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Cal State LA recognizes biotech leader and LA BioStart graduating fellows
Wendie Johnston was recognized by the LA BioStart training program at California State University, Los Angeles for her contributions to the region’s burgeoning bioscience industry.
Johnston, lab director for the Pasadena Bio Collaborative Incubator, was awarded the first LA BioStar Award during the Feb. 16 graduation ceremony for participants in the LA BioStart Bioscience Entrepreneurs Boot Camp. The award was created to honor the contributions of bioscience leaders in the region.
“The real message is: It takes a village,” Johnston told the gathering at Cal State LA. “It takes collaboration, it takes partnerships, it takes negotiations.”
Johnston’s contributions to bioscience education and training span decades. She retired from the faculty of Pasadena City College, or PCC, in 2011 after nearly 44 years and now also serves as director of the Pasadena Bio Collaborative’s training program, the Los Angeles/Orange County Biotechnology Center. The center provides biotechnology workforce development and hands-on training through local community colleges. At PCC, Johnston mentored scores of students, a number of whom have enjoyed successful careers in the bioscience industry.
“Wendie has been a great partner of Cal State LA and we are very excited to honor her and recognize her contributions and tireless efforts to help the bioscience community in Southern California,” said Howard Xu, director for incubator development and programming for LA BioSpace and a microbiology professor at Cal State LA.
Among the guests who attended the event and spoke about Johnston were Susan M. Baxter, executive director of the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology; Pasadena Bio Collaborative Incubator President Robert C. Bishop; and Poseidon LLC CEO Raj Perera.
Professor Howard Xu receives CSU research award
Cal State LA microbiology professor Howard Xu received the 2018 Faculty Research Award from the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology at the 30th annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium in January.
The award recognizes faculty members who have done significant work and built an outstanding biotechnology-related research program. Xu's biotechnology research focuses on fighting bacterial infections and the rise of antibiotic-resistant strains with anti-virulence factors in combination with antibiotics. Over the last few years, Xu has led university initiatives in elevating a regional ecosystem for bioscience innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization.
L.A. Gets Serious on Biotech Infrastructure
Source: Los Angeles Business Journal
2018 might mark a major year for Los Angeles County’s effort to anchor and retain new biotechnology firms, using a mix of planning support and public dollars.
A county bioscience cluster initiative, drawn from two recent studies on how to expand the region’s $40 billion industry, aims to create business ecosystems that support biotech innovators. The initiative aims to nurture entrepreneurs by providing access to lab space and venture capital, something the region hasn’t done as well as places such as San Francisco or San Diego.
The headliner in the effort is a new development on LA BioMed’s 15-acre biotech park on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, which the county Board of Supervisors is expected to approve this month.
The proposed 250,000-square-foot park for early stage and mid-size companies would be built and financed by a private developer in phases between 2020 and 2032 at an estimated cost of $200 million.
A $63 million, 78,000-square-foot LA BioMed research lab and incubator, supported by $3 million in county funds, is already under construction and expected to open next year in a different part of the campus.
LA Biomed isn’t the only outfit getting public support. The $12 million, 20,000-square-foot L.A. BioSpace Incubator at California State University Los Angeles has received $6 million in county and federal funds, and is slated to open this fall. The facility is expected to house two dozen start-ups.
The incubator will anchor LA Bioscience Hub, a nonprofit agency launched in 2014 to attract biotech businesses along a 4-mile industrial corridor from Cal State L.A. in El Sereno to the USC Health Sciences campus in Boyle Heights.
L.A. County has also earmarked 100,000-square-feet for bioscience at a renovated MLK Medical Campus in South Los Angeles, where the new MLK Health and Wellness Community Development Corp. will manage and lease out office space.
LA County, Cal State LA Team Up on AI and Other Tech Projects
Source: Government Technology Magazine
LA County will team up with two of CSULA's senior computer engineering projects, entering as a test-run for a long-term effort.
LA County has harnessed California State University, Los Angeles’ (CSU LA) computer engineering senior project program to complete two projects in a test run for a long-term effort. The pilot was approved by the Board of Supervisors on Oct. 17.
The senior project program costs about $20,000 per project, which the partnering entity pays to the university.
The current projects include a "smart board" project in the Hall of Administration, which could harness narrow-AI technology, and a vehicle tracking program for the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Each of these projects includes six students and two advisers.
“The project lasts a full academic year and gives students experience in applying their course knowledge to real-life design challenges and managing a project from start to finish,” Emily Allen, dean for the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology at CSU LA, wrote to Techwire.
