California State University, Fullerton

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Students Spend Summer Days in Science, Math Labs

July 1, 2013

Cal State Fullerton undergrads, along with local community college and high school students, are spending their summer days in faculty labs on campus and at institutions across the country and abroad getting hands-on training in real-world research.

These summertime opportunities are made possible through a multitude of grant-funded programs. The students' work will culminate in a public research symposium Friday, Aug. 9, in Dan Black Hall.

Summer research program offerings include:

Bridges to Stem Cell Program

A new class of eight stem cell researchers joined the program in June, while the current scholars are completing their research projects by July 31 at UC Irvine, USC, CHOC Children's and Stanford University. Undergraduates participate in a seven-month, paid internship and work full time as stem cell scientists in a laboratory setting. The students focus on a research project that they design with their internship mentors. The stem cell program is funded by a $2.6 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Program director is Nilay Patel, assistant professor of biological science. 

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Research Experience

CSUF and community college students are participating in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) summer research experience, working in the lab with faculty members through Aug. 9. Nine high school students and three high school science teachers also will join faculty members in the lab starting July 8 through Aug. 9. The summer research programs are made possible by a $1.2 million HHMI grant that gives undergraduates, high school students and science teachers the opportunity to conduct real-world research. Program director is Maria C. Linder, professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Minority Access to Research Careers

Five returning and three new scholars of the 12 currently enrolled in the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program are spending their summer conducting research at Ph.D.-granting institutions, including Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, Harvard University and UC San Francisco, in order to advance their study and careers in science. The remaining four students are conducting research with CSUF faculty mentors on campus. The MARC program is supported by a five-year $2.3 million National Institutes of Health grant. Program director is Amybeth Cohen, professor of biological science.

Southern California Ecosystems Research Program

Scholars in this program are completing their summer course, where they spent several weeks in the field investigating desert tortoises in the Mojave Desert, the effects of water run-off on rocky intertidal organisms in Corona Del Mar and how oaks deal with water stress at Starr Ranch Audubon Sanctuary. The National Science Foundation-funded program offers students opportunities to perform independent research and prepare for careers in ecology and environmental biology. Biological science faculty members Bill Hoese and Darren Sandquist direct the Southern California Ecosystems Research (SCERP) program.

Strengthening Transfer Education & Matriculation in STEM (STEM)²

Through this year's (STEM)² Summer Research Experience program, 35 students are working in the labs of 21 CSUF faculty members in the colleges of Engineering and Computer Science and Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The students are from the program's three partner community colleges: Cypress, Citrus and Santiago Canyon colleges. This five-year program is funded by a $6 million U.S. Department of Education Hispanic-Serving Institution STEM grant to encourage and support science, technology, engineering and mathematics study and careers. Project manager is Maria V. Dela Cruz.

Summer Research Program in Mathematics

Five mathematics faculty members are mentoring nine undergraduate math majors for a meaningful exposure to mathematical research, in preparation for subsequent graduate studies. This is the second summer of the program, which continues through Aug. 9 and is funded by the Mathematics Department. Program director is Stephen W. Goode, chair and professor of mathematics.

Research Abroad

Through the Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program (MHIRT), six CSUF students are conducting research in the laboratory of a research advisers at universities in the United Kingdom, Argentina and Thailand through August. The students are studying at the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Chiang Mai University and Instituto Fundación Leloir. The student researchers are focusing on projects related to ethics and minority health issues. MHIRT is funded by a National Institutes of Health grant. Program director is Marcelo Tolmasky, professor of biological science.

Media Contact: Debra Cano Ramos, 657-278-4027

Tags:  Academics & Research