News Release| MORE Programs; CSULA; Cal State L.A.; Los Angeles; CSU

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From rat-reward research on to doctoral program, Cazares among 23 MORE Program students

 Psychology research student first in family to graduate from college

Already an award-winning researcher in behavioral psychology, Victor Cazares (Long Beach resident) will head to University of Michigan in Ann Arbor this month to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience after completing his master’s degree in psychology at Cal State L.A.

Cazares, the first in his family to graduate from college, received first place in the behavioral and social sciences category for his presentation, “Orbitofrontal Cortex Lesions Impair Responses to Cue Predicting Shifts in Work to Reward in Rats,” at this year’s system-wide California State University Student Research Competition.

Cazares said, “When I came here and started working with Dr. Alicia Izquierdo, it just opened up my mind to the possibilities of research. There are so many opportunities here. The facilities are great, the faculty is supportive, and you get to go to conferences and get to interact with other researchers.

“I would say coming here just really made my career. I don’t see how I could be where I am now had I gone to another school,” he said. “We just have a big research tradition here. There are all kinds of opportunities to get involved in research.”

A recipient of a Minority Biomedical Research Support Fellowship and Michael Roffe Scholarship, Cazares received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cal State L.A., after transferring from Orange County Community College.

Cazares is one of 23 students this year from Cal State L.A.’s Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) Programs who have been admitted into prestigious doctoral programs. Other M.D.- or Ph.D.-bound grads—listed with their doctoral destinations—are as follows:

Franque Bains, UC Riverside

Danielle Barrios, UC San Diego

Benjamin Bush, SUNY at Binghamton

Carla Cueva, UC Berkeley

Monica Delgado, UC Davis

Ivy Donalson, University of Denver

Michelle Flores, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Erika Garcia, Caltech

Steven Gee, UC San Francisco

Angelina Hernandez, Indiana University

Laura Martinez, University of Washington

Celeste Mendoza, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Omar Moreno, UC Santa Cruz

Ann Munoz, USC

James Nunnelley, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Mario Nickening, UC Riverside

Maura Palacios, Texas A&M

Sergio Rivas, UC Riverside

Melissa Romero, USC

Nadine Rodriguez, UC Santa Barbara

Suzi Sanchez, USC

Abebayehu Yilma, USC

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