The county will be reporting on the projects to the Board of Supervisors in February to discuss return on investment, project progress and the experience of working with the university.
Bioscience Industry Cluster Growing Rapidly in East L.A.
Los Angeles has the opportunity to catalyze the city’s growing life science industry by nurturing innovation nodes in naturally occurring areas. But where are those areas? A great example is the Los Angeles Bioscience Corridor, a 4-mile stretch of Northeast Los Angeles surrounded by California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA), USC Health Sciences Campus, and Grifols, Inc. And soon, Agora Partners and ASG Real Estate will be adding HATCH to the growing list of bioscience resources in this corridor. The Hatch project is an adaptive reuse project that will bring 18,000 square feet of commercial wet lab space to the market, by third quarter of 2018. The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), the City and County of Los Angeles have been instrumental in supporting the project.
The corridor is also becoming better able to nurture entrepreneurs, startups and the growth of early-stage companies. One of HATCH’s partners, Cal State LA, is scheduled to open the LA BioSpace, a bioscience incubator in 2018. The LA BioSpace incubator will provide up to 25 startup businesses with access to low cost space and equipment, allowing them to focus more resources on research and growth. The Incubator will help capture those Cal State LA students looking to stay in Southern California and start their own businesses. As successful start-ups thrive and outgrow incubator space, facilities such as HATCH will allow a natural progression to take place – giving students’ startup companies a permanent local home. This is all part of the pervasive energy along Valley Boulevard in what Jose Gomez, Cal State LA’s Executive Vice President hopes one day will be known as “the Biotech or Bioscience Valley.”
In addition to LA BioSpace, Cal State LA also launched LA BioStart, a Bioscience Entrepreneur Boot camp this past summer. LA BioStart is a five-week training program funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration in collaboration with Cal State LA, the Biocom Institute, and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. The training program seeks to provide startup bioscience companies with mentoring, training, and business proficiency. The program is already exceeding expectations for all those involved.
As a global healthcare and bioscience company, Grifols, Inc. has over a 75-year legacy of improving the health and well-being of people around the world through the development of life-saving plasma medicines, diagnostic systems, and hospital pharmacy products. In Los Angeles, Grifols has established itself as an active community member in El Sereno, Boyle Heights, and Lincoln Heights.
Located across the street from Cal State LA, Grifols has established a strong partnership with the university. They were the first industry partner to support the “Greater Outcomes” East Los Angeles (GO East LA) program in conjunction with Cal State LA, East Los Angeles College, and the Los Angeles Unified School District. This program is an educational, cradle-to-career pathway for youth in the area.
Furthering their commitment to the GO East LA program, Grifols and Cal State LA created the Grifols Summer Science Academy which provides local high school students with a two-week program focusing on protein separation and analysis, microbiology, and chemistry curriculum. Participants are led through the program by Grifols professionals and Cal State LA faculty members in a campus laboratory setting. At the end of the two-weeks, students “graduate” with a white lab coat ceremony bridging them from student to scientist. In response
to the growing bioscience industry here in LA, Grifols recognizes the importance to expose and educate today’s students for the jobs of tomorrow.
Building a Bioscience Cluster in East Los Angeles
Source: Urban Land
East Los Angeles is shaping up to be one of the unlikely centers of southern California’s emerging bioscience industry. Bioscience has long had a presence in Los Angeles, given its collection of leading medical centers and universities. However, for years it has been overlooked as a destination for life science innovation and investment as San Francisco, Boston, and San Diego emerged as bioscience cluster powerhouses. Now, thanks to a shared vision among city and county leaders, local universities, and the bioscience industry, a concerted, cross-sector effort is activating a network of bioscience clusters across the region. East Los Angeles is one of those nodes.
The eastside cluster, known as the LA Bioscience Corridor, is anchored by the LAC+USC Medical Center and the USC Health Sciences Campus on the west, and California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State L.A.) and Grifols (a multinational pharmaceutical company) on the east. At the center of these university and research centers is a promising stretch of underused industrial land that is ready for redevelopment.
A key piece to cultivating bioscience innovation and industry depends on real estate—having lab space to operate and grow a life science startup. The LA Bioscience Corridor is home to some of Los Angeles’s last remaining industrial land. Unlike other parts of the region where industrial land is being rezoned for residential conversion, this East Los Angeles area is primed for hosting the next wave of manufacturing and production.
When real estate investment partners Agora Partners and ASG Real Estate came upon an 80-year-old, 22,000-square-foot (2,000 sq m) furniture factory and warehouse in the corridor, they saw the potential and opportunity to create that new generation of industrial space for East Los Angeles, and advance the vision for creating a thriving bioscience hub.
