Since she joined the Biological Sciences Department in 1990, Dr. Editte Gharakhanian has developed a notable reputation for inspiring and challenging students as well as mentoring them through the entire scientific process from research design to implementation, presentation and publication.
Over the last 18 months, Dr. Gharakhanian has secured an NSF grant and an NIH award that support the research of eight students - five undergraduate students and three graduate students. Together, in her lab, they conduct research on cellular biology, specifically the study of cell trafficking and its impact on cancer and diseases such as Tay Sachs and Alzheimers. The students have co-authored three peer-reviewed publications and made several conference presentations.
In the past five years her students have presented their work at CSUPeRB, CSULB student competitions, National ABRCMS meetings, National American Society for Cell Biology, and National American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Students have received honors for their poster and oral presentation achievements at these conferences.
After graduating, most of Dr. Gharakhanian's students continue on to work in scientific fields or advance to PhD programs - a testament to her vested interest in developing the career trajectory for her mentees.
Dr. Gharakhanian is known for her sustained and concerted effort to mentor students at multiple levels. In addition to the CSULB students she works with, Dr. Gharakhanian serves as a mentor to high school and community college students eager to participate in laboratory research.
She is also the research director for the NIH- Bridges to Baccalaureate program, a nine-week summer research experience for minority students from Long Beach City and Cerritos Community colleges. Dr. Gharakhanian coordinates CSULB mentor selection and matching with community college student applicants and directs workshops on scientific methods, poster presentation and laboratory experimental approaches for each cohort of this program.
Dr. Gharakhanian has a doctorate in cell, molecular, and developmental biology from UCLA and a certificate in professional program development and grant communication from The Grant Institute at USC.