​36th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium

Thursday – Saturday, January 11-13, 2024

The annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium program is designed to broaden exposure to cutting-edge biotechnologies, product-focused innovation and the spectrum of career paths available in the life sciences. The symposium brings CSU students, faculty and administrators together, along with biotech professionals working in academia, government and industry. Faculty and administrators system-wide, along with community college colleagues, use the event to catch up, initiate collaborations, share ideas, and swap lessons learned.

CSUBIOTECH hosts the annual symposium each year and subsidizes the travel and registration costs for CSU students and faculty.  

The symposium program includes professional development opportunities for both students and faculty, a forum at which to share research results and innovative curriculum redesigns, and rare access to CSU alumni, professionals and employers working in the biotechnology industry, as well as graduate school recruiters from top universities.

The symposium offers opportunities for students, faculty, alumni, and administrators to join in and actively participate as part of the CSU’s biotechnology community. We hope all participants come to the symposium to learn from others, gain inspiration, mentor peers, support students attending their first professional meeting, share career advice, meet new colleagues, and broker new research partnerships.




Symposium Event ​​Schedule

A PDF version of the printed event program can be viewed/downloaded here.

​​ ​Thursday, Jan. ​11​

The Inventor’s Patent Academy Sponsored by Qualcomm​​ (Details)

California Ballroom 1-2

Hosted by:​ 

Jackie Trischman, CSU San Marcos

​2:00 - 5:00 pm

​Inclusive Community for Assessment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Learning (ICABL) Workshop (Details)

California Ballroom 3

Hosted by:
Koni Stone, CSU Stanislaus
Kathryn McCulloch, Cal Poly Pomona
Sajith Jayasinghe, CSU San Marcos

​1:00 - 8​:00 pm
​Artificial Intelligence in Biotechnology (Details)

Sedona Room

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

​3:00 - 5:00 pm​​
​SENCERizing Your CUREs and All of Us Research Workbench (Details)

Sedona Room

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

​6:00 - 7:30 pm
Faculty-Industry Ideas Workshop

California Ballroom 7-9

Hosted by:
Chris Meyer, California State University, Fresno​​
Ikhide Imumorin, CSUBIOTECH 

6:00 - 8:30​​​​​ pm
Game Night​

Grand Ballroom A-C

Pre-Sympsoium networking opportunity. 

​​7:00 - 10:00​​​​​ pm
Friday, J​​an. 12

​​Welcome: Opening Plenary Session:

Califorina Ballroom 4-5

Coffee/tea available starting at 7:30am.

Introduction by Ikhide Imumorin, Executive Director of CSUBIOTECH 

Matt Brown, Single Store Cloud
Rachael Callcut, UC Davis
Laurel Reik, UC San Diego

Session is open to all symposium participants.​ 
​8:30 - 10:00 am
CSU CUREs Workshop​​ (Details)

Sedona Room

Hosted by:
​Jenny Cappuccio, California State University, Humboldt
Matt Escobar, California State University, San Marcos
David Rhoads, California State University, San Bernardino
Corin Slown, California State University, Monterey Bay

Session is open to all symposium participants. 
​10:15 - 12:00 pm
​Student Workshop: Graduate School Information Session​

Grand Ballroom A-C

Session Topics:
  • CSU Alumni – Kimberly Nguyen, PhD candidate, UC Berkeley
  • Preparing for Graduate School: How, When, and What to Do?
  • Selecting the Graduate School or Program (that is a good fit)
  • How to Find or Choose a Mentor (and select the best one)
  • Work-Life Balance (during and after graduate school)
  • Where Will a PhD (or MS) Degree Take Me (and how do I find a job afterwards)?​​
  • “Always writing” (a strategy to crank out a great thesis)
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis (Table 1)
  • University of California, Davis (Table 2)
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Merced
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Southern California
  • CSU Pre-doctoral and Doctoral Incentive Programs
​10:15 - 12:00 pm
​12:00 -1:30 pm
​Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award - Finalist Talks

California Ballroom 4-5

Award Chair:
Matt Brown (CSU Sacramento)

Award Finalists:
  • ​Adam Espinoza (CSU San Bernardino)
  • Hanna Franklin (CSU Sacramento)
  • David Ngo (CSU Fullerton)
  • Serena Ortiz (San José State University)
  • Su Ozcan (San Francisco State University)
Session is open to all symposium participants.  

