Thursday, January 7, 2016
Faculty Breakout: Culturally Competent Mentoring

Aisha S. Taylor, Ph.D. (Principal HR Consultant, Jones Inclusive Leadership) blends a comprehensive understanding of industrial and organizational psychology, leadership, cultural competency, faith and spirituality to provide a unique style of consulting and training. She has over 15 years of experience in facilitating training programs, focus groups, and webinars on leadership, cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion for numerous universities, non-profit organizations, and government agencies in many industries. She has also performed and managed a full range of professional psychometric services for employment and credentialing (i.e., licensure and certification) exam development. She holds a PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from Portland State University, where her areas of academic research include leadership, fairness in organizations, innovation, diversity and inclusion.

CSU I-CorpsTM: Preliminary Lessons Learned Presentations

Daniel Forer is a Silicon Valley native with over five years of technical experience as a systems engineer for telecommunication and semiconductor start-ups in the San Francisco Bay Area. Daniel received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering with a focus in wireless communication and bio-medical signal analysis from CSU Sacramento. He has been involved in developing cutting edge technologies such as non-line-of-sight solutions for wireless fiber extensions and fixed wireless access. Daniel currently works on high-speed connectivity solutions for data centers, enterprise and WLAN applications. His professional work includes system verification and integration, digital signal processing, firmware development and testing automation.

Steve Karp currently runs an advisory program for life science startups at the California Life Sciences Institute. He has extensive expertise in all aspects of alliance, program and operations management in the life sciences, including wide ranging experience in the business development, finance, regulatory and legal spheres. Directed development projects for numerous products, including biologics, small molecules, and medical devices, invasive and non–invasive. Directed multiple successful medical device tech transfer programs, domestic and international. Ran collaborative research and development programs working with government, non-profits and private industry. Managed multiple product development efforts in immunology and cardiovascular medicine from the pre-clinical stage through post marketing. Executed three corporate relocations on time and within budget. Executed successful corporate asset sale.

Taylor Lane completed her Bachelors of Science in Biology at UC Santa Barbara, where she worked as a veterinary assistant for 4 years. She received her Masters in Biology with an emphasis in Microbiology at Cal Poly Pomona. As a graduate student at CPP, she participated in the 2014 CSU I-CorpsTM and developed Poly Probiotic, a novel vaginal probiotic distribution mechanism. Currently, she works at Ritual Brewing Company assisting in Quality Control and developing Standard Operating Procedures for the brewery.

Craig Pritsky is a veteran sales and marketing professional in the medical device space having worked in both Fortune 500 and venture capital backed startups (Stryker Orthopaedics and Invuity, Inc. respectively). With a strong understanding of sales and marketing practices necessary to introduce paradigm shifting technology to the market, Craig has earned recognition for his strong business development skills, ability to navigate the evolving healthcare economic arena and ability to grow companies regardless of the product being represented. His educational background includes studies at Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Dr. Olukemi Sawyerr is the inaugural director of the Student Innovation Idea Lab at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and a full professor in the Department of Management and Human Resources. She co-founded the Entrepreneurship in STEM Education (ESTEME) Program and the CPP Technology Screen Assessment Program in collaboration with NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC). Her Ph.D. in Strategic Management is from the University of North Texas. Her work has appeared in journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Small Business Management, International Small Business Journal, Journal of Applied Management Studies, and Journal of High Technology Management Research.

Dr. Marie Talnack is Director of the Technology Transfer Office and Industry Clinic at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Dr. Talnack has worked in both public programs and private industry. Her major interest is in the transfer of technologies from publicly funded research to small businesses in order to commercialize technology, thus creating new business opportunities. Dr. Talnack’s career in Technology Transfer and Business Development has spanned over 25 years as a Technology Transfer and Commercialization Specialist. She holds a Doctorate in Science and Technology Policy from the University of Southern California, MBA in Finance and Marketing, and Masters in International Management. Her professional career in technology transfer includes four research universities and two national research laboratories as well as her own consulting firm established in 1991. Dr. Talnack is committed to university/industry collaborations and was a co-author of the National Academies’ recent publication, The Researcher’s Handbook.

Sandra Thompson (Slater Hersey & Lieberman LLP) has spent the last 16 years counseling domestic and international clients of all sizes—from Fortune 50 to startups to universities—on patent, trademark, copyright and new media transactional matters. She represents clients in the fields of green technology and chemistry, semiconductors, medical devices, high resolution audio software and hardware, chemicals and chemical intermediates, solar and solar-related technology, transportation technology, bio-based and biodegradable plastics, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. Dr. Thompson earned her J.D. at Campbell University and her B.S. and M.A. at the College of William & Mary. She earned her PhD from the Department of Chemistry at North Carolina State University. As a doctoral candidate, Dr. Thompson worked at both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Research Triangle Institute in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

 


Friday, January 8, 2016
Plenary Session: CSU Alumni Talks

Luke Sophinos is the Founder & CEO of CourseKey, an investor-backed education technology company that is used by thousands of students at universities throughout the country. CourseKey allows teachers to harness their students devices to turn their classrooms into tech-enabled blended learning environments. Luke attended San Diego State where he studied Communication, Marketing & Entrepreneurship. He holds a geo-location patent, has done analyst work for the Venture Capital Firm Venture51, and has been featured by numerous media outlets. Leading start-up teams is his joy.

