Davis Student Shares Experience at Mars Symposium

UC Davis School of Management MBA student Jennifer Hebets shared her experience at the Mars Symposium held at UC Davis Jan. 14, 2015. The UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health was launched during this symposium. The symposium was jointly organized with Davis and Mars, Incorporated in collaboration with the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.

The Innovation Institute for Food and Health was announced in September 2014. The idea was supported by a pledge of $40 million from Mars and $20 million from UC Davis over 10 years. The institute will advance new discoveries in sustainable food, agriculture and health, not just in the laboratory but, at all steps along the way to commercial use.

Hebets writes:

“UC Davis and Mars are showing the world the power of cross-sector collaboration in solving some of today’s most complex and pressing issues. This week marked a significant milestone as the launch of the UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health that will seek solutions to global issues in food, agriculture and health.

After listening to the many distinguished speakers, it could not be clearer just how inextricably linked these issues are. With a planet expected to reach nine billion people by 2050, we need to be thinking about how we will ensure an equitable and just quality of life for all of the planet’s inhabitants.

One of the welcome addresses I enjoyed most was from Pamela Mars, Technology Committee Chair of Mars. Pam is a member of the Mars family, and she clearly embodies the company’s five principles: Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom.

Pam’s keynote address mentioned several significant milestones in the 40-year partnership with Davis worth mentioning. In the 1990’s the partnership yielded groundbreaking research on the cardiovascular benefits of cocoa.

In 2010 the UC Davis-Mars partnership, led by the renowned researcher and newly minted Mars Fellow, Howard Shapiro, pioneered the sequencing of the cocoa genome. This achievement was a major breakthrough that would lead to much needed research on improving yields and disease resistance of the cocoa plant.”

You can read the rest of Jennifer’s blog post here, or find more information about UC Davis Graduate School of Management at


About the Author

Erin Purcell

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.

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