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Huge Turn-out for CCSF’s Biosymposium at UCSF Mission Bay

May 17, 2019

Forty CCSF students present their scientific posters at UCSF’s Genentech Hall in Mission Bay

Over 230 people attended the 23rd City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Biosymposium – the capstone event for the Biotechnology program’s  Biotechnology Internship Programs – at UCSF Mission Bay on May 17th, 2019.  The largest attendance to date by almost 30 percent, the BioSymposium included 40 CCSF students and 55 volunteers from academia, industry and government who have supported these students’ career development through mock interviews, judging poster presentations, and networking lunch discussions.  The BioSymposium also included a Biotechnology career panel put together by the ENVISION group at Slone Partners.

STEM Cell Certificate student Amina Rabhi presents her scientific poster at CCSF’s biannual Biotech Symposium at UCSF Mission Bay.

Twenty CCSF Biotechnology students presented posters on research they performed in internships at labs and organizations around the San Francisco Bay Area, including UCSF, Gladstone Institutes, USDA, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, BABEC, Mantra Bio, Cel Analytical, Tenaya Therapeutics & Vitalant.

CCSF Biotech student Jose Valenzuela laughing and networking with Gladstone Senior Research Associate Victoria Yon.

Industry volunteers – including several CCSF Biotechnology alumni who are now working in industry – came from Amgen, Amunix, Bay Area Bioscience Education Community (BABEC), BioTek Instruments, Capstan Insights, Charles River Laboratories, Culture Biosciences, DCVC Bio, Genentech, Gladstone Institutes, Joint BioEnergy Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, LinkArt, Machaon Diagnostics, Mantra Bio, Notable Labs, ONI, Slone Partners, UCSC, UCSF, USDA, Veracyte, and Vitalant. “I was impressed by the quality of the research presented, the thought-provoking questions, and the energy of the students, which transpired at every interaction,” stated Valerio Pereno, BD, Oxfodr Nanoimaging (ONI), who volunteered as a lunch discussion lead. “The motivation to pursue careers in biotech to unlock positive impact for society was palpable, and the mix with industry is essential to turn this motivation into viable career paths.”

“CCSF’s Biosymposium has reached a new pinnacle this year with our largest turnout yet. Industry representatives now approach us about attending!” stated Karen Leung, CCSF Biotechnology Instructor & Internship Coordinator “Our Biotechnology program has gained increasing credibility among industry employers for our students who leave the program with practical skills and prior experience from laboratory internships. We are so grateful to our industry partners for providing such valuable career-building experience, a supportive community and network for our students.”

Slone Partner’s ENVISION Biotech Career Panel with Tara Kochis-Stach of Slone Partners, Marianne Santaguida or Notable Labs, Salvador Rivera of LinkArt, Rachel Pfau of Charles River Laboratories & Vivienne Watson of Amgen.

Teachers and students from San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) were also invited to the BioSymposium to promote the strong Biotech career pathway from SFUSD to CCSF. Lincoln High School Biology teacher Sunshine Roque brought 20 freshman Biology students to the event who interviewed and networked with current CCSF Biotech students and faculty.  These students had previously participated in an intensive hands-on Biotech week, taught by the BABEC, where they learned about the CCSF Biotechnology pathway.

Christian Garcia presents his scientific poster from his internship at Gladstone at CCSF’s biannual Biotech Symposium at UCSF Mission Bay.

“The Biosymposium allowed my students to see themselves in science,” stated Ms. Roque. “In class, I normally see them defeated by stress, stressed out by failure, and quitting before they even give themselves a chance to succeed. When we attended the event, I saw them feel confident in the respect adults were paying them and excited by the possibilities of science. I saw hands raised and questions asked that would never have come up in our classroom setting alone. I hope to continue attending and possibly seeing one of them presenting their research in the future.”