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A Leader in Advancing Women's Health

Alumna Anita Nosratieh Is a Lead Reviewer at FDA

March 4, 2015

Cal State Fullerton alumna Anita Nosratieh ‘07 (B.S. electrical engineering) learned many valuable things as an undergraduate researcher that prepared her for graduate studies and a career.

For Nosratieh, a past scholar in the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program, the most important lesson was to follow her passion to advance women's health.

She went on to study women's health issues at UC Davis, where she earned her doctorate in biomedical engineering last year.

Now a lead reviewer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Nosratieh evaluates and leads the approval process for medical devices that might improve women's health and save lives.

"I'm passionate about what I do and fortunate to serve in a role that allows me to carry that passion into my work," said Nosratieh, who works in the FDA’s Division of Radiological Health.

Nosratieh recently returned to campus to address MARC scholars and other students. She presented her doctoral research on the potential for new devices, such as 3D imaging technology, to improve breast cancer screening.

How did CSUF prepare you for grad school?

During my time at CSUF, I was interested in many research areas and sought out a variety of opportunities to engage in greater depth. As a MARC scholar, I conducted research at UC Irvine aimed at characterizing a protein involved in chronic myelogenous leukemia as a larger project to develop a potential screening for the disease.

Anyone inspire you at CSUF to help to ensure your academic success?

Amybeth Cohen [MARC Scholars Program director] has been a source of inspiration in countless ways. From our first meeting, I felt that she saw my potential and understood my dedication to biomedical research. She was a leader in a male-dominated area, and her perspectives were essential to me as I navigated my way. During my post-Ph.D. days, as I faced inevitably daunting decisions about the course my career might take, Dr. Cohen kept me grounded. She reminded me that I always land on my feet and gave me the confidence to keep looking for the right opportunity to follow my passion. It’s evident in how far above and beyond she goes for her students that her heart is in her work.

Why come back to campus to speak to students?

It's about giving back. I’ve thought a lot about the things I wish I knew while I was a MARC scholar. Big things like how to pick an adviser and how to select a project that you really care about. And little things like traveling as much as possible and going to happy hours with your lab mates because they will forever be your colleagues. These are things I didn’t think about while deep in the muck of graduate school applications and project deadlines. I feel that the MARC program has given me so much more than I can ever give back; there is no way in a million years I could have guessed all the adventures that lay ahead after CSUF.

What do you hope to achieve through your work at the FDA?

I review medical devices whose manufacturers are seeking either FDA approval or clearance to be marketed in the United States. My specialization is mammography, ultrasound and imaging software. My doctoral work on these topics gives me a unique understanding of the technology, which helps to develop regulations that are in line with the mission of the FDA to promote and protect public health. This is exactly what I want to be doing: protecting and promoting women’s health.

Why do you enjoy your FDA position?

I have one foot in science and research and the other in practical applications. And I find public service to be an honor. Our shareholders are the American people and our profits are their well-being.



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