Campus: CSU, Long Beach -- July 7, 2000



Cal State Long Beach Students Receive Beckman Scholarships for 2000-2001

Lauren L. Ihde and Maziar Nabavi have been selected as California State University, Long Beach's first Beckman Scholars, it was announced by President Robert C. Maxson.

Cal State Long Beach is one of just 18 institutions nationwide to receive the prestigious Beckman Scholars Program Institutional Awards for 2000-01. The university received four student awards totaling $70,400, the most given to any single institution. Each scholarship is worth approximately $17,000, covering the costs of two summers of research and one academic year for those selected students.

Ihde, from Bakersfield, is a junior majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. A 1998 valedictorian at Centennial High School in Bakersfield, Ihde is one of 350 President's Scholars on the CSULB campus.

"I had been looking for a research project for the summer," said Ihde. "This scholarship gives me to opportunity to study in my field and do research and get experience."

Working under the direction of biological sciences professor Lisa Klig, Ihde's area of research is inositol synthesis, studying the yeast Cryptococcus neoformans.

"There's a gene in this organism that we are basically isolating, cloning it and then sequencing it," said Ihde. "From there we work on what regulates the gene and its other properties."

Nabavi, from San Pedro, will be graduating in Spring 2001 with bachelor degrees in each biology and biochemistry.

"I got into biology and I really got interested in it and naturally, when you are interested in something, you do well," said Nabavi, whose research will focus on cell biology. "I had a knack for it. This scholarship allows me not to worry about working and just concentrate on my research."

Nabavi, whose mentor is biological sciences associate professor Editte Gharakhanian, wants to perform medical research and is looking to apply to medical school.

"I want to do research that is relevant and medical research is like that," said Nabavi. "If you make a discovery it can directly affect medicine right away. I don't want to just follow my own interests, I want to make a contribution as well."

The Beckman Foundation makes grants to non-profit research institutions to promote research in chemistry and life sciences. The scholarships are used to advance the education, research training and personal development of students who have the potential to achieve distinction in their academic field, as well as become outstanding leaders in their careers and professions.

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