Public Affairs

Media Advisory:
23rd CSU Biotechnology Symposium in Anaheim Jan. 7-8

Experts to address DNA analysis, healthcare, commercialization as students from 22 California State University campuses report on genes, proteins, cancers, crops, water quality, more

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Reporters are invited to cover the 23rd annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium Jan. 7 and 8, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Orange County. With roughly 500 California State University students and faculty – from 22 campuses – joining nearly 100 industry professionals, community college representatives and elected officials, the symposium is the major annual event dedicated to developing emerging and future biotechnology researchers in California.

Journalists are welcome to discuss with students, faculty and others the research results, the challenges and benefits of the research experience, and the future of biotechnology and its workforce.

For the findings they will present in poster sessions, the student researchers imaged, tested, extracted and observed aspects derived from an array of life forms. Some focused on genetic components of “model organisms” – such as species of fruit flies, mice, roundworms and mustard plants. Some examined viruses (such as HIV, avian flu, and ebola) and bacteria (such as E.coli, streptococcus, methane-producers and drug-resisters). Others searched for microbial disinfectants on bullfrog skin and cancer suppressors in natural oils. Others applied biotechnology to water quality issues in California – at vernal pools near Sacramento, Pinto Lake near Monterey Bay, the lower Fresno River and salt marshes in Southern California.

Among others available for interviews are two CSU professors who will receive special honors:

Howard Xu, a professor of microbiology at California State University, Los Angeles, is an expert in antibacterial drug discovery, clinical microbiology, and bacterial genomics. Also key to the CSU’s development of a Professional Science Masters’ program in biotechnology, Xu will receive the Anthony Andreoli Faculty Service Award.

Sepehr Eskandari, a biology professor at Cal Poly Pomona, examines critical transport molecules of the brain involved in regulating signals. Supported by $2.6 million from the National Institutes of Health since 2001, his research team has examined the role of transporter structures in strokes and epileptic seizures, with an eye on drug interactions and potential treatments. Eskandari will receive the symposium’s Faculty Research Award.

Symposium news release: http://www.calstate.edu/pa/News/2010/release/CSUPERB.shtml

Schedule of panels, poster sessions, student-industry networking and other events:

According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), from 1997 to 2006, roughly 6,000 individuals with a bachelor's degree from a CSU campus went on to receive a research-based doctoral degree. (With the exception of recently announced nursing doctorates, the CSU itself does not award doctoral degrees in science.)

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 433,000 students year round and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. A recent economic report found that the CSU supports more than 150,000 jobs statewide, annually. The engine driving job creation is more than $17 billion in economic activity that directly results from CSU-related spending that generates $5.43 for every dollar the state invests. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.

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