Sac State Chemistry student earns top CSU award for research into pathogen-fighting molecules
January 25, 2023
Sacramento State Chemistry student Anthony Perez has captured the top prize in the 2023 CSU Biotechnology Symposium, which featured more than 200 presentations from student researchers representing all 23 campuses.
Perez, who conducts his lab work under the supervision of Chemistry Professor Katherine McReynolds, won the Don Eden Graduate Student Research Award, which recognizes outstanding research by graduate students in cellular, molecular, chemical, and physical studies of the life sciences.
His poster and oral presentation focused on a strategy for using glycomimetics, which are molecules that are similar to carbohydrates, to combat viral pathogens such as those that cause COVID-19 and AIDS. The streamlined process he described could be used to expedite development of drugs to block transmission of such viruses.
The annual CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) took place Jan. 13-14 in Santa Clara. The event brought together CSU students, faculty, and administrators, along with biotechnology professionals working in academia, government, and private industry, to collaborate and share ideas.
Perez was chosen from five finalists for the Eden Award, which comes with a $2,000 prize.
Since 2020, he has worked in McReynolds’ lab, studying therapeutic agents that ultimately can be used as a frontline attack against potential future pathogens.
“I’m so excited and so incredibly proud of Anthony,” McReynolds said. “He’s done such phenomenal work.” His findings are “deceptively simple on paper” she said, “but elegant from a science perspective.”
Perez said he was grateful for the award.
“It reinforces that I’m good at what I do,” he said. “It confirms that I’m doing something right.”
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