Dr. Christina Waters is CEO/Founder of RARE Science, a non-profit research organization focusing on accelerating cures for kids with rare disease. She serves as a Scientific Advisory board member for Global Genes and a Senior Advisor for Personalized Medicine for Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Dr. Waters received her PhD in Genetics from UC Davis. She was a Postdoctoral Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, California Institute of Technology, a NIH Postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley, received a BS from SDSU and a MBA from UC Los Angeles. Dr. Christina Waters is CEO/Founder of RARE Science, a non-profit research organization focusing on accelerating cures for kids with rare disease. She serves as a Scientific Advisory board member for Global Genes and a Senior Advisor for Personalized Medicine for Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Dr. Waters received her PhD in Genetics from UC Davis. She was a Postdoctoral Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, California Institute of Technology, a NIH Postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley, received a BS from SDSU and a MBA from UC Los Angeles. She was awarded SDSU College of Sciences Award for Outstanding Alumni in 2010.

Willie Zuniga is the President of Grifols Biologicals Inc. (GBI), a North American manufacturing subsidiary of global healthcare company Grifols S.A., headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. GBI is a manufacturer of life-saving therapies derived from human plasma and used by individuals worldwide. A native of El Sereno, California, Willie attended El Sereno Jr. High School and Wilson High School. He later graduated from California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) in 1986, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Willie began his career in 1979, working as an entry-level manufacturing technician with Alpha Therapeutic Corporation (Alpha), located in El Sereno. In 2003, Grifols purchased Alpha’s assets in Los Angeles and provided Willie with the opportunity to become the President of GBI. Willie has an employee base of over 800 people and is currently directing several company expansion plans, with the potential for 200 additional new jobs in the next two years. Today, Willie remains focused and committed to saving lives with the products manufactured by the dedicated employees of Grifols and continues his community outreach efforts to our local community—encouraging education, self-growth, job development, and social responsibility.

Short Talks Session (CSUPERB-funded Principal Investigators)

Dr. Jose de la Torre is an Associate Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Biology at San Francisco State University. His research group specializes in Microbial Ecology and Genomics, with a particular focus on organisms catalyzing key processes in the nitrogen cycling in high-temperature, hydrothermal communities. Prior to SF State, he trained in Microbial Ecology and Environmental Genomics in postdoctoral positions at the University of Washington, at the Monterey Bar Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and at the University of California, Berkeley. His doctorate from UCSF was in the fields of Developmental Biology and Neuroscience. [2008-2009 Faculty Seed Grant Recipient]

Dr. Bianca Mothé was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She spent her K-12 years between the US and Brazil, getting to experience a varied set of educational landscapes. She graduated from Beloit College with degrees in Biochemistry and Theatre Arts.  She then completed her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison working on vaccines for AIDS. She spent time in industry, working at a biotechnology company called Epimmune before joining CSU San Marcos in 2003. She teaches immunology and biotechnology courses on campus, in addition to helping in the Office of Service Learning as the faculty director. [2011-2012 Research Development Grant Recipient & 2007-2008 Joint Venture Grant Recipient]

Career Networking Session Mentors

Kick-off Speaker:
Joanne Nguyen (also staffing the “How to Search & Interview for a Job” Table) is a Medical Science Liaison at Boehringer Ingelheim. She has experience in several functional areas such as Translational Medicine, Medical Information and Communication, and Field Based Medicine. Companies she has worked for include Novartis, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Fresenius Medical Care and Boehringer Ingelheim. She studied Biology as an undergraduate at UCLA and went on to obtain her Masters in Biological Sciences at Cal State University, Los Angeles. She received her PharmD at Western University of Health Sciences and thereafter, completed a Pharmaceutical Industry Postdoctoral Fellowship at Rutgers University in conjunction with Novartis.

Table Mentors:
Ravi Achar (Business Development Table) is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Semler Research Center, a premier Pharmaceutical Research and Development CRO, based in Bangalore, India. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of Associated Industries, a leading U.S. defense company based in Los Angeles, CA, that manufactures and distributes, tactical gear and ground based communication equipment for the US armed forces and other world government agencies. With a diverse entrepreneurial background in M&A, Strategic Partnerships, Finance, Business Management, and International Business; Ravi has successful led the establishment and growth of two very distinct and successful organizations. He is a global entrepreneur having conducted business in over 50 countries, establishing key government contacts for Associated Industries in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. In 2008, he led the private capital funding and establishment of Semler Research Center, which under Ravi’s guidance and leadership; employs over 200 of the brightest minds in pharmaceutical drug development and clinical research.

