News & Announcements

CSUPERB 2019-2020 Annual Report


The AY 19-20 CSUPERB Annual Report profiles CSU biotechnology students, alumni, and researchers


​​CSUPERB PI Profile: 

Alberto Cruz (CSU Bakersfield, 2018 New Investigator grantee) is a computer scientist interested in new methods of predicting crop diseases. Specifically, Dr. Cruz developed an app with collaborators to identify Grapevine Pierce Disease (PD), amongst others, to help farmers recognize and report disease earlier and more independently. Dr. Cruz received a CSUPERB New Investigator grant which allowed him to recruit and support four students who otherwise would not have had an opportunity to join a transdisciplinary research group. All four students have now graduated and secured professional positions within the biotechnology industry. One specific student shared with Dr. Cruz that the opportunity to join his research group meant more than the intellectual and experiential learning. This particular student was homeless with his wife and child and had been living out of their car. The salary support provided by Dr. Cruz's CSUPERB funding allowed him to stabilize their lives, complete his degree and ultimately join California's biotechnology workforce. In terms of other ways CSUPERB has helped Dr. Cruz, he states “[following my award] I was a part of CSUPERB's grant review and that that whole thing is actually almost as valuable as the funding itself. When I got the CSUPERB funding, I was still very much a junior faculty and I'd reviewed journal papers, I'd been on committees for conferences to review those papers, but I'd never actually been a part of a grant review. I feel like that really helped me be a better grant writer. Just to understand the process of how a grant is reviewed through that sort of system. I did that remote thing in 2020 and we did the in person one earlier, in 2019. I love being a part of it. I did it twice. “

For more new stories from CSUPERB see our AY19-20 Annual Report linked here.