“We were looking for a particular building type in a more affordable neighborhood, when we came upon this building, which has great bones and is really beautiful. It quickly became important to understand how bioscience uses could fit within this type of building,” says Howard Kozloff, managing partner of Agora Partners.
CSU-LA Launches LA BioStart Training Program, Indian American Prof. Preet Chaudhary Among Inaugural Fellows
Cal State University Los Angeles recently announced it has launched a five-week training program for bioscience entrepreneurs with an Indian American physician and scientist among the group of inaugural members.
The University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine Prof. Preet Chaudhary, who is co-founding a company focusing on cancer treatment, is among the 11 inaugural fellows and team members of the program, LA BioStart.
The program for bioscience entrepreneurs, which the university announced last month, is currently underway on campus.
A five-week program funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, LA BioStart provides start-up companies training, mentoring and business knowledge essential to starting and sustaining bioscience ventures, according to a university news release.
LA BioStart is a collaboration between Cal State LA, the Biocom Institute, and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, it said.
“We can’t wait to see what discoveries are on the horizon from LA BioStart’s highly distinguished inaugural cohort of fellows,” said Cal State LA’s executive vice president Jose A. Gomez, who also chairs LA BioSpace, the university’s bioscience incubator.
Through programs such as LA BioStart, Cal State LA encourages the growth of the bioscience industry in Southern California.
“Bioscience holds tremendous promise for our region,” said Cal State LA president William A. Covino in a statement. “We’re proud to support those who are creating new technologies and new companies in this growing industry.”
Cal State LA launches LA BioStart, a five-week training program for bioscience entrepreneurs
The LA BioStart training program for bioscience entrepreneurs is now underway at California State University, Los Angeles.
A five-week program funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, LA BioStart provides start-up companies training, mentoring and business knowledge essential to starting and sustaining bioscience ventures. LA BioStart is a collaboration between Cal State LA, the Biocom Institute, and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.
“We can’t wait to see what discoveries are on the horizon from LA BioStart’s highly distinguished inaugural cohort of fellows,” said Cal State LA’s Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez, who also chairs LA BioSpace, the university’s bioscience incubator. “We appreciate the leadership of the Biocom Institute, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, and other partners that helped make this program a reality.”
Supervisor Solis commends LA BioStart graduates at Cal State LA event
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis commended bioscience entrepreneurs who graduated from the LA BioStart training program at California State University, Los Angeles, saying they will help spur economic development across the region.
During the August 16 event, Solis and Cal State LA President William A. Covino agreed to collaborate on several initiatives to promote the regional bioscience industry. The initiatives include county support for a high school summer STEM academy that the University conducts with Grifols Biologicals Inc., as well as programs to increase internships and professional development opportunities for students interested in careers in the life sciences.Solis said she looked forward to working with Cal State LA to enrich the region.
“The biotech industry can find a home here,” she said during the graduation. “This is wonderful. The sky is the limit.”
Covino welcomed Solis and other guests who filled the University Club on campus.
“Projects like LA BioStart energize interest in biotechnology and bioscience,” Covino told the gathering. “LA BioStart fits right into the mission of Cal State LA."
LA BioStart in international News
Bioscience community gathers at Cal State LA's downtown center for summer innovator spotlight
More than 80 entrepreneurs, life science executives, faculty, students and other business community members gathered at Cal State LA’s downtown campus for a summer biotech innovator spotlight on July 25.
The networking event, hosted by LA BioStart and Cal State LA’s College of Professional and Global Education, was one of an ongoing series of industry convenings organized by LA BioStart to give members of the local bioscience community regular opportunities to connect in person. Professor Jill Adler-Moore of Cal Poly Pomona was the featured innovator. Adler-Moore invented the groundbreaking antifungal drug AmBisome.
“It was a special opportunity to have Jill Adler-Moore share her experience and perspectives in an informal setting,” said Howard Xu, director of incubator development and programming for LA BioSpace, and a professor of microbiology at Cal State LA. “Dr. Adler-Moore has been a mentor to me and so many CSU colleagues and students; this gathering gave our LA BioStart participants and industry supporters a chance to ask her for tips useful to their own projects.”
Jose A. Gomez, Cal State LA’s executive vice president and chairman of the advisory board for the university’s LA BioSpace incubator noted that innovator spotlights are an important supplement to the classroom instruction segments of LA BioStart.
“These events are a great way to get folks out of their labs and offices for a bit to enjoy each other’s company and make connections. Sometimes great ideas and inspiration comes from these encounters,” he said.
The July gathering was sponsored by Molecular GPS Technologies and Pasadena Bio.
