Story STEM

CSU Students, Faculty Advancing Life Sciences

Elizabeth Chapin



​​​California has the largest bioscience industry employment in the U.S. and California State University programs are preparing highly-skilled graduates for the high-demand field—ensuring the state remains at the forefront of medical innovation and the world's top source for first-in-class treatments for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, vaccines, as well as neurological and many other illnesses.

Hundreds of CSU students, faculty, alumni, administrators and partners recently gathered at the 29th annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium in Santa Clara Jan. 5-7 to share how they are advancing innovation in the life sciences.

The symposium, organized by the CSU's Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB), showcased the research of students working toward high-demand science, technology, engineering and math degrees.

With more than 700 participants, this year's symposium was the largest yet. The event received 290 abstract submissions from 22 CSU campuses, representing research from faculty-led labs across California. Projects focused on topics ranging from how plants resist disease to antimicrobial resistance to identifying genes that contribute to autism or cancer.

The symposium is also a valuable opportunity for students and faculty to get out of their labs and classrooms to learn something new or meet potential collaborators. Current and future researchers had the chance to share best practices, network, and gain exposure to cutting-edge technologies and product-focused innovation. Student participants had opportunities to network with biotechnology industry professionals who served as speakers, mentors and advisors throughout the event.

Each year, CSUPERB honors and recognizes outstanding CSU faculty and students as part of the annual Biotechnology Symposium. CSUPERB's annual awards were also presented to the students and faculty who reflect the best of research, teaching and service in the biological sciences.

Congratulations to the 2017 award winners:

  • The Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award: Noopur Dave (Fullerton)
  • The Glenn Nagel Undergraduate Research Award: Carina Sandoval (Fullerton)
  • Andreoli Faculty Service Award: Warren Smith (Sacramento)​
  • Faculty Research Award: Joseph Pesek (San Jose)​
  • Crellin Pauling Student Teaching Award: Aaron Miller (Northridge), David Hsu (Fullerton)
  • Special Recognition: CSUPERB I-Corps Early-Stage Biotechnology Commercialization Challenge: SpecDetect (Sonoma)

Student research projects and more about the annual CSUPERB Symposium can be found here