Reynoso 05 Grad

Black and gold graphic bar
 June 6, 2005

Carol Selkin
Media Relations Director 
(323) 343-3044


Laura Ferreiro
Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050


Cal State L.A. 
Office of Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050 
Fax: (323) 343-6405

For immediate release:

CSULA Microbiology Major Graduates
with 4.0 GPA
Honors student will begin Ph.D. program
at Harvard in the fall

Los Angeles, CA – Erika Reynoso (Los Angeles 90031) will graduate summa cum laude in microbiology with a perfect 4.0 grade point average from California State University, Los Angeles on Saturday, June 11, 2005. Reynoso, who is the first in her family to attend college, has always had a passion for science. She plans to pursue her Ph.D. in immunology to become a biomedical researcher in a university or a research institution.

Reynoso was recently a runner-up for the local Phi Kappa Phi national honor society fellowship, and is the recipient of various scholarship and fellowships—chief among them the CSU Sally Casanova pre-doctoral fellowship. As an undergraduate, Reynoso conducted research under several NIH-funded programs, including the National Cancer Institute/NIH-funded Introduction to Cancer Research Careers program. She joined the NIH MARC-U*STAR (Minority Access to Research Careers-Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research) program in 2003, and through the program has been conducting laboratory research at CSULA under the mentorship of Edith Porter, assistant professor of biological sciences. The research involves looking at the human protein known as HD-5, which protects the small intestine from bacteria. Detection of the protein can be used as a diagnostic tool to detect aberrant small intestinal cells involved in diseases that could lead to cancer.

Reynoso was accepted to Ph.D. programs at 11 universities including the University of Pennsylvania, Yale and Harvard. She has decided to attend Harvard University in the fall.

Margaret Jefferson, professor of genetics, says of Reynoso: “Erika is the only child of a mother and father who only attended grade school. She is the only one in her extended family that will be pursuing a Ph.D., although she is hoping that she will become an example for younger members of her family to pursue an advanced degree. Since I arrived at CSULA in 1977, I have not found a more motivated student who loves the entire process of learning.”

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