Bioscienceentrepreneurs, investors connect at Cal State LA for First Look L.A. 2017
California State University, Los Angeles hosted some of the region’s leading bioscience research institutions during a day-long event focusing on emerging technology investment opportunities.
The Los Angeles Venture Association’s (LAVA) First Look L.A. 2017 connected investors with researchers and entrepreneurs developing cutting-edge technologies. The June 28 event was part of Cal State LA’s collaboration with public and private sector partners to promote the bioscience industry in the Los Angeles region.
Cal State LA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jose A. Gomez welcomed guests to the event.
“Cal State LA is promoting strong partnerships to develop a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. The future is right here—in L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley region,” said Gomez, who chairs LA BioSpace, a university incubator that will enable startup firms to develop innovative technologies. READ MORE►
Biotechnology alumnus wins Cox Business pitch competition
California State University, Los Angeles alumnus John Chi won the top prize at the 4th Annual Cox Business Get Started Orange County Pitch competition.
The Alhambra resident is the chief executive officer of Synova Life Sciences, which has developed a new system for accessing stem cells.
“The business pitch judges recognized John’s potential and the strong impact his technology can have in meeting the needs of patients with degenerative conditions,” said Howard Xu, professor of microbiology and director for the LA BioSpace incubator at Cal State LA.
Chi founded the business while pursuing a Master of Biotechnology through the Program for Applied Biotechnology Studies. Under the instruction of Cal State LA’s Xu and other professors, the graduate program gave Chi greater experience in laboratory work and research literature while he learned about molecular and cell biology.
A Boot Camp for Innovation in Bioscience: LABioStart
Source: Urban University
Entrepreneurs play a critical role in our economy. The innovations they develop have a cascading effect on job creation, standards of living, and growth in related industries. Teaching talented individuals to become entrepreneurs themselves and supporting them as they launch their own companies is one thing that universities can do to strengthen the economy in their communities. At California State University, Los Angeles, we understand the importance of this approach, which led us to create LABioStart, a boot camp to train emerging bioscience entrepreneurs in the region.
In partnership with the Biocom Institute and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), we have been awarded a $500,000 challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The department’s Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program helps communities create the building blocks that foster economic development through new technologies and job creation.In addition to the flagship LABioStart boot camp, the grant will support additional programs to promote bioscience innovation and facilitate networking in the Los Angeles area. The programs will engage local governments and other partners to develop new training modules in business fundamentals, leadership skills and business competencies specific to bioscience.
With the help of a team of seasoned subject matter experts and mentors, LABioStart will train five cohorts of emerging bioscience entrepreneurs during the three-year funding period, with the first boot camp planned for summer 2017. Each cohort of boot camp participants will learn from experts and mentors during four weeks of intensive training in areas such as business formation, human resources, financing, intellectual property, visioning and strategic planning, interpersonal and communication skills, research and development process, and regulatory affairs and manufacturing.
U.S. Commerce Department awards $500,000 to Cal State LA, Biocom Institute and Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator for LABioStart boot camp
LOS ANGELES and SAN DIEGO, Feb. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- California State University, Los Angeles and its partners, the Biocom Institute and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), have been awarded an i6 Challenge grant of nearly $500,000 to fund LABioStart, a boot camp to train emerging bioscience entrepreneurs in the region and prepare them to launch bioscience startup companies. The award is part of the Department of Commerce Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program, which helps communities create the building blocks that foster economic development through new technologies and job creation.In addition to the flagship LABioStart boot camp, the grant will support ancillary programs to promote bioscience innovation and facilitate networking in the Los Angeles area. The programs will leverage the distinct strengths of the three primary partner organizations (Cal State LA, Biocom Institute and LACI) and will engage local governments and additional partners to develop suites of training modules in business fundamentals, leadership skills and bioscience-specific business competencies.
Cal State LA to advance a new beginning in bio-science innovation
Source: Huffington Post
California State University, Los Angeles had finally advanced a new venture, by declaring that it had just received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to support entrepreneurial enterprises at the LA BioSpace incubator who had been provided a space under the Rongxiang Xu Bioscience Innovation Center, where the whole event took place. Cal State LA received an award through the Regional Innovation Strategies program, amongst 35 other universities, in 2016.
LA BioSpace incubator is a hub for entrepreneurship and employment on Los Angeles’ Eastside. Prospered by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, it is a part of pioneering area-wide bioscience industry strategy.
Basically, now LA BioStart will edify bioscience magnates on the campus of Cal State LA, from this year itself. This will evolve the fabrication skills in students, that too much before the inauguration of Innovation Center, that is in 2018. It will make the interested students learn strategies to compete in the production.