Kristina Barger (Nonprofit Management & Administration Table) is the VISTA Program Manager with the CSU Chancellor’s Office Center for Community Engagement. The CSU STEM VISTA program places VISTA members full-time for a year at a CSU campus where they mobilize university and community resources for underrepresented students to aspire to, excel in, and complete STEM degrees. Previously Kristina served as a VISTA member focused on STEM student success in Boston, MA. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Chico State and her master’s degree in Leadership and Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University.

Elinne Becket (Biotech/Biomed/Biodevice Product Development Table) is a Scientist in assay development at Zymo Research Corporation. Dr. Becket received a BS in Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2008 and completed her doctorate in 2012 as a UCLA Whitcome Fellow in Molecular Biology with a focus on DNA Repair. She went on to do postdoctoral research as an AP Giannini Fellow in the Department of Urology at the University of Southern California (USC), studying epigenomics in renal carcinoma, before being recruited to Zymo Research Corporation in 2015, where she leads an assay development team focused on nucleic acids research.

Philip Bromley (Biomanufacturing Table; sponsored by Virun, Inc.) lived in and grew up in the small town of Simi Valley, CA. Mr. Bromley majored in general Chemistry at San Diego State University. Mr. Bromley has more than 18 years of experience in non-polar active agents used in foods, beverages and drugs that have been attributed toward improved delivery in application and in vitro. Mr. Bromley is an inventor named on at least 50 International and United States patent and applications in these areas. Among these patents and applications are a joint patent application with Hormel Foods, nanotechnology used in foods and beverages as well as transferrin delivery patent compositions to improve pharmacokinetics and dynamics of agents. Mr. Bromley has several publications and peer reviewed publications including the acclaimed Chapter 39, Nanotechnology and Nonpolar Active Compounds in Functional Foods. Mr. Bromley co-founded Virun, Inc. in 2003 primarily focusing on biotechnology and life sciences. Since then, Virun has become a leader in delivery technology toward non-polar compounds and proteins for foods, beverages, supplements and drugs.

Jeffrey Cabanez (Nonprofit Management & Administration Table) earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies, with concentrations in industrial engineering and film, from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He spent the last two years working for an AmeriCorps national service program, CSU STEM VISTA. Here, he implemented programming for an NSF S-STEM grant for an academic learning community of underrepresented students in mechanical engineering and conducted outreach to K-5 students. This year, he is one of two CSU STEM VISTA Leaders implementing hands-on learning experiences in STEM throughout the CSU system and supporting a cohort of 15 VISTAs across 11 CSU campuses.

Lewie Casey (Quality Assurance Table) joined MEIRxRS in 2005 and specializes in recruitment and retention of regulatory affairs, compliance, quality assurance and quality control function professionals working in research and development for science driven regulated industries for RxRS. A graduate of Valdosta State University, Lewie’s expertise in understanding both the personal characteristics as well as the technical backgrounds needed to provide top performers to Quality/Process Operations, Regulatory/Compliance, and Laboratory/Quality Control functions is key to his staffing success. Lewie recruits for staff performing at all levels: i.e., associates, coordinators, specialists, analysts, auditors, technicians, engineers, supervisory managers, team leaders and directors with numerous direct reports. Lewie’s duties include recruitment of permanent placements and contract staffing, talent management with follow up phone calls, biweekly and quarterly progress reports, and attendance to industry networking events throughout the year with mock interviews and career development. In addition, Lewie is in constant communication with industry leaders and recruiting networks. Through his personal relationships and networks, Lewie maintains up to date intelligence as to STEM professionals and hiring trends throughout the country.

Jan Clements (Clinical Trials Management Table) specializes in placing technical professionals in clinical research and medical affairs roles–from entry level to management to executive. Her role is to recruit top performers for full time and contract positions for scientific and technical functional roles in regulated organizations and companies. Once a worker has been placed on the job, Jan continues to perform retention services by conducting on-going follow-up interviews with placed workers both by phone and in person. Jan is also the Liaison to STEM recruiters networking with over 300 agencies. In addition, Jan also attends college career fairs and volunteers at scientific industry organizations. She thrives on helping workers find the best fit for their talent and expertise and gives back to the community by performing mock interviews and career counseling to workers seeking STEM employment careers. Jan joined the MEI/RxRS family of companies in 1995.

Jim Cooper (Biotech/Biomed/Biodevice Product Development Table) is a consultant (Conscientia Research) who works with very early stage companies on planning for proof-of-concept and pre-revenue milestones.  He is an expert in lean startup and commercialization strategies.  He specializes in new and emerging technologies, market and customer validation and competitive analysis.  He assists companies with SBIR proposal development, particularly in life sciences, computer tech and automation, agtech and cleantech.

