CSULB biology student earns award for research
Published: Sunday, January 30, 2011
Updated: Thursday, July 12, 2012 15:07
Cal State Long Beach student Florante Ricarte won the Glenn M. Nagel Award and a $1,750 grand prize at the 23rd annual California State University Biotechnology Symposium.
Ricarte was the first CSULB student to receive the honor, given at the Hyatt Regency in Garden Grove during the symposium Jan. 7 and 8.
He explained that his research studied the vacuole in baker's yeast, which is similar to the lysosome in mammals. In his research, he found four mutant genes involved in the trafficking of proteins to a cell's vacuole.
Ricarte worked on his research in the lab of his mentor Editte Gharakhanian, a CSULB biology professor.
"Florante has a contagious enthusiasm for cell biology research, is a meticulous experimentalist and has a strong work ethic," Gharakhanian said.
According to Eric Nedelman, administrative analyst at the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB), there were seven CSU nominations and eight finalists for the Nagel award.
"This is an example of the high level of science being carried out at CSULB and in the laboratory of Dr. Gharakhanian," said Brian Livingston, chair of CSULB's biology department. "It is also an example of how we incorporate students into our research efforts, and how teaching students in biological sciences goes beyond the classroom."
According to executive director of CSUPERB Susan Baxter, Ricarte competed against other biotechnology-related research projects that integrated cutting-edge technology and development.
Ricarte said he was waiting to hear back from graduate schools that he applied to across the nation — his first choice being Columbia University.
According to calstate.edu, Glenn M. Nagel was the dean of natural science and mathematics at CSULB before he died in 2003. Every year, an award is given in his honor at the annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium.