​Biotechnology is a merging of fields. It joins biology with robotics, organic chemistry with engineering, nanotech with computer tech, and health applications with health administration. Biotechnology is uniquely suited to the concentration of expertise and ingenuity in California. This merging of talent is particularly well-matched to the California State University.

Making Advancements Together

Through applications of biotechnology, CSU students, faculty, and staff are developing solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s environmental, economic, and health challenges. Across the university system, the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) supports development in this field. CSUPERB activities include:

  • Advancing innovational educational practices
  • Enhancing student and faculty research opportunities
  • Encouraging entrepreneurship
  • Promoting private-public partnerships
  • Facilitating technology transfer activities

Local Discoveries, Global Reach

CSUPERB funding provides opportunities for students and faculty to undertake research projects as well as present their data to fellow scientists and industry experts. Exemplary CSU work can be found throughout the state. This research includes:

  • Chris Ikeda, a masters’ student at San Francisco State, is striving to better understand the climatic and environmental conditions that influence harmful algae blooms and toxicity.
  • Dr. Rachel Mackelprang, assistant professor at CSU Northridge, uses DNA sequencing, bioinformatic analysis, and microbiology-based approaches to study the impact of climate change on the release of microbial communities locked in permafrost.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Skovran, assistant professor at San José State, combines systems biology with classical genetic and biochemical techniques to engineer microbes that produce value-added chemicals like methanol and methane for biofuels and bioplastics.
  • Dr. Carol Lauzon, professor at CSU East Bay, works with a team of students – alongside experts at the US Department of Agriculture – to rapidly and accurately detect and identify harmful E. coli bacteria in food samples.

As demonstrated, biotechnology touches on a wide range of issues with both immediate and long-term benefits for human health and the understanding of our environment. Working in some of the world’s most environmentally and economically productive regions, CSU students, faculty, and staff are making progress that is–in a word–superb.