Nicole M. Green (Public Health and Health Policy Table), PhD, D(ABMM) began her public health career in 2008 through a LabAspire fellowship offered by the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and California Department of Public Health. She completed training in public health and clinical microbiology at the State Public Health Laboratories and San Francisco General Hospital. From 2010-2013, she served as deputy director of the Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratories and as acting director for one year before assuming directorship in 2014. Dr. Green is board certified in medical microbiology, and she is passionate about developing new public health and clinical microbiology professionals. She has appointments as an adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology at the USC Keck School of Medicine and adjunct Assistant Professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health – Department of Environmental Health Sciences. Dr. Green is the representative at large for the California Association of Public Health Laboratory Directors and the secretary for the Southern California branch of the American Society for Microbiology.

Dr. Cindy Fisher (Regulatory Affairs Table) received a B.S. in Chemistry from UCLA and Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from UC Irvine. She did postdoctoral work in computational modeling before starting a career in drug discovery. Dr. Fisher is a Director of Regulatory Affairs at Vical Incorporated, an anti-infectives company in San Diego. Dr. Fisher is a member of several professional organizations including RAPS, OCRA, and SDRAN. She is currently an OCRA board member and has served in the past as its President. She received the RAPS Special Recognition Award in 2010 for her contributions to advance the quality of health and regulatory.

Julie Foley (Clinical Laboratory Sciences) has over 30 years experience as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist. She worked as a generalist, in all areas of the laboratory. She has a strong Quality Assurance background and was most recently the Director of Laboratory Operations in a 377 bed public hospital laboratory. Julie left the clinical laboratory and now works as the Education Coordinator for the Clinical Laboratory Scientist and Clinical Genetics Molecular Biologist Scientist programs at Cal State, Los Angeles. Julie received her Microbiology degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Sylvie Inkindi (Public Health and Health Policy Table) MS, MPH, received her Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Neuroscience from the University of California, Irvine. Her Master of Science degree in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology were awarded from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2012, Ms. Inkindi joined the County of Los Angeles Public Health Laboratory where she has applied her background in Microbiology and Epidemiology to do foodborne illness surveillance. She is a certified Public Health Microbiologist.

Jack Kaminer (Recruiting and Human Resources Table) holds an MBA from Providence College and joined Lab Support in February 2015 after driving across the country from Boston. Jack’s experience includes account management and sales within the food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. “Action cures fear.”

Leanna Levine (Biotech/Biomed/Biodevice Product Development Table) is President/CEO of ALine, Inc.  She has a PhD in Biophysical Chemistry and expertise in fluorescence spectroscopy, hollow fiber membrane development and manufacture, high throughput screening assay development for novel therapeutic targets, manufacturing automation, microfluidics and its implementation for point-of-care diagnostics, small instrumentation design and development. She started her career in corporate R&D at Monsanto (9 years) where she was involved initially in hollow fiber membrane development, and later in bringing in new technology to support high throughput screening for novel therapeutic targets. She then moved to California and transitioned into a product development and manufacturing job in which she was responsible for production efficiency and qualifying product for shipment (3 years). Dr. Levine later joined a start up in microfluidics (Nanostream) where she was involved in application development (1 year). Subsequent to that she started her own company which was bootstrapped using her own resources (13 years). The company engages in microfluidic device engineering, prototyping, and pilot scale production services to support point-of-care or life science research tool development.

Jeffrey Jackson (Medicinal Chemistry/ From CSU to the Biotech Industry Table) is completing his Ph. D in chemistry at UC Santa Barbara working in the area of organic synthesis. His thesis is focused on the total synthesis of natural products such as dragmacidin D, tatanans A-C, and pinnatoxins A & G. He has also worked in the area of asymmetric alkylation. Prior to his studies at UCSB, Jeffrey completed his B.S. in chemistry at CSU Fresno while performing undergraduate research. He has accepted a medicinal chemistry position in the biotech industry, beginning this summer.

Cynthia Juncosa (Quality Assurance Table) has proudly worked in the medical device industry for over 17 years. After graduating from University of Miami with her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, she started as a process development engineer at Cordis. She worked on catheters used to treat obstructed arteries near the heart, discovering a passion for applying engineering to treating patients. Cynthia has worked at several medical device companies, including Boston Scientific and HeartWare where she worked on pumps installed in hearts of patients with congestive heart failure. She relocated to Irvine in 2015 to join Endologix where she works with engineers on problem solving and quality systems.

