COLLEGE INITIATIVES


Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Awards

In the summer of 2008, NSM established a new Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program.  The college’s annual fund, raised through the efforts of phone calls and letters to alumni, supports over project grants and stipends for students to conduct original research with professors in the summer.  We are especially excited about the stipends for students because they replace a summer job, giving students a chance to immerse themselves full-time in a research experience.  This allows students to bring the project to a point where they can present finished results at a scientific conference.  Imagine how impressive this looks on a student’s resume.    

Our students are attracting quite a bit of attention with their scientific presentations.  Last year, Sac State ranked 3rd out of 17 in the number of student posters presented at the annual CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology conference.  The showing of Sac State students at a recent annual meeting of the American Chemical Society was so strong, that the meeting organizers have asked to hold the meeting on our campus next year.  One of our students won the best paper award at the Protein Society meeting in San Diego.

Each October we celebrate the SURE  program with our Undergraduate Student Research Reception, where SURE Award recipients will present posters of their research.  Here is a sample of the kinds of projects students are doing with faculty. 

"Effects of California Mugwort and Osha on normal human cells and breast cancer cells"
"Do competition and facilitation regulate Sierra Nevada meadow plant communities?"
"Computational modeling of the atomic structure of nanowires"
"A synthetic approach to the anticancer drug Poditraxel"

For more information about the Undergraduate Research Program in NSM, click here.


Professional Science Master's Program in Stem Cell Research

The College of Natural Sciences has partnered with the UC Davis Stem Cell Program to create a comprehensive curricular program to prepare Master degree students specifically for careers in stem cell research.  Graduates of this program will have education and skills ideally suited for basic research and its translation into clinical applications for patients.  Graduates will help fill the future demand for laboratory managers and other research-support professionals in a growing number of laboratories devoted to stem cell research.

The Professional Science Master’s is designed to diversify the career trajectories available to Master’s-level graduate students in the Applied Biosciences.  As a terminal degree, the program will prepare students to be laboratory managers in rapidly changing areas with complex regulatory environments.  The program also will be excellent preparation for students wishing to pursue doctoral programs, especially those involving the translation of basic research into application.  Students engage in activities specifically intended to improve the professional preparation of graduates desiring industry or laboratory careers. 

To Learn more about the PSM in Stem Cell Research, click here.


Advanced Research Laboratories

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics plans to equip two research laboratories to meet the demand for graduates in the Biosciences. The Advanced Cell Analysis Laboratory and Advanced Structural Determination Laboratory will provide students with a strong foundation in advanced technologies in the biological sciences and chemistry fields.  With this equipment, students will learn to analyze cells at the sub-cellular and molecular levels and to predict chemical reactivity of biological molecules, skills critical to biotechnology industry and the growing opportunities in stem cell research and development.  This equipment will provide students with the opportunity to broaden their skill set to be fully prepared for the high-tech marketplace.  It is critical to have a well-prepared workforce for the biotechnology industry and in stem cell research and development, where these industries are important components of the local and state economies. 

These laboratories will help the college meet two key components for professional careers in bioscience and technology industries.  The components include undergraduate degrees that integrate research experience and graduate programs based on a collaborative research model.  Employers need well-prepared graduates with hands-on experience that extends beyond that obtained during their coursework.  Research experiences outside the classroom cultivate creativity and give students the opportunity to practice problem-solving, analysis and application of knowledge.  Collaborative research helps train students for the team-based culture of industry.

With this laboratory equipment, NSM will be better able to serve its students and prepare them to meet the demands of critical science-based industries.  This equipment will provide students with the opportunity to broaden their skill set to be fully prepared for the high-tech marketplace, especially in biotechnology and the growing opportunities for stem cell research and development, bolstering Sacramento State’s effort to meet workforce demand in these areas. These laboratories will serve over 1200 majors in the Biosciences.