UCI Forward

UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

Dec. 9 - Mars colonization; UCI inventors

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Fall foliage provides a sparkling backdrop for cross-campus commuting

Fall foliage provides a sparkling backdrop for cross-campus commuting. Photo by Steven Zylius/UCI


UCI professor David Kisailus

UCI professor David Kisailus holds a model of crystal magnetite. Photo by Steve Zylius/UCI

Could microbial mining hold the key to moon and Mars colonization?

The biochemical process by which cyanobacteria acquire nutrients from rocks in Chile’s Atacama Desert has inspired UCI engineers to research how Martian microbes might help humans build outer space colonies. Researchers in UCI’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Johns Hopkins University published a study recently in the journal Materials Today Bio, outlining possible mining methods in harsh environments such as those on the moon and Mars.

Payam Heydari and Philip Felgner (left and right)

Payam Heydari and Philip Felgner (left and right) have been named fellows by the National Academy of Inventors for their innovations which have contributed to the wellbeing of public health, the economy and society.

Two UCI researchers named fellows by National Academy of Inventors

The National Academy of Inventors has named two UCI researchers as fellows for 2022. Philip Felgner, a pioneer in the development of lifesaving mRNA vaccines, and Payam Heydari, a prolific creator of cutting-edge microelectronics technologies, were both recognized for inventions that have made tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Felgner, a professor in residence of physiology & biophysics, directs UCI’s Vaccine Research and Development Center. Heydari, a Chancellor’s Professor of electrical engineering & computer science, is director of UCI’s Nanoscale Communication Integrated Circuits laboratory.

UC vaccine policy update – and deadline

By Jan. 6, all UCI employees must comply with UC’s revised vaccine policy, which still requires an initial COVID-19 vaccination but allows for exceptions on booster shots. Up-to-date vaccine records, exception requests and booster declinations must be submitted by Jan. 6 through the Campus Occupational Health Portal.


Spiking COVID-19 hospitalizations reaching summer levels

For the first time since July, California hospitals have topped daily totals of 5,000 patients with COVID-19. The alarming rise of hospitalizations comes despite the fact that fewer infections are being reported. Hospitals are also bracing for a further influx of new patients relating to one of the worst flu seasons in five years, as well as the respiratory illness RSV among children.

UAW strike update

As UC-UAW contract negotiations continue for employee units that haven’t yet reached tentative agreements, all UAW units remain on strike at UC campuses. During this time, instruction, research and (this week) final exams remain in operation. FAQs and updates are available on the provost's continuity webpage. Systemwide information is available on UC’s strike page.


Stay Interviews: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Talent in Spa and Wellness
Monday 11 a.m. (online event sponsored by UCI Division of Continuing Education)

Visit today.uci.edu to see and submit event listings. Events of general interest will be shared in UCI Digest two days before they occur.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.

‘A huge burden’: L.A. hospitals strained by COVID surge, very bad flu season

Los Angeles Times, Dec. 8
Cited: Dr. Coleen Cunningham, chair and professor of pediatrics

If You Feel Certain Aches and Pains, You May Have "Long COVID," Say Physicians

Eat This, Not That, Nov. 26
Cited: Dr. Jaclyn Leong, co-director of UCI Health COVID Recovery Clinic

Georgia Senate Runoff: How Raphael Warnock Secured Democrats A 51st Senate Seat

FiveThirtyEight, Dec. 6, 2022
Cited: Michael Tesler, professor of political science


#UCIAlumni tweets: Here's another throwback! Did you know? This was one of the first designs of Peter the Anteater when @UCIrvine was first founded back in 1965! It's screaming vintage!

#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.


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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.

For COVID-19 questions

UCI Forward - information on campus status and operational updates

Monkeypox information - Information and resources on monkeypox

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

UCI Coronavirus Response Center – available at covid19@uci.edu or 949-824-9918

Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services – assistance with vaccines and vaccine uploads or to report a case, available at contacttracing@uci.edu or 949-824-2300

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