Cal State LA takes top prize in L.A. Mayor's cup competition
California State University, Los Angeles won the grand prize of $25,000 in the first-ever L.A. Mayor's Cup, a competition in which university students create innovative solutions to vexing civic problems.“This is a wonderful victory for our college’s entrepreneurship students and their Small Business Strong Cal State LA Team in the L.A. Mayor’s Cup,” said James A. Goodrich, dean of the College of Business and Economics. “As the only undergraduate team, they pulled off an amazing upset; winning first place is a testimony to the quality of our students and our program.”
Goodrich thanked Barney Santos, entrepreneur in residence, and others who worked with the students to prepare them for the competition.
Cal State LA breaks ground on Rongxiang Xu bioscience center
Cal State LA broke ground Friday on the Rongxiang Xu Bioscience Innovation Center, which will house the LA BioSpace incubator and serve as a hub for entrepreneurship and job creation on Los Angeles’ Eastside.
During the event, Cal State LA President William A. Covino announced that the University had just received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to support entrepreneurial enterprises at the LA BioSpace incubator.
The gift will fund LABioStart Boot Camp, which will provide participants with the skills they need to compete in the industry. Cal State LA was one of only 35 universities in the U.S. to receive a 2016 award through the Regional Innovation Strategies program. LABioStart will provide training to bioscience entrepreneurs on Cal State LA’s campus this year, to develop much-needed industry talent even before the Innovation Center opens in 2018.
“The bioscience industry holds tremendous promise for our region,” Covino told the crowd. “It is creating new technologies, new companies, and new employment opportunities.”
Students create innovative prototypes at Cal State LA BioHack
Laptop screens illuminated students' faces while they drank endless cups of coffee. Some took short naps to refresh while others stayed awake the entire night. Their workspace was a mess of wires and circuit boards. All were trying to figure out how to solder this circuit or code that program. The clock was ticking. At the end it would all be worth it: they would survive the hackathon.
Called the BioHack because it focused on solving problems through biotechnology, the event was the first of its kind in Cal State LA history. The goal: support young entrepreneurs and technologists as they develop their problem-solving skills.
Obama Administration boosts bioscience industry growth with $3.2 million for Cal State LA
The budding Los Angeles biosciences industry got a major boost from the federal government Wednesday with a $3.2 million grant to Cal State LA.
The funds from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration will be used to construct a new laboratory building at Cal State LA. But unlike academic laboratories, the Cal State LA biosciences incubator will provide laboratory space for startup scientific companies. That model has been successful in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in the United States, but not yet deveoloped in Los Angeles.
Mayor Garcetti, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and federal officials have been eager to find ways to create high-paying jobs and develop new companies through the biosciences industry.
In July, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams visited Cal State LA with Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who has supported the University’s efforts to win the grant.
“We already have the talent in our communities – talent possessed by ambitious and creative workers," Solis said Wednesday. "By investing in facilities in our communities today, we give these skilled residents the space and support they need to maximize their potential and turn their ideas into jobs that will fuel long-term economic growth.”
U.S. commerce official, L.A. county supervisor promote bioscience industry at Cal State LA
United States Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis visited the Cal State L.A. campus Wednesday afternoon to promote the development of the bioscience industry in the area.
Williams and Solis are proponents of leveraging the bioscience industry to promote economic development and job creation. They were accompanied on a campus laboratory tour by President William A. Covino, who talked about the University’s successful efforts to prepare students to excel in Ph.D. programs in STEM-related disciplines.
During the tour, Williams and Solis met with students who are conducting research under the direction of professors Howard Xu and Cecilia Zurita Lopez.
Cal State LA's bioscience incubator will nurture start-up businesses while providing opportunities to students
For years, Cal State LA has been a leader in providing academic research and laboratory training opportunities for students who have gone on to earn Ph.D.’s in critical science-related fields. Those efforts received a significant boost last fall when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors awarded a $3.5-million grant to the University to help fund a bioscience incubator.
BioSpace LA will feature up to 20,000 square feet of lab space in the Physical Sciences building, where students and faculty can work with start-up businesses on innovative bioscience projects.
Cal State LA receives $3.5 million to fund a bioscience incubator
Cal State LA President William A. Covino and Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina today launched a new incubator on campus that will provide students and start-up businesses an opportunity to work together on innovative bioscience projects.
The incubator, which is called BioSpace LA, is funded with a $3.5 million grant from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. It will feature up to 20,000 square feet of lab space dedicated to bioscience research and collaboration. Molina, whose district includes Cal State LA, led the effort to secure the funding.