​33rd Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium – VIRTUAL

Thursday – Sunday, January 7-10, 2021

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.

CSUPERB hosts the annual symposium each year and subsidizes the travel and registration costs for CSU students and faculty.  However, this year there will be no fees for registration.  

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.

Be sure to download our event virtual backgrounds below!

33rd Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium Virtual Background - Event Background  
33rd Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium Virtual Background - Virtual  
33rd Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium Virtual Background - Poster Session  
33rd Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium Virtual Background - CSU 33  
33rd Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium Virtual Background - CSUPERB  


Thursd​ay, Jan. 7
Welcome & Plenary Session:
Opening by Katherine McReynolds, CSU Sacramento

Welcome and Intro by President Soraya M. Coley, President of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Shane Crotty, Professor, Vaccine Discovery, La Jolla Institute
Marshall Cool, Director of Clinical Operations, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Huyen Cao, Senior Director of Clinical Research, Virology, Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Session is open to all symposium participants.
10:00 - 11:15 am
Plenary Session: Faculty Short Talks

Rulon Clark, Biology, San Diego State University
Alberto Cruz, Computer & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, CSU Bakersfield
Pascale Guiton, CSU East Bay
Arun Sethuraman, CSU San Marcos

Session is open to all symposium participants.
11:30 - 12:30 pm
Plenary Session: Alumni Panel

Featured Panel Members::
Janelle Muranaka, Vice President of Operations, Meissa Vaccines
Hector Aguilar-Carreno, Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Cornell University
Heather Latham, Quality - Design Assurance Engineer, Vyaire Medical Devices
Sergio Ita, ProSci, Inc.
Christopher Petro, Staff Scientist in Infectious Diseases, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Session Moderator: Michael Goldman, San Francisco State University

Session is open to all symposium participants.
1:00 - 2:30 pm
Workshop: Becoming a Resilient Scientist
Welcome by Mary Papazian, President of San José State University

Workshop Facilitator:
Diana Azurdia, Director of Recruitment and Inclusion, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Download your Workshop Participant Document Packet here!

Workshop is open to all symposium participants.
2:30 - 4:00 pm
Friday, ​​Jan.​ 8
Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award - Finalist Talks
Session Chair: Dr. Kasuen Mauldin (San José State University)

Award Finalists:
Ryan Hicken, Chemistry & Biochemistry, CSU Fullerton
Edward Niizawa, Chemistry & Biochemistry, CSU East Bay
Angelo Niosi, Biological Sciences, CSU Sacramento
Rowan Jane Odango, Chemistry & Biochemistry, CSU Northridge
Sitong Wu, Chemistry, CSU Fresno
10:00 - 11:30 am
Networking Lunch Session:
Topics and Moderators TBA
12:00 - 1:00 pm
Faculty Workshop: NSF Panels and Writing Federal Research Grant Proposals

Workshop Facilitator:
Miri VanHoven, San José State University
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Student Workshop:
Career Networking Session

Opening Speaker: Terri Quenzer, Statewide Sector Navigator, Life Sciences & Biotechnology, California Community Colleges

Session Topics:
Biotech/Biomed/Biodevice Product Development - Kim Walker, Global Regulatory, Quality, & Quality, Clinal Affairs Consultant, Kim Walker Consulting

Biotech/Biomed/Biodevice Product Development - Curt Becker, Life Science Advisor at USD and CEO and Co-Founder, GenZDx, Inc / Decorated DNA

Biotech/Biomed/Biodevice Product Development - Sergio Ita, Research Scientist, ProSci Inc.

