The 2017 Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award Finalists before their session at the 29th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium.
Each year CSUPERB honors and recognizes outstanding CSU faculty and students during the annual Biotechnology Symposium.

Previous awardees can be searched by program name in the CSUPERB Grants and Awards database.

Symposium Awards made at the 29th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium (2017) were:

2017 ANDREOLI FACULTY SERVICE AWARD: Dr. Warren D. Smith, Professor of Electric and Electronic Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science, CSU Sacramento

Dr. Smith’s record of research accomplishments, important regional public-private partnerships, and ability to inspire bioengineering students to take on difficult and risky – but impactful – product design was recognized by the selection committee. Within the CSUPERB community, Dr. Smith has been instrumental in the design and development of system-wide entrepreneurship education programs (I2P®, now CSU I-CorpsTM) for faculty and student researchers. CSU I-Corps programs open doors to inclusive, nationally competitive biotechnology entrepreneurship experiences for students across California. Pictured here (left to right): Lorenzo Smith (Dean, College of Engineering & Computer Science, CSU Sacramento), Dr. Smith, and Guna Selvaduray (Professor & Chair, Department of Biomedical, Chemical and Materials Engineering, San José State University & Chair, 2017 Andreoli Award Selection Committee).

2017 CSUPERB FACULTY RESEARCH AWARD: Dr. Joseph Pesek, Professor, Department of Chemistry, San José State University

Dr. Pesek was recognized not only for his outstanding research productivity and his dedication to students, but also his persistence in building on theoretical studies to commercialize high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) products. Dr. Pesek’s analytical chemistry research group at SJSU studies separation methods as applied to metabolomics and proteomics. Dr. Pesek has “demonstrated on numerous occasions an intellectual generosity, a willingness to share ideas and an unwavering commitment to scientific rigor that builds excellence in research collaborations at both a national and international level.” Over his career, he worked with over 100 undergraduate researchers, served as the primary research advisor for exactly 100 Master’s students, and hosted over 50 visiting scientists and postdoctoral fellows from all over the world. His group has published over 230 peer-reviewed papers and garnered $6.95 million in research grants. One nomination letter from a former student included this statement, “Dr. Pesek offers a great balance of human, academic and business intelligence. His passion, integrity and high work ethic exemplifies what every professor should be.” Pictured here (left to right): Daryl Eggers (Department of Chemistry, San José State University), Sep Eskandari (Biological Sciences, Cal Poly Pomona & Chair, 2017 Faculty Research Award Selection Committee), Dr. Pesek &  Pam Stacks (Associate Vice President, Office of Research, San José State University).


Mr. David Hsu, (Master’s degree candidate, Department of Biological Science, CSU Fullerton). Nominating Mentor: Dr. Ester Chen, Associate Professor of Biological Science, CSU Fullerton. Since Fall 2014 Mr. Hsu taught two laboratory sections for General Microbiology (BIOL 302). Mr. Hsu writes, “A great teacher and their messages will be remembered throughout their students’ lifetimes, while a poor one will blend into the background like a mundane voice in a lecture hall.” The selection committee was particularly impressed with his intentional approaches to teaching – incorporating peer discussions and encouraging students to learn from failure – and applauds his “his gift for teaching.”

Mr. Aaron Miller (Master’s degree candidate, Chemistry and Biochemistry, CSU Northridge). Nominating mentor: Dr. Yann Schrodi, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CSU Northridge. Mr. Miller has taught “…a staggering 27 sections of general chemistry labs involving over 640 students since he started teaching at CSU Northridge in Fall 2013.” The selection committee was most impressed by the thoughtful and evidence-based opinions Mr. Miller included in his essay, including the observation that “effective teaching encounters a delicate balance between nurturing students through directed guidance, while promoting each student to develop self-reliability and accountability.” Mr. Miller won the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s 2016 “Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Assistant Award,” awarded once annually to the top M.S. student teaching assistant. CSUPERB is glad to add to those laurels! Pictured here (left to right): Mr. David Pauling, Dr. Kay Pauling, Mr. Miller, Mr. Hsu, and Jeremy Dodsworth (CSU San Bernardino & Chair, 2017 Pauling Award Selection Committee).


Evaluation Panels’ Special Recognition: SpecDetect (Sonoma State University) and Crowd Favorite Special Recognition: Novel Fusions (CSU Stanislaus) Read more about the Fall 2016 cohort of teams at:

Top Photo: Front Row (left to right) Nader Srouji, Michael Vargas, Jose Avila; not pictured, Maya Castro.  Back Row (left to right): Tommy Martindale (Director of Technology Transfer, San Diego State University and CSU I-Corps Teaching Team member, Craig Pritsky, Elise Brownell (Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, Inc.), Luanne Meyer (Meyer & Associates Market Research), David Heckadon (Gordon & Rees) & Stanley Maloy (Dean of Sciences, San Diego State University and CSU I-Corps Teaching Team member).

Bottom Photo: Front Row (left to right): Braulio Rodriguez, Sabrina Williamson, Max Perez-Mendez & Diego Lopez.  Back Row (left to right): Tommy Martindale (Director of Technology Transfer, San Diego State University and CSU I-Corps Teaching Team member, Craig Pritsky, Elise Brownell (Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, Inc.), Luanne Meyer (Meyer & Associates Market Research), David Heckadon (Gordon & Rees) & Stanley Maloy (Dean of Sciences, San Diego State University and CSU I-Corps Teaching Team member).


Research Mentor: Melanie Sacco, Department of Biological Science, CSU Fullerton. The Sacco group studies plant-virus interactions to engineer disease-resistant crops. Ms. Sandoval studies tomato receptor and signaling proteins involved in disease resistance. She is an HHMI and McNair undergraduate research scholar. She presented her research at Plant Biology 2015, the annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists, and at the SACNAS National Conference, where she won a travel award to attend Plant Biology 2016 in Austin, Texas. Pictured here (left to right): Dr. Kathleen Szick-Miranda (Associate Professor, Department of Biology, CSU Bakersfield & Chair, 2017 Nagel Award Selection Committee), Ms. Sandoval and Ms. Lisba Fowler (Eden Family Representative).


Research Mentor – Veronica Jimenez Ortiz, Department of Biological Science, CSU Fullerton.  Ms. Dave studies mechanosensitive channels in a parasite that causes Chagas disease. Mechanosensitive channels are activated by stretches or pressure on the parasite’s outer plasma membrane that occur with changes in environmental conditions. Ms. Davis an HHMI graduate student scholar at CSU Fullerton and has presented her work at multiple local and international conferences. Pictured here (left to right): Lisba Fowler (Eden Family representative), Noopur Dave (CSU Fullerton) & Michael Cohen (Professor, Department of Biology, Sonoma State University & Chair, 2017 Eden Award Selection Committee).