Congratulations to Dr. Ed Alexander and Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program (CA)

News from Dr. Edward Alexander, Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program Director, San Diego Mesa College

As we enter the last month of Spring semester 2019, Lynn Lee, Bridges Program Assistant, and I wish to update you on exciting news and positive achievements about our Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program for 2018-2019.

First, I was nominated by Daphne Figueroa, Professor of Chemistry at SD Miramar College to receive the Camille and Henry Dreyfus ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences.  On April 2, I was one of sixty national award recipients honored at the 2019 National American Chemical Society Meeting and Exposition in Orlando, FL, including K. Barry Sharpless, the 2001 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry.  Over 600 were in attendance at the awards ceremony and banquet.  As part of the award, the Foundation has provided San Diego Mesa College $10,000 to establish a scholarship fund of my designation for disadvantaged students pursuing careers in the Chemical Sciences.

Second, at the same Spring 2019 ACS National Meeting, the Division of Organic Chemistry honored me with a very special symposium in which three Bridges alumnae, currently working on or completing PhD degrees, were invited to present their research with a postdoctoral fellow who is conducting research in the laboratory of our Bridges Co-PI, Christina Sigurdson, at UCSD.  The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)/NIH Director of Training Workforce Development and Diversity also presented with me at this awards symposium, with Daphne Figueroa presiding.  The presenters and their abstract titles are:  Patricia Aguilar Calvo, PhD, UCSD—Role of heparin sulfate in prion replication and cell targetingMireille Kamariza, PhD, Stanford University, postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University—Towards Mycobacterium tuberculosis detection at the point-of-car:  solvatochromic probes permits the detection of mycobacteria within minutesAbdiasis Hussein, University of Washington, Seattle—Regulation of mTOR dependent entry and exit from diapause-like stateSonjiala Hotchkiss, UCSD—Development of small molecule inhibitors of IKK-2Alison Gammie, PhD, NIGMS/NIH—Diversity and Inclusion in the Biomedical Workforce; Edward Alexander, PhD, SD Mesa College—My Success in Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences Using Mentoring and Research in Organic Chemistry.

Our Bridges Alumni continue to excel in our thirteenth year of the Bridges grant:

Dean Elhag, awarded MD degree, University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine (May 2018), medical residency internal medicine, University of Utah

Tarrell Coley, awarded MD degree, University of Maryland (May 2018), medical residency emergency medicine, Pittsburg, PA

Samantha Barrera, awarded BS in Chemistry, San Diego State University (Nov. 2018), employed as research chemist at Trilink Biotechnoligies making m-RNA

Fernando Echegaray, awarded BS, Cornell University (Dec. 2018), studying for graduate/medical school

We thank all of you for your continued support.  Special thanks goes to our SD Mesa College Chemistry Department, Dean Susan Topham, Mary I. Toste, Luisa Falo, Erica Garcia, Maggie Haddad, Virginia Enriquez, and Pablo Vela.

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