the past twenty years we have developed methods for determining structures of small saccharide chains. In the process, we have developed blood tests for prostate, ovarian, and breast cancers. I have made breakthroughs into why a mother’s milk is the perfect food and have worked on solutions to help infants without access to that food. In other research centers, I would have had to have a biology appointment for the work I’m doing. Not here. UC Davis is the perfect place to break the traditional lines of research, and cross into new fields to great success.
When my team comes up with diagnostic methods, biologists and health professionals across the country can start to test them. We have infused state-of-the-art analytical chemistry tools to well-established fields creating new paradigms and making a greater impact to more people.
The combination of private businesses with cutting-edge technology (much of my work is in partnership with companies such as Agilent Technologies) collaborating with public research institutions has already shown great success. The introduction of these technologies to basic and applied research would normally take years. I feel so
fortunate to be part of a place that knows no boundaries, whether they be chemical, technological, biological, or human.