Robert Meyer (Specialty Clinical Laboratory Science Table), MBA, is the Senior Vice President of Genetics Center (Orange, CA). For 30 years, Genetics Center has been providing clinical genetic services to the medical community, including molecular genetic and cytogenetic testing services, genetic consults, and genetic counseling. Genetics Center has two California-approved Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) specialty license training programs for either a Clinical Genetic Molecular Biologist Scientist or Clinical Cytogeneticist Scientist. A BS/BA degree or higher is needed before entering such training. Genetics Center’s molecular genetics and cytogenetics laboratories are CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified. You can learn more about Genetics Center at www.geneticscenter.com.

Sara Mills (Process Development Table) is a Humboldt State University graduate (2010) and CSUPERB symposium participant (2009). Currently she is a process development engineer focusing on cell-based process and product development. At ViaCyte Inc. (2011-2015), Sara most recently led development of the formulate, fill and finish process for GMP manufacturing of ViaCyte’s combination drug product VC 01™; supervising the manufacture of the first four clinical lots. Since July of 2015, Sara has been employed by Organovo, a company dedicated to developing 3D bioprinted human tissues using their exVive3D™ bioprinter. Currently her focus is translating R&D pipeline models to repeatable and scalable commercial processes and products.

Macy Moua (Recruiting and Human Resources Table) joined Lab Support in June 2012 as an Intern. Soon after she transferred to Valesta Clinical Research Solutions, a Division of On Assignment as a Clinical Recruiter. Macy has a background in clinical research recruitment for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industry. She recently rejoined the Costa Mesa Lab Support team in 2014 as a Professional Recruiter and now leads the team. She holds a BS in Chemistry from UC Irvine.

Melanie Nelson (Informatics Table) is a consultant specializing in scientific data management and the effective management of people and projects. Prior to starting her own consultancy, she led teams and projects in the biotechnology industry. She has more than fifteen years of experience in scientific informatics, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from The Scripps Research Institute. She is also the author of Navigating the Path to Industry: A Hiring Manager’s Advice for Academics Looking for a Job in Industry and Taming the Work Week: Work Smarter Not Longer. You can find her online at BeyondManaging.com and on Twitter at @melanie_nelson.

Jarrod O’Leary (Quality Assurance Table) received his B.S. from Montana State University (1990) and M.S. from California State Polytechnic University – Pomona (1999). He began his career in space microbiology with Perkin-Elmer Corp. working on the Water Quality Monitor for Space Station Freedom. He then transitioned to the pharmaceutical industry with Med-Pharmex, Inc. where he is currently the Director of Microbiology. Mr. O’Leary is responsible for the Quality Control and Research and Development departments within the firm. He has been directly involved in the development, testing and FDA approval of over 25 different animal drugs. In addition to his responsibilities at Med-Pharmex, Mr. O’Leary continues his involvement with Cal Poly Pomona in providing employment opportunities for graduates, mentoring students, and advising for pharmaceutical related class development.

Dr. Yemi Onakunle (Business Development Table) has over 15 years’ experience in biopharmaceutical drug manufacturing and business development. He is currently employed as Vice President of Business Development and Licensing at Selexis SA – a leading provider of mammalian cell line development technologies and services based in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Onakunle also serves on the Board of Directors of VLP Biotech Inc, a vaccine development company based in San Diego, CA and has been a Business Advisor to several biopharmaceutical and drug delivery companies. Educated in the UK, Dr. Onakunle holds a Ph.D. from the University of Kent at Canterbury and an M.B.A. from Imperial College Management School.

Julie Pressman (Sales & Marketing Table) earned her B.A. in Chemistry from The Johns Hopkins University, and then a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from UC San Diego. She has over 10 years of technical sales experience in both the Life Science and Biomanufacturing areas, and has spent the past 7+ years at EMD Millipore (now part of Millipore Sigma).

Marie Rippen (Navigating Today’s Job Market Table) is the Facility Director at LabLaunch-Monrovia, a nonprofit biotech incubator. She recently received her PhD from USC in developmental and stem cell biology. Marie is also a proud CSU Long Beach grad. She has experience navigating the current job market and has forged her own path from academic research to a job that she enjoys. As Facility Director, her work involves laboratory operations, public relations, teaching, sales, graphic design, accounting, regulatory compliance, and a host of other tasks that she often learns while doing.

Rebecca Rosser (Clinical Laboratory Sciences Table) has a BA degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from San Francisco State University and is the Education and Development Consultant at Kaiser Permanente Regional Reference Laboratory in North Hollywood. She is the on-site coordinator for the CLS training program in affiliation with CSU Dominguez Hills as well as the off-site coordinator for the CGMBS training program in affiliation with CSU Los Angeles. She has mentored hundreds of CLS students over the years. Mrs. Rosser has volunteered for many years with CAMLT, the California Association for Medical Laboratory Technology, the professional society in California for Medical Laboratory Professionals. She has taught General Microbiology, Immunolohematology Laboratory and Mycology/Virology in the CSU system. Her latest work related passion is preanalytical processing. She ran a Phlebotomy school for 5 years and has spent countless hours working with preanalytical supervisors to improve and standardize practices.

