biology students working in laboratory with professor
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2021 CSUPERB Awards Honor the Best in Biological Sciences

Hazel Kelly

Exemplary faculty and students from Cal State Fullerton, CSUN and Sacramento State were honored during the virtual university-wide symposium.

biology students working in laboratory with professor

​ARCHIVE PHOTO: CSUN biologist Dr. Jonathan Kelber works with students in his cancer research lab. Kelber was awarded the 2021 CSUPERB Faculty Research Award. Photo courtesy of CSUN​


​​Hundreds of CSU students, faculty, alumni, administrators and partners gathered virtually for the 33rd annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium on Jan. 7 – 10, 2021, to share how they are advancing innovation in the life sciences.

Organized by the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB), the symposium showcases students and faculty who reflect the best of research, teaching and service in the biological sciences.

Along with multiple presentations and workshops from faculty, CSUPERB alumni and students over four days, the symposium honored a handful of exemplary people as part of its annual awards program. Congratulations to the 2021 award winners:

The Glenn Nagel Undergraduate Research Award

Shaina Nguyen | Cal State Fullerton

Poster Title: “Structure Activity Relationship Study of Indole-based Scaffolds for the Inhibition of the West Nile Virus NS2B-NS3"

Faculty Mentor: Nicholas Salzameda, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry & biochemistry

The award is named in honor of Dean Glenn Nagel, a biochemistry professor at Cal State Fullerton who later worked to promote high-quality undergraduate research as Dean of Natural Science and Mathematics at Cal State Long Beach. The Nagel Award fosters excellence in undergraduate student research.

​The Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award

Angelo Niosi | Sacramento State

Poster Title: “The Autism-Associated Chromatin Modifier, Chromodomain Helicase DNA Binding Protein 8, Affects Gastrointestinal Phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster"

Faculty Mentor: Kimberly Mulligan, Ph.D., associate professor of biological sciences

​Named in honor of San Francisco State Professor Don Eden, a tireless participant in CSUPERB governance, the award celebrates the work of outstanding graduate student researchers.

​See the entire list of student research posters submitted for the 2021 symposium.

Crellin Pauling Student Teaching Awards​

​ ​screen capture of Zoom meeting with awardee

Dr. Deepali Bhandari of Cal State Long Beach, chair of 2021 Crellin Pauling Student Teaching Award Selection Committee (left) and David Pauling, Pauling Family representative with Awardee Rowen Jane Odango, CSUN graduate student 

​Rowen Jane Odango | CSUN

Graduate student researcher, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 

Chloe Welch | Sacramento State

Graduate student researcher, Department of Biological Sciences

​Named in honor of San Francisco State Professor Crellin Pauling, a co-founder of CSUPERB who made extraordinary contributions to the training of teachers and scientists, the award acknowledges outstanding student teachers who inspire future science and engineering educators.

Both students exemplify the Pauling Award, demonstrating a deep awareness and appreciation of the importance of educating the future generation in making informed and fact-based decisions. Odango, who is also a 2020-21 CSU Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar, is recognized for combining her passion for teaching with her background as an underrepresented minority within STEM to help diverse students develop effective science communication skills. Welch is an excellent educator with experience teaching at different levels, mentoring and training students to help them reach their goals. 

Screen capture of Zoom meeting with Awardee Dr. Deepali Bhandari (left) and David Pauling, Pauling Family representative with Awardee Chloe Welch, Sacramento State graduate student 

Andreoli Faculty Service Award

Katherine McReynolds, Ph.D. | Sacramento State

Professor, Department of Chemistry
College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Named in honor of Dr. Anthony Andreoli, a longtime chemistry professor at Cal State LA, the award celebrates CSU faculty members for outstanding contributions to the development of biotechnology programs. Dr. McReynolds, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo alumna, is recognized for her more than 15 years of service developing and supporting biotechnology programs with CSUPERB, where she has supervised dozens of undergraduate and master's students in their research projects. Read more about McReynolds' achievements.

CSUPERB Faculty Research Award

Jonathan Kelber, Ph.D. | CSUN

Associate Professor, Department of Biology
College of Science and Mathematics

​The Faculty Research Award celebrates CSU instructors who have built outstanding biotechnology related research programs. Dr. Kelber, a Cal Poly Pomona alumnus, is recognized for his groundbreaking cancer research as the director of his National Institutes of Health (NIH) Developmental Oncogene Laboratory within CSUN's Department of Biology. Kelber is providing opportunities for meaningful, hands-on research experience to many undergraduate and graduate students through his lab, inspiring the next generation of scientists. Learn more about Kelber's achievements and see his 2017 profile on

  ARCHIVE PHOTO: Dr. Jonathan Kelber works with a student in his CSUN cancer research lab. 

Learn more about CSUPERB and its important role in preparing highly skilled graduates for California's growing biotechnology workforce.