Science and CSU

Research Takes Spotlight at CSU Symposium




​​​Nearly 700 students, faculty, alumni, administrators and partners gathered at the 26th annual CSU Biotechnology Sym​posium in Santa Clara Jan. 9-11 to share research and advance innovation in the life sciences.

The symposium, organized by the CSU’s Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB), showcases the research of hundreds of students working toward high-demand science, technology, engineering and math degrees.

Biotechnology improves our lives and our planet—it’s used to develop technologies and products like biofuel, medicine, and vaccines. At the symposium, many students presented research that could lead to potential pharmaceutical development, including projects aimed at streamlining the detection of E. coli bacteria and developing molecules able to recognize and target the HIV virus.

In addition to research, the symposium also gave current and future researchers a chance to share best practices, network, and gain exposure to cutting-edge technologies and product-focused innovation. It’s a valuable opportunity for students and faculty that spend much of their time in the lab.

“The aim behind the symposium is to take these highly-accomplished faculty and student researchers ‘out of the lab’ to broaden perspectives and introduce science, technologies, instructional practices and career options they might not have had time to consider,” said CSUPERB Executive Director Susan Baxter. “We want them to shift gears for a couple of days.”

CSUPERB’s annual awards were also presented to the students and faculty who reflect the best of research, teaching and service in the biological sciences.

CSU Fullerton student David Lin received the Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award for his work studying a bacterial enzyme that can inactivate antibiotics. He has been searching for a way to stop this enzyme so bacterial infections could potentially be treated with previously useless antibiotics.

“It means a great deal to me to win this award,” said Lin, who plans to complete his master’s this spring. “It’s an honor, especially because there was a lot of excellent work presented by other CSU students.”

Congratulations to the 2014 award winners:

  • Don Eden Graduate Research Award: David Lin (Cal State Fullerton)
  • Glenn Nagel Undergraduate Research Award: Rodolfo Flores (Cal State Long Beach)
  • Crellin Pauling Student Teaching Award: Jeannette Bowler (San Francisco State), Katherine Nakama (Cal State Fullerton)
  • Faculty Research Awards: Mamta Rawat (Fresno State)
  • Andreoli Faculty Service Award: Betsey Read (Cal State San Marcos)
  • Early-Stage Biotechnology Commercialization Challenge:
    • 1st Place: Team Stem-Patch: Melissa Bardo, Kristen Hernandez, Jordan Kreun Manmeet Singh (Sacramento State)
    • 2nd Place: Team Veras-2F: Michael Bloss, Mark Feranil, Gabriel Schlaefer, Linda Torres (Sacramento State)
    • 3rd Place: Team VIGOR: David Anderson, Fernando Garcia, Joseph Guiliano, William Low (Sacramento State)
  • Howell-CSUPERB Research Scholars:
    • Samariah Bautch, Fresno State (mentor: Cory Brooks)
    • Lindsay Bradford, San Diego State (mentor: Kelly Doran)
    • Amanda Brambila, San Diego State (mentor: Paul Paolini)
    • Nina Bubalo, San José State (mentor: Katie Wilkinson)
    • Jesse Garcia Castillo, Cal State L.A. (mentor: Hyunsook Park)
    • Matthew Dalphin, Cal State Fullerton (mentor: Maria Linder)
    • Yen Luu, San Diego State (mentor: Roland Wolkowicz)
    • Patricia (Nhi) Nguyen, Cal State Long Beach (mentor: Vasanthy Narayanaswami)
    • Sam (Phuc Huu Ba) Nguyen, Cal State Long Beach (mentor: Roger Acey)
    • Cassandra Porter, CSU, Chico (mentor: Lindsay Briggs)
    • Matthew Siracusa, Cal State Fullerton (mentor: Nikolas Nikolaidis)
    • Jodie (Chih Ching) Wu, San José State (mentor: Rachael French)

Student research projects and more about the annual CSUPERB Symposium can be found here.