​1:30 - 3:00 pm
​Faculty Short Talks​ 

California Ballroom 4-5

Hosted by:
Math Cuajungco​ (CSU Fullerton)

Wendy Lee (San José State University)
Stefan Paula (CSU Sacramento)
Stephanie Zaleski (CSU East Bay)

​3:15 - 4:15 pm
​Faculty Grant Workshop

California Ballroom 1-3

​4:15 - 5:45 pm
​HR - Faculty Career Mentoring

Sedona Room

​​4:15 - 5:45 pm
Student Workshop: GRFP Writing Workshop (Details)

Grand Ballroom A-C

Speaker: Gerson Ascencio, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (SCBRM Program,
Trainee, Graduate Research Fellow, Stanford University

Hosted by:
Koni Stone, California State University, Stanislaus
Sally Pasion, San Francisco State University 
​4:15 - 5:45 pm
Dinner & CSUBIOTECH Awards - Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

California Ballroom 6-9​

6:00 - 7:30 pm
​First Poster Session​

Grand Ballroom D-E & Hall of Cities

Posters Numbers 1-121
​7:30 - 9:00 pm
Saturday, J​​an. 13
Second Poster Session

Grand Ballroom D-E & Hall of Cities​

Coffee/tea available starting at 7:30am.

Posters Numbers 122-242

8:30 - 10:00 am
​2024 CSUBIOTECH Faculty Research Award Talk

California Ballroom 6-9

Faculty Research Awardee & Speaker: 
Dr. Editte Gharakhanian, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, CSU Long Beach

Professor Editte Gharakhanian received her PhD from UCLA studying nuclear trafficking in mammalian cells and was a post-doctoral Fellow at CalTech where she studied lysosomal trafficking in budding yeast. Editte started her CSULB career as the first molecular cell biologist of the Biology Department. Her research in trafficking and organelle biogenesis has been continuously supported by multiple NIH and NSF research grants. >100 undergraduates, >30 masters students, and three post-doctoral researchers have been trained in the “G-lab”. Editte also directed/co-directed the CSULB NIH-Bridges to Baccalaureate research training program for over a decade. She considers mentoring research students the most rewarding aspect of her academic career.

Talk Title: A Novel Kinase Cascade Regulates Lysosomal Fusion/Fission Dynamics in the Budding Yeast S. Cerevisiae

Session is open to all symposium participants.​

​10:15 - 11:15 am
Student Workshop: Near Peer Mentoring - Alumni

California Ballroom 6-9

The Near-Peer Mentoring Session is a chance to hear from a panel of CSU graduates who have gone on to different biotechnology-related careers. The graduates speaking in the panel will also come to lunch afterwards, so that students can join them to ask questions.​​

Cory Vierra (One.Bio)
Fatima Farah (Addition Therapeutics)
Veronica Bi (City of San José)
Andro Rios (San José State University)
Kristine Miller ()
Kelli Benedetti​ (Ginkgo Bioworks)

11:30 - 12:30 pm
Faculty Session: AI in the Classroom​

Sedona Room

Sunday Peters, Associate Professor & Department Chair, Department of Animal Science, Berry College​

11:30 - 12:30 pm

California Ballroom 1-5

​12:30 - 1:30 pm
Closing Plenary with Eden, Nagel, & Poster Awards Announcements

California Ballroom 1-5

Sunday Peters, Associate Professor & Department Chair, Department of Animal Science, Berry College

Closing remarks by Ikhide Imumorin​​

1:30 - 2:30​ pm