California State University, Long Beach
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Faculty, Students Share Research At CSU Biotechnology Symposium

Published: January 14, 2011

Six CSULB faculty mentors and 20 of their students joined colleagues from 21 other California State University campuses to present research on genes, proteins, cancers, crops, water quality and more at the 23rd annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium on Jan. 7 and 8 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County Hotel in Garden Grove.

The event was sponsored by the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology, which coordinates and supports biotechnology efforts throughout the CSU and serves as its primary liaison to industry and academic partners.

CSULB poster session presenters included:

Jesse Dillon, assistant professor of marine biology, and graduate student Lindsay Darjany, “Development of Novel Stable Isotope Approaches To Evaluate the Fate of Carbon in a Restored Southern California Salt Marsh.”

Elizabeth Eldon, associate professor of biological sciences and undergraduates Ebony Flowers, Giovanna Pozuelos and Claudia Sanchez, “Epithelial migration in Drosophila ovaries.”

Editte Gharakhanian, professor of biological sciences, and undergraduate Florante Ricarte, “Novel genes ENV7, ENV9-11 were uncovered in a genome-wide screen in S. cerevisiae and are involved in vacuolar biogenesis, trafficking and function.” Ricarte is a Glenn M. Nagel Undergraduate Research Award finalist and won a Best Poster in Molecular Biology at the 2010 National Annual Biomedical Research Conference of Minority Students in November in Charlotte, N.C.

Lisa Klig, professor of biological sciences and graduate student Gayani Batugedara and undergraduates Natasha Jackson, Karen Sierra and Eliseo Villarreal, “Effect of salt stress on inositol metabolism in Drosophila melanogaster.”

Among them were six students of Vasanthy Narayanaswami, assistant professor of biochemistry, including Gursharan Bains, a graduate student and a Don Eden Graduate Research Award finalist, “Developing Pyrene Fluorescence as a Powerful Fluorescence Probe to Study Protein Conformation”; Darin Khumsupan, an undergraduate, “High Density Lipoproteins: A Potential Nanovehicle to Transport Bioflavonoids of Therapeutic Value in the Plasma”; undergraduates Muhammad Rafay, Tuyen Tran and Tien Vu, “Optimizing the Expression and Purification of Recombinant Rat Apolipoprotein E”; and Raul Vera, an undergraduate, “Structural Insights into the Conformation of Lipid-bound Human Apolipoprotein E C-terminal Domain.”

Eric Sorin, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and undergraduate student Mona Bakhom, “Investigations of the Folding Dynamics of the RNA Pseudoknot Structural Motif via Massively Parallel Molecular Dynamics.”

Chemical equipment

Paul Weers, associate professor of biochemistry, and graduate student Pankaj Dwivedi, “Role of the 1st and 5th helix in apolipophorin III stability and lipid binding”; Duc Le, “Lysine residues mediate antimicrobial activity of apolipophorin III”, and graduate student Chris Adams and undergraduate Wendy Beck, “The role of C-terminal lysine residues in apoA-I for binding to lipopolysaccharides.”

Approximately 500 CSU students and faculty joined nearly 100 industry professionals, community college representatives and elected officials at the CSU’s major annual event dedicated to developing emerging and future biotechnology researchers in California. The symposium also featured panels of scientists, engineers and journalists addressing healthcare solutions for the developing world, public understanding of human DNA analysis, and the commercialization of life-science innovations.

According to the National Science Foundation, Cal State Long Beach is among the top master’s level universities in the nation in the number of students who go on to earn doctorates in science and engineering.

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–Anne Ambrose