Lisa Sherman (Discovery Research Table) is a Senior Associate Scientist of Amgen, Inc., based in Thousand Oaks. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, with a concentration in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology at Cal Poly SLO in 2003. Since then, she has worked at Amgen in the Inflammation Department within Discovery Research. She is experienced in developing in-vitro/ex-vivo experiments to investigate biological and cellular pathways/processes and large- and small-molecule screening for drug discovery research (specifically image-based technologies, cell-based, and biochemical assays). Most recently, her efforts are focusing on utilizing fresh human tissue, diseased and normal, and by replicating disease pathogenesis, assessing important phenotypes and transcriptomics that could lead to novel targets.

Dr. Jacqueline Sram (U.S. Food and Drug Administration Table) earned her doctorate from the University of Wyoming in 2002 in Physical Organic Chemistry. She started at the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)/Pacific Regional Laboratory-Southwest in 2002 and was commissioned into the US Public Health Service in 2003. Dr. Sram started her career at the FDA as a bench analytical chemist, and progressed to Food Chemistry-Acting Supervisor, Drug Chemistry Supervisor and Chemistry Branch Director. As the Chemistry Branch (CB) Director, CDR Sram manages four distinct program groups – Pesticides Chemistry, Drug Chemistry, Microanalytical Analysis (AKA Filth/Entomology), and General/Food Chemistry. She has oversight of the work quality, budget/finance and resource needs, and personnel development of the CB staff.

Parag Vaishampayan (Biotech/Biomed/Biodevice Product Development Table) is a staff scientist at California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA.  He manages a multifunctional, multidisciplinary, biotechnology–based laboratory at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). His current Astrobiology research focus is on development and implementation of the advance molecular techniques to detect and characterize the microbial diversity of extreme environmental niches on earth and in space. He is interested in applying the unique technologies developed at JPL for solving challenging problems in healthcare (specifically cancer) and medicine through JPL’s Medical Engineering Forum initiative.

Michelle Youngers (Communications Table) is President & COO at ScienceMedia, Inc. She leads ScienceMedia’s in-house professional services teams of doctorate-level scientists and educators who collaborate with scientist animators, designers and programmers to develop scientific communication delivered as training and communication programs. The company’s core focus is the use of visualization in communicating and teaching complex science. Previously, Ms. Youngers served as CFO on the founding management team of Alanex Corporation, a San Diego-based drug discovery company acquired by Pfizer (Agouron). For more than 20 years she has consulted in the areas of operational and financing strategies to early stage, high-growth companies in the biotech and high-tech industries. Ms. Youngers also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Committee for UCSD’s Division of Physical Sciences.

Preparing Students in Bioinformatics

Jamil Momand is professor of biochemistry at California State University Los Angeles. In 2000, he and Dr. Nancy Warter-Perez created a course that introduces bioinformatics to students. The philosophy of the course is to appeal to students with a background in either the mathematics/computer science area or the molecular life science area. Dr. Momand developed the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Minor Program at Cal State LA and he is the student advisor for students in this program. Dr. Momand received his PhD in biochemistry at UCLA and he did his post-doctoral fellowship at Princeton in molecular biology. He was an Assistant Scientist at the City of Hope National Medical Center where he worked on cancer genetics. Currently, Dr. Momand’s research is focused on the molecular mechanisms of cell growth control and cancer. Dr. Momand received the Cal State LA Outstanding Professor Award for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Pleuni Pennings is an evolutionary biologist who uses computational biology and mathematical modeling to increase our understanding of how populations adapt to new environments. The populations that interest her most are within-patient HIV populations that may evolve drug resistance when the patient takes antiretroviral drugs. Since 2014, Pleuni is an assistant professor at San Francisco State University where she teaches genetics and bioinformatics. She came to the USA in 2010 to do postdoctoral research at Harvard and Stanford University. She has a PhD from the University of Munich and an undergraduate degree from the University of Amsterdam.

Dr. Soheil Shams is the founder and President of BioDiscovery, Inc. a privately held bioinformatics company based in El Segundo, California established in 1997. He received his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from University of Southern California in 1986 and 1992 respectively in the field of Computer Engineering. He has been a pioneer in the field of microarray image and data processing having invented many of the basic approaches to array analysis resulting in numerous issued US patents. Under the direction of Dr. Shams, BioDiscovery has played a pioneering role in development of software tools for conducting array based research and more recently in clinical application of arrays in cytogenetic and molecular genetic diagnostics as well as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data analysis. Prior to founding BioDiscovery, he was a Sr. Member of Staff at Hughes Research Laboratories (HRL) in Malibu and taught undergraduate and graduate classes in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Perception, and Data Mining at UCLA. His research interests span a wide range with concentration on pattern recognition technologies and parallel processing architectures. He has worked with many pioneering scientists in microarray research and has authored over 50 technical publications and book chapters.

