2024 Symposium Session Details and Descriptions

The Inventor's Patent Academy Sponsored by Qualcomm

Thursday, 2 – 5 pm

CA Ballroom 1-2

Sponsored by Qualcomm, this session will introduce faculty to a free course, The Inventor's Patent Academy (TIPA), that will help both faculty and their students understand the patenting process and ultimately prepare them to apply for a patent. The TIPA course is designed with CSU students in mind, inclusive of low-income, first-generation, and marginalized communities in STEM. The focus of the 3-hour CSU BIOTECH session will be on introducing TIPA and developing an approach to expose students in your courses or your department to the patent process. Faculty are welcome regardless of STEM discipline. It will be led by faculty who were part of a TIPA learning community this Fall at Cal State San Marcos.

Dinner will be provided after the session. In addition, some travel funding is available for those who are not attending the remainder of the symposium.

Hosted by:
Jackie Trischman, CSU San Marcos

ICABL Workshop - NSF and CSU Biotechnology-sponsored workshop on best practices in summative assessment

Thursday, 1 – 8 pm

CA Ballroom 3

Want to learn how to write clearer, more inclusive summative assessments, such as exam and quiz items for your course(s)? The Inclusive Community for the Assessment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Learning (ICABL) is offering a one-day, in-person workshop for STEM educators in conjunction with the CSU Biotechnology Symposium on Thursday, January 11, at the Santa Clara Marriott from 1pm - 8pm. Undergraduate teaching faculty as well as postdocs and graduate students interested in faculty careers are especially encouraged to join us. For details - and to register - please use this link! For more general information about ICABL see https://qubeshub.org/publications/4428/1 or email [email protected]

Hosted by:
Koni Stone, CSU Stanislaus
Victoria Moore, Elon University

Artificial Intelligence in Biotechnology

Thursday, 3 - 5:00 pm

Sedona Room

Recent advances in the usability of tools for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), in particular Deep Learning and Large Language Models like ChatGPT or Google Bard, have made this technology available to people with limited computer programming skills. The goal of this tutorial session is to guide participants through a few examples of using AI and ML methods in Biotechnology, based on Jupyter Notebooks. Symposium attendees with an interest in exploring Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning are welcome to attend. The lab work will be cloud-based, and Internet connectivity is essential. We expect participants to bring their own laptops.

Hosted by:
Franz Kurfess, Cal Poly SLO
Maria Pantoja, Cal Poly SLO
Ilmi Yoon, SFSU
Pleuni Pennings, SFSU

SENCERizing Your CUREs and All of Us Research Workbench

Thursday, 6 - 7:30 pm

Sedona Room

Participants will learn about SENCER and the NIH funded All of Us Research Workbench that is collecting the most diverse health database in history and available for researchers. Learn how data in the Research Workbench has been used in creating CUREs courses and how CUREs projects could be conducted collaboratively across CSU and other interested campuses.  

Hosted by:
Janey Youngblom, CSU Stanislaus
Amy Sprowles, Cal Poly Humboldt

Faculty-Industry Ideas Workshop

Thursday, 6 – 8:30 pm

CA Ballroom 1-2

Hosted by:
Chris Meyer, CSU Fresno
Ikhide Imumorin, CSUBIOTECH ​


CSU CUREs Workshop:​

Friday, 10:15 am - 12:00pm

Sedona ​Room

This year’s CUREs workshop will offer something exciting for every faculty attendee!  It will open with three mini-talks by CSU CUREs experts:
  •  Getting started with CUREs
  •  Assessing CURE outcomes
  •  Threading biotechnology-oriented CUREs through your curriculum
The talks will be followed by these concurrent breakout sessions:
  •  How to get institutional support for CUREs and what are the challenges
  •  How to assess CUREs in a way that leads to publication
  •  A “tiny panel session” for new faculty on how to convert an existing cookbook lab
  • course into a CURE

The speakers and facilitators for this session are all CUREs experts in the CSU system including:

Dr. Jenny Cappuccio (Cal Poly Humboldt), 

Dr. Corin Slown (CSU Monterey Bay), 

Dr. Aparna Sreenivasan (CSU Monterey Bay), 

Dr. Matt Escobar (CSU San Marcos), 

Dr. David Rhoads (CSU San Bernardino) and 

Dean Christopher Meyer (CSU Fresno). 

Student Workshop:  GRFP Writing workshop:

Title:  How to get from here to there: Graduate school fellowship writing workshop

Friday, 4:15 - ​5:45pm

​Grand Ballroom A-C

​​​The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) supports thousands of students each year pursuing research-based Master's and doctoral degrees, with three-year scholarships worth over $100k. This writing workshop is designed to inform undergraduates, graduates, and faculty about GRFP opportunities. Student participants will gain a tangible jumpstart in envisioning and crafting effective applications. Whether you or your students are applying to grad school or next year's GRFP— this workshop is for you!

Writing is a learned skill. STEM requires us to continuously build our writing toolkit for the purpose of publications, grant funding, teaching, and more. This workshop will help you write an engaging and CONCISE grant for the NSF GRFP. Here, you will gain insights on ways to tell your story, communicate your research, and make yourself a competitive applicant.

With a focus on how the GRFP is reviewed and examples of components that make a strong application, we will provide student and faculty participants with information to help students write competitive GRFP applications. Student participants will gain hands-on experience in project planning, specifically in identifying examples to fit the GRFP's Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts review criteria. We will also provide participants with exercises to assist students writing their personal statements connecting their diverse backgrounds with their professional goals. The workshop ultimately endeavors to empower students and provide them with tools and confidence to write a successful GRFP application.


Gerson Ascencio, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (SCBRM) Program Trainee | NSF Graduate Research Fellow | Stanford University​

Hosted by:

Koni Stone received her B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. She earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. After several research gigs: Vanderbilt, University of Iowa and Louisiana State University, she landed her first real job, with her own phone and her own office at CSU, Stanislaus. Her research students are analyzing tobacco smoke from second hand and third-hand smoke. They are also developing a method to detect aldehydes in gas from vaping. She takes every opportunity to infuse writing into her teaching. Learn to write = write to learn.

Sally Pasion completed a B.A. in Chemistry from Harvard-Radcliffe College and worked on gene amplification at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.  She completed a Ph.D. in Biology from UCLA, studying mitochondrial topoisomerase and cell cycle regulation. She then completed postdoctoral work with MCM proteins at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. In 2001, she moved to San Francisco State University, where she is an Associate Professor of Biology, teaches Genetics and Molecular Genetics to biology undergraduates, introductory biology to non-major students, and Cell & Molecular Techniques to graduate students.  Her research interests focus on genome stability in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.