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CSUPERB Awards at CSULB

Graduate and undergraduate students from CSULB presented research mentored by faculty at the 24th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium held January 5-7, 2012 at the Santa Clara Marriot. Biology graduate student Melissa Jones, mentored by Biological Sciences Professor Lisa Klig and Associate Professor Elizabeth Eldon, was the recipient of the Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award. Melissa Kaye Jones presents research exploring genetic similarities of a species of fly and humans that may lead to cheaper and faster tools for diabetes research for which she received the Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award. One of eight Eden Award Finalists' at the Symposium, Jones was awarded the Eden award following her talk, "Inositol catabolism via myo-inostiol oxygenase in Drosophila melanogaster." The Don Eden Graduate Student Research award fosters excellence in graduate student research throughout the CSU system in biotechnology-related research, and covers a broad range of topics in cellular, molecular, chemical, and physical studies of the life sciences. The award program is open to any CSU student engaged in master's level biotechnology research or in the first two years of a doctoral biotechnology-related program. The award is a prize of $750 to support the education of the recipient, and up to $1,000 is also available to reimburse the awardee's expenses incurred traveling to a national or international scientific meeting to present the award-winning research.

Other award recipients from CSULB were also recognized at the symposium's award banquet. Tuyen Ngoc Tran, a Biochemistry major mentored by Chemistry and Biochemistry's Assistant Professor Vasanthy Narayaswami, was one of eleven students from across the CSU to receive the Howell-CSUPERB Research Scholar Award. Tran was awarded $3,000 for a proposal titled "Second hand smoke exposure may predispose women to heart disease." CSUPERB has partnered with the Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women's Health Research to fund promising undergraduate student research projects in topics related to women's health. Together the Howell Foundation and CSUPERB recognize that research experience is critical to recruiting, training and retaining students interested in careers in women's health research. The Howell-CSUPERB Scholars show great professional promise academically and in research programs. Each scholar will be conducting faculty mentored research projects during 2012.

Two students from CSULB, biology major Chris Armoskus (mentored by Biological Sciences Assistant Professor Houng-Wei Tsai) and biochemistry major Pankaj Dwivedi (mentored by Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Paul Weers) received Fall 2011 Student Travel Awards to present research results at professional meetings. Mr. Armoskus was awarded $1,495 to present research results at Neuroscience 2011, the Society for Neuroscience's 41st Annual Meeting (November 12-16, 2011) in Washington, DC and Mr. Dwivedi was awarded $1,113 to present research results at the 2012 Biophysical Society meeting (February 25-29, 2011) in San Diego, California. CSUPERB offers travel grant awards for both students and faculty to support travel for data collection, as well as travel to biotechology-related professional meetings and workshops.