Campus: CSU, Fullerton -- February 23, 2000

Koch Receives Faculty Research Award at CSU Biotech Symposium

Dr. Robert A. Koch, a veteran faculty member of the Cal State Fullerton biological science department, received the 1999-2000 Faculty Research Award at the 12th annual symposium of the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB).

Koch, professor of biological science, was honored for his research on cell biology and cell signaling between cells. He is the second Cal State Fullerton faculty member to receive the research award. Dr. Maria C. Linder, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was honored in 1993.

Koch's and Linder's awards, together with past Andreoli Awards for service-to Dr. Marvin J. Rosenberg, emeritus professor of biological science (1992) and Dr. Glenn M. Nagel, former professor of chemistry and biochemistry (1992)-place Cal State Fullerton as one of the top award-winning campuses in the CSU, according to Dr. Steve Dahms, CSUPERB director.

Science faculty members at Cal State Fullerton demonstrate "extraordinary scholarship and dedication," said Dahms. "They are setting the pace for the system."

In introducing Koch at the award presentation, Dr. David A. Fromson, associate dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, noted that Koch has been awarded grants totaling more than $2.3 million, since coming to Fullerton in 1976.

"He has published 39 papers in refereed journals, most of which include student authors, and has made 57 presentations at local, national and international meetings" Fromson said. "In addition, his students have made 84 presentations."

Some of Koch's former students are currently in doctoral, medical and combined degree programs at Yale University School of Medicine, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Medical School and the University of Wisconsin.

"Bob is dedicated and committed to whatever activities he undertakes, including his research program, his service to the department, university, his teaching, and the mentoring and nurturing of the undergraduate and graduate students in his laboratory," said Fromson. "Not only does he do all these things and much more, but he also does them extremely well; he has the highest standards of quality."

"Bob Koch represents the best qualities of the talented and dedicated faculty members we have in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics," said Dean Kolf O. Jayaweera. "This is a wonderful and deserved honor, and is a recognition of the scholarship and research that is done at Cal State Fullerton."

Following the award presentation, Koch delivered the 2000 CSU Biotechnology Faculty Research Award Lecture: "Ascidian Fertilization as a Model for Studies of Cell Biology: How the Sea Squirt Wriggled Its Way Into a Biotechnology Symposium."

Cal State Fullerton student researchers and faculty members made a strong showing at a poster presentation that was part of the January symposium held at Cal Poly Pomona.

Fullerton students displayed 21 of the 63 research poster projects presented. Cal Poly Pomona was second with eight posters. Two other campuses each had five posters.

In his keynote address at the symposium, CSU Chancellor Charles Reed noted: "As for biotechnology, we have an incredible opportunity ahead of us. The biotechnology industry is projected to grow from about 165,000 current employees to somewhere between a half a million and a million workers by 2010. This could mean about 180,000 new jobs for California in the next 10 years.

"These new jobs in the applied sector will call primarily for bachelor's and master's degree-holders, as opposed to Ph.D.s. This means that the CSU is perfectly positioned to be a chief supplier of employees for this growing work force.

"I also want to point out that the CSU has at least one important advantage over research universities. What the CSU can provide that research universities do not is an atmosphere in which undergraduate and master's-level students interact with and even collaborate with faculty.

"I want to praise and thank CSUPERB for helping to sustain and develop this culture of collaborative learning," Reed said.

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