Nancy Warter-Perez is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at California State University, Los Angeles. As a faculty member for twenty-two years at Cal State LA, she has been dedicated to improving STEM education and outreach and has been actively involved in academic governance, currently serving as the Academic Senate Chair. Since 2000 Dr. Warter-Perez has co-developed curriculum for training biologists and computer scientists in the field of bioinformatics. She holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Paul K. Wolber received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1973, and his Doctorate in Physical Chemistry from Stanford University in 1980. He was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at U.C. San Francisco, and then joined an agricultural biotech startup, AGS (later DNAP), in 1982. Paul joined the microarray program at Hewlett-Packard in 1996. He worked in R&D at HP and its spin-off, Agilent, until late 2004, when he became head of Microarray Quality Test Development. For the past three years, he has also taught a graduate course in Next-Generation Sequencing at San Jose State University.

 

Graduate School Information Session

Diana Rigueur received her B.S. in Biology from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). She conducted research the last two years of her undergraduate career on Notch signaling in ovarian cancer using a mouse model and epigenetic transvection in Drosophila melanogaster at CSU Fullerton and Harvard Medical School, respectively. After developing a deep passion for research, she pursued a PhD in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology under the guidance of Dr. Karen Lyons at the University of California, Los Angeles. Full of excitement, Diana has been elucidating the breadth of non-canonical roles BMP signaling plays in cartilage and bone development.

Rolando Ruiz graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 2005 with a baccalaureate degree in Biological Science. As an undergraduate, Rolando was a MARC scholar and worked in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Koch identifying the signaling networks that induced ascidian sperm activation. Upon graduation, he participated in the Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program at Tuft’s University-Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Science where he continued conducting signaling research in glioblastomas. Currently, Rolando is a 5th year graduate student at University of California, Irvine in the department of Biological Chemistry. His research focuses on Rho GTPase signaling in melanoma. As a graduate student, Rolando gives back to thecommunity by being a judge at the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair and he is the coordinator for the Youth Summer Fellowship Program at UCI Cancer Research Institute.


Saturday, January 9, 2016
Short Talks Session (CSUPERB-funded Principal Investigators)

Kevin Sinchak has been a faculty member in the Biological Sciences Department at CSU Long Beach since 2006. His PhD is inZoology/Neuroscience from Michigan State University and he completed postdoctoral work in Neurobiology at UCLA. He is interested in understanding estrogen and progesterone receptor signaling that regulates female reproductive physiology and behavior. My lab investigates the timing and roles of extra-nuclear and nuclear signaling pathways of classical “nuclear transcription factor” steroid receptors (ERα, ERβ, PR-A &B) as well as the extra-nuclear estrogen receptor, GPR30, in opioid neurocircuits that regulate reproductive behavior and the role of neuroprogesterone in triggering luteinizing hormone surge for ovulation. [2008-2009 CSUPERB Faculty Seed Grant Recipient]

Jessica Vey is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the California State University, Northridge. She trained as a crystallographer with Drs. Catherine Drennan (MIT) and Tina Iverson (Vanderbilt University). Her graduate and postdoctoral work centered on the iron sulfur cluster-containing AdoMet Radical enzymes and the Class D flavin monooxygenases, respectively, with emphasis on obtaining structural insights into catalysis. At CSUN, Dr. Vey has established a protein crystallography-based group that focuses on enzyme structural and functional characterization. The lab is currently studying several Class D flavin monooxygenases as well as enoyl-ACP reductase with the help of several respected collaborators. [2011-2012 CSUPERB New Investigator Grant Recipient]

2016 CSUPERB Faculty Research Award Recipient

Dr. Kelly Doran (Professor, Biology, San Diego State University) is a microbiologist with expertise working with a variety of Gram-positive bacterial pathogens including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus.  Specifically Dr. Doran studies host – pathogen interactions in the central nervous system and in the female reproductive tract. Her research program seeks to elucidate the mechanisms by which bacteria penetrate the blood-brain barrier and colonize the vaginal tract, as well as characterize the host response to infection and colonization. Identification and characterization of the bacterial and host factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of infection may lead to the development of novel therapies to prevent disease progression.

 CSU I-CorpsTM Final Lessons Learned Evaluators

Neelima Firth is a biopharmaceutical executive with reimbursement, marketing and international experience in startup and Fortune 500 biopharmaceutical companies including Amgen and the Alfred Mann Foundation. As the Senior Director for Strategic Planning at AMF, Neelima was responsible for strategic planning, business development and market research. The Foundation has spun out two companies and Neelima was intimately involved in the business planning, financial analysis and successful spin outs of these companies. She was instrumental in building the initial UK presence of Amgen. Neelima held responsibility for Medicare & Medicaid marketing and was a key team member in corporate reimbursement strategy. She led the strategic planning and operations group and managed the brand plan across the alliance partnership.