Business Development - Leanna Levine, President, Aline

Business Development, How to Search & Interview for a Job, Nonprofit Management & Administration, Career Options in the Life Sciences - Ron Susek, Consultant, Ronal Susek Consulting

Clinical Trials Management - Kunal Sampat, Director of Clinical Operations & Clinical Trial Podcast Host, Ceribell Inc. & Clinical Coach LLC

Discovery Research - Nicholas Snead, Senior Scientist, Ambys Medicines

Finance - Stefan Aung, Senior Director, Finance, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Forensics Science - Rena Segura, Criminalist, Los Angeles Police Dept

Forensics Science - Annette (Kiwi) Kiewietdejonge, Criminalist Manager/Lab Director, California Department of Justice

How to pursue graduate school during a pendemic - Jessica Moon, Associate Director of Admissions, University of California, Davis

How to Search & Interview for a Job - Ron Tedesco, Managing Director, DxAdvisors

How to Search & Interview for a Job - Thomas Nguyen, Research Associate 1, BlueNalu

Informatics - David Spellmeyer, Independent Consultant, Interlaken Associates

Life Sciences IT and Compliance - Terri Mead, CEO/Angel Investor, Solutions2Projects, LLC

Life Sciences Project Management - Michelle Fung, Senior Staff Program Manager, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Navigating Today’s Job Market - Toby Freedman, President, Synapsis Search

Project Management - Michelle Ferreri, Director, Custom Cell and Feasibility Cell Culture, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Quality Assurance - Jennifer Franklin, Director, CMC Regulatory Affairs, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Regulatory Affairs - Terry Reyes, Regulatory Affairs Manager, Impossible Foods

Regulatory Affairs - Kasey Kime, Senior Manager Regulatory Affairs, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Sales & Marketing - Jill Roughan, CEO, Sciencia Consulting, Inc

Sales & Marketing - Joanne Dimitrakopoulos, Founder and CMO, Kinetogram

U.S. Public Health - CDR Jacqueline Sram, Team Lead, U.S. Public Health Service/Food and Drug Administration

Venture Capital - Amy Duncan, Founder, Goldfish Consulting
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Saturday, J​​an. 9
First Poster Session
Posters Numbered #1 - 65
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Plenary Session: 2021 CSUPERB Faculty Research Award Talk

Awardee & Speaker:
Jonathan Kelber, Cell and Molecular Biology of Cancer and Tissue Regeneration, CSU Northridge

"Defining Transitions in Cell State Plasticity and Cancer"

Introduction by Cynthia Crawford, Psychology, CSU San Bernardino
12:00 - 1:00 pm
Faculty Workshop: Student Voice and Choice: How CUREs Develops Student Agency

Workshop Facilitator:
Aparna Sreenivasan, CSU Monterey Bay
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Student Workshop:
Graduate School Information Session

Opening Speaker: Jordan Ngo, Graduate Student, Molecular & Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Session Topics:
Preparing for Grad School - How, When, and What to do? - Pitiporn Asvapathanagul, CSU Long Beach

Selecting the Grad School or Program (that is a good fit) - Amybeth Cohen, CSU Fullerton

How to Find or Choose a Mentor (and select the best one) - Ram Kandasamy, CSU East Bay

Making the Most of Your PhD or MS Program - Edith Porter, CSU Los Angeles

Work-Life Balance during and after Grad School - Bree Grillo-Hill, San José State University

Where Will a PhD or MS Degree Take Me (and how do I find a job afterwards)? - Lily Chen, San Francisco State University

What about Medical School and other health-related professions? - Niroshika Keppetipola, CSU Fullerton

Campus Recruiter tables - TBA
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Sunday, Jan​. 10
Second Poster Session
Posters Numbered #66 - 130
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
CCC & CSU Networking Session: Insight into Biotechnology Workforce Trends

Session Facilitator:
Terri Quenzer, Statewide Sector Navigator, Life Sciences & Biotechnology, California Community Colleges
12:15 - 1:15 pm
Plenary & Awards Session: Diversity and Inclusion in Sciences

Melissa Gonzales, PhD, Inclusion Principal, External Partnering Chief Diversity Office, Genentech

Yvonne Harris, Associate Vice President of Research, Innovation and Economic Development at CSU Sacramento
2:00 - 3:15 pm