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Titans Presenting at CSU Biotech Symposium

Research Award Winners to Be Named During January 3-5 Conference

Jan. 2, 2013

Cal State Fullerton students and their faculty mentors will attend the Jan. 3-5 California State University 25th annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium to present research, as well as learn about leading-edge biotechnologies and career opportunities.

The symposium, at the Anaheim Marriott, brings together students, faculty members and administrators from throughout the state, as well as biotech professionals working in academia, government and industry. 

More than 70 Cal State Fullerton students, including science and mathematics majors, will present their poster research projects. 

Two poster sessions are scheduled Friday evening, Jan. 4, and Saturday afternoon, Jan. 5. This year, 266 research posters were accepted for presentation. They represent work from 146 faculty-led research groups at 22 campuses, including Fullerton. The number of submitted and accepted abstracts is the most in the 25 years of the annual symposium.

"The CSU Biotechnology Symposium offers an excellent opportunity for our students to present the research they have performed in collaboration with our faculty," said Robert A. Koch, acting dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. "They get the chance to explain their work to faculty and students from across the CSU and to industry representatives who attend. At the same time, they can hear experts from industry and academia present cutting-edge technologies that can move their own research into uncharted territory."

By attending and presenting their research, students also get the chance to participate in a key process of science, which is communicating with an audience of their peers, as well as receiving critical feedback that will help them improve their studies and, perhaps, solve some problems in ways they had not anticipated, Koch explained.

"We know that students who engage in undergraduate research have a higher rate of persistence in their majors and a higher rate of graduation — and the CSU Biotechnology Symposium offers an incentive to students to be more fully involved in this high-impact practice."

Alison Miyamoto, assistant professor of biological science and one of the CSUF faculty members attending the conference, said the symposium is one of the first chances research students get to present their work to researchers outside of campus.

"Because the symposium focuses on biotech researchers in the CSU system, it is both a manageable size and a supportive atmosphere for the students to discuss their work, compared to some national conferences," said Miyamoto, also intern coordinator for the CIRM Bridges to Stem Cell Research program. "Beyond the scientific value, the symposium provides students a chance to improve their written and oral communication skills, which are essential to any career." 

Research Awards

Cal State Fullerton students are among finalists for undergraduate and graduate research awards to be presented at the event. Winners will be announced during the Saturday, Jan. 5, awards ceremony. The CSUF finalists (listed by category) are: 

2013 Glenn Nagel Undergraduate Student Research Award 

  • Alexander Burtea of Fullerton, a senior majoring in chemistry and biochemistry, is guided by mentor Nicholas Salzameda, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry.
  • Charles Mordaunt of Fullerton, a biological science major, is guided by mentor Nilay Patel, assistant professor of biological science.

More about the competition is available online. See a video about the award and its namesake, the late Glenn Nagel, the 1986-87 recipient of the CSUF Outstanding Professor Award here.

2013 Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award

  • Chelsea McCallister of Fullerton, a biology major, is paired with mentor Nikolas Nikolaidis, assistant professor of biological science.
  • Nicole Ratib of La Habra, a biology major, is paired with mentor Esther Chen, associate professor of biological science.

(Also nominated in this category: Ken-Der Wang of Cerritos, a biology major, who is paired with mentor Melanie A. Sacco, assistant professor of biological science.)

More about the Eden Award is available online: To see the video, click here

2013 Howell-CSUPERB Research Scholars

CSUPERB partners with the Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women's Health Research to fund promising undergraduate student research projects in topics related to women's health. More about the program is available online.

  • Charles Mordaunt  of Fullerton, a biological science major, is guided by mentor Nilay Patel, assistant professor of biological science.
  • Van Nguyen of Garden Grove, biological science major, is guided by mentor Math P. Cuajungco, associate professor of biological science.
  • Matthew Schroeder  of Yorba Linda, a biological science major, is guided by mentor Alison Miyamoto, assistant professor of biological science.

By: Debra Cano Ramos, 657-278-4027

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