Daniel Forer is a Silicon Valley native with over five years of technical experience as a systems engineer for telecommunication and semiconductor start-ups in the San Francisco Bay Area. Daniel received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering with a focus in wireless communication and bio-medical signal analysis from CSU Sacramento. He has been involved in developing cutting edge technologies such as non-line-of-sight solutions for wireless fiber extensions and fixed wireless access. Daniel currently works on high-speed connectivity solutions for data centers, enterprise and WLAN applications. His professional work includes system verification and integration, digital signal processing, firmware development and testing automation.

Taylor Lane completed her Bachelors of Science in Biology at UC Santa Barbara, where she worked as a veterinary assistant for 4 years. She received her Masters in Biology with an emphasis in Microbiology at Cal Poly Pomona. As a graduate student at CPP, she participated in the 2014 CSU I-CorpsTM and developed Poly Probiotic, a novel vaginal probiotic distribution mechanism. Currently, she works at Ritual Brewing Company assisting in Quality Control and developing Standard Operating Procedures for the brewery.

Luanne Meyer (Meyer & Associates Market Research) is currently a marketing research consultant focused on new product development and strategy for biotechnology companies; she has spent most of her career in that industry. She has extensive experience working both within biotechnology companies and consulting to them, and enjoys both roles. Luanne is the former Director of Strategic Initiatives at CSU East Bay’s College of Business and Economics (CBE). Her key focus there was on bringing real-world biotechnology experience, as part of STEM-infused education, to business students. She began the Business Opportunity Program for CBE, a program that introduced projects related to health care and diagnostic testing to the classroom.

Craig Pritsky is a veteran sales and marketing professional in the medical device space having worked in both Fortune 500 and venture capital backed startups (Stryker Orthopaedics and Invuity, Inc. respectively). With a strong understanding of sales and marketing practices necessary to introduce paradigm shifting technology to the market, Craig has earned recognition for his strong business development skills, ability to navigate the evolving healthcare economic arena and ability to grow companies regardless of the product being represented. His educational background includes studies at Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Lisa Sherman is a Senior Associate Scientist of Amgen, Inc., based in Thousand Oaks. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, with a concentration in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2003. Since then, she has worked at Amgen in the Inflammation Department within Discovery Research. She is experienced in developing in-vitro/ex-vivo experiments to investigate biological and cellular pathways/processes and large- and small-molecule screening for drug discovery research (specifically image-based technologies, cell-based, and biochemical assays). Most recently, her efforts are focusing on utilizing fresh human tissue, diseased and normal, and by replicating disease pathogenesis, assessing important phenotypes and transcriptomics that could lead to novel targets.

Louis Stewart currently serves as the Deputy Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), where he oversees the coordination and promotion of innovative programs, activities, and emerging technologies throughout the state of California. At GO-Biz, Mr. Stewart manages a robust statewide innovation-based economic development support network of regional innovation clusters called the California Innovation Hubs (iHubs). The 16 iHubs were designed to stimulate local, regional, and statewide job creation as well as enhance the awareness, visibility, and opportunities for commercialization of the technologies emerging from GO-Biz’ iHub partners. Mr. Stewart’s role includes a priority to develop an ecosystem that endorses entrepreneurship as well as promotes approaches that will augment strategic business development opportunities. High profile business opportunities are coordinated and managed in order to retain and expand business investment, assist in job creation, and enhance economic opportunities through collaboration and innovation. Mr. Stewart comes from the private sector where he has 17 years of experience in Sales, Marketing, and Information Technologies. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Santa Clara University.

Sandra Thompson (Slater Hersey & Lieberman LLP) has spent the last 16 years counseling domestic and international clients of all sizes—from Fortune 50 to startups to universities—on patent, trademark, copyright and new media transactional matters. She represents clients in the fields of green technology and chemistry, semiconductors, medical devices, high resolution audio software and hardware, chemicals and chemical intermediates, solar and solar-related technology, transportation technology, bio-based and biodegradable plastics, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. Dr. Thompson earned her J.D. at Campbell University and her B.S. and M.A. at the College of William & Mary. She earned her PhD from the Department of Chemistry at North Carolina State University. As a doctoral candidate, Dr. Thompson worked at both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Research Triangle Institute in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Christina Waters is CEO/Founder of RARE Science, a non-profit research organization focusing on accelerating cures for kids with rare disease. She serves as a Scientific Advisory board member for Global Genes and a Senior Advisor for Personalized Medicine for Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Dr. Waters received her PhD in Genetics from UC Davis. She was a Postdoctoral Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, California Institute of Technology, a NIH Postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley, received a BS from SDSU and a MBA from UC Los Angeles. She was awarded SDSU College of Sciences Award for Outstanding Alumni in 2010.