Four Masters in Four Weeks

Within a span of four weeks in Spring 2022, four Boz researchers completed their Master of Science programs:

  1. Armando Vazquez – UCSD M.S. / B.S.; Thesis Title: “A network approach to investigating the role of the Sorghum bicolor transcription factor SbWRKY86 in promoting plant resistance to aphids”
  1. Sylvia Gong – SDSU Graduate School of Public Health; Thesis Title: “Acute GenX exposure induces spinal deformations and arrhythmia, and alters expression of genes involved in cardiac, vascular, neural, and visual systems during zebrafish (Danio rerio) early development”
  1. Zuying Feng – SDSU Graduate School of Public Health; Thesis Title: “Physiological and Transcriptomic Effects of Hexafluoropropylene Oxide Dimer Acid (GenX) in Caenorhabditis elegans during Early Development”
  1. Jeanne Vu – SDSU Graduate School of Public Health; Thesis Title: “Locomotor ability and brain gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster exhibit non-monotonic dose-response to HFPO-DA”

We are immensely proud of their efforts and accomplishments and look forward to their continued research endeavors at Boz (Armando and Zuying) and learning about their new science and technology adventures (Sylvia – currently at Cardinal Biocraft and Jeanne – currently at Meta). 

Abalone Research along the California Coast

In collaboration with National Park Service (NPS) and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boz Institute is implementing eDNA methodology to investigate the distribution of endangered black and white abalone populations along the Southern California Coast.  Recently in May 2022, after establishing positive lab eDNA controls, Boz and NPS researchers and students collected eDNA samples from Channel Islands, CA  in areas known to have  abalone cluster populations.  The purpose of this phase of the study is to establish field positive controls and test the methods’ sensitivity to distinguish white from black abalone wild populations, before sampling more challenging sites with historically populated but currently unknown abalone distribution. 

Boz Scholars Published ADHD Study in Scientific Reports

Boz Institute research team, including scholars Katie O’Connell, Natalie Olander, and Sora Haagensen, have published their work about pre-COVID-19 ADHD childhood and adolescence trends in U.S. in the journal Scientific Reports (Nature Portfolio). The team analyzed public health and socioeconomic data and discovered underlying associations between ADHD diagnosis in children and critical factors related to socioeconomic status, including race, financial status, family structure, and neighborhood characteristics. Upon completion of the research immersion programs Boz offers in partnership with UCSD Extension, Katie, Natalie, and Sora joined our research team. Click here to read about their experience.

Boz Scholar Receives Co-author Credit in Scientific Journal

Summer 2019 research immersion program scholar, Sora Haagensen, fellow Boz researchers and Dr. Keith Lombardo from the National Park Service have published their work Relative genetic diversity of the rare and endangered Agave shawii ssp. shawii and associated soil microbes within a southern California ecological preserve in the journal Ecology and Evolution. This was a collaborative research project between Boz and the National Park Service.

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Virtual Career Panels

We hosted virtual career panels for our fall 2020 pre-college research immersion scholars. Industry Professionals (scientists, project manager, CEO/founder) from Janssen, Catalent and Hemex Health joined a medical student from Northstate University and spoke with our scholars about their career journeys, ethics, workplace culture, lessons learned from good and bad career decisions and more.

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Boz Scholars Compete at Oregon Bio Pitch & Partner 2020

Two Oregon High School students and Boz research immersion scholars, Angela Zhao (fall 2020) and Natalie Olander (summer 2020), competed in the translational and basic research categories respectively at the Oregon Bio Digital conference – Pitch & Partner 2020 event. Angela’s presentation entitled Putting the Brakes on Parkinson’s Disease from work done as an intern at the VA Portland Healthcare System. Natalie presented the research she worked on at Boz, the Effects of HFPO-DA Stress on C. Elegans. Natalie and Angela were two high school students among 19 competitors including graduate students, scientists and entrepreneurs competing for prizes in four categories at the three-day virtual bioscience conference.

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Boz is testing for COVID in San Diego wastewater

Since the emergence of the novel Coronavirus, one of the most important defenses is widespread testing. Boz is partnering with San Diego State University to test for SARS-Cov2 in San Diego wastewater. Our researchers are analyzing samples from the wastewater treatment facility and correlating results with data provided by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency to help identify trends and develop a predictive risk assessment model. For details about this project and other SDSU COVID-19 projects addressing vulnerable San Diego communities, click here.

No Barriers Too Big

As the world learns to adapt to a virtual reality this year, Boz Institute reached students that would not ordinarily have an opportunity to participate in the Research Immersion Program. This fall we launched a scholarship-funded, online program for students from underserved communities in California, Oregon, and a group of students from Ghana, Africa. Boz co-founder Liisa Bozinovic, a Board member of a Ghana focused nonprofit, Learn Grow Lead, helped implement the program to include scholars from Ghana. This article presents the story of this collaboration through interviews with the program participants and instructors.

Athena Honors Pinnacle Award Winner Maysoon Lehmeidi

Athena – California’s premier leadership advocate for women in STEM – revealed its “Pinnacle Winners” during its 22nd Annual Pinnacle Awards on August 6. This distinguished industry award recognizes leaders that continuously champion the advancement, promotion and career success of women leading in STEM. Selected from an extraordinary list of nominees, winners in four categories were “virtually” cheered and celebrated across our region’s STEM community.

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Boz Exhibits at EXPO Day 2020 – San Diego’s Festival of Science & Engineering

Boz Institute and our collaborators from Wood PLC hosted an open lab at the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering EXPO DAY, a daylong celebration at PETCO Park in March, 2020. With more than 130 local businesses, corporations, and organizations providing interactive, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math exhibits, Boz was privileged to contribute to science celebration with K-12 enthusiasts.

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