Susan M. Baxter, Ph.D.

Executive Director, California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB)​

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Susan M. Baxter has served as executive director of the California State University (CSU) Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB, www.calstate.edu/csuperb ) since March 2007. In this role, she is responsible for strategic planning and new initiatives related to the life sciences across the 23 campuses of the CSU system. She coordinates a system-wide biotechnology community that involves over 600 faculty and students annually, administers​ seed grant, scholarship and award programs for CSU faculty and students, organizes the annual CSU biotechnology symposium, develops new research and educational program opportunities, and serves as a liaison for the CSU with life sciences industry, government, philanthropic and educational partners. In addition, Baxter manages the National Science Foundation-funded CSU Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM), a system-wide entrepreneurship education program. Currently, she serves on boards at Biocom Institute and the California Life Sciences Institute, the nonprofit arms of two California biotechnology industry associations. 

Before joining CSUPERB, Baxter served as chief operating officer at the National Center for Genome Resources, where she managed a portfolio of state- and federally-funded projects providing software for collaborative genome and population genetics research teams. Previously she was vice president of research and genome analysis at GeneFormatics, an early-stage, venture-backed biotechnology company, and a tenured researcher at the New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center where she ran a National Institutes of Health-supported group. Baxter began her career at Monsanto Agricultural Company where she received an Achievement Award for product development. She was a National Institutes of General Medical Sciences National Research Service Award (NRSA) postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oregon. Baxter received a doctorate in chemistry from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Virginia.