CCST’s “Science Translators Showcase” to Connect California Early Career Scientists with Members, Staff

CCST event will feature 12 graduate researchers and postdocs from UC, Caltech, and Stanford campuses, as part of CCST’s Science & Technology Week.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. | February 6, 2018 | CONTACT: Mikel Shybut [email protected]

The California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) has invited 12 talented graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to the California State Capitol to practice a crucial skill: translating their research for decision makers.

The “California Science Translators Showcase” will take place on Wednesday, February 6th, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the California State Capitol basement Eureka Room. This event is open to legislative and executive offices, as well as members of the Capitol community. Details and RSVP can be found at

“As we know from our Science Fellows program, there is great interest from graduate students in science policy and science communication,” says CCST Interim Executive Director Amber Mace, PhD. “The Science Translators Showcase provides early-career scientists an excellent opportunity to present their research to a policy audience – and to highlight some of the relevant research being conducted in California.”

Applications were open to graduate students, postdocs, and early-career scientists from the University of California, California State University, Stanford, and Caltech campuses – all members of CCST’s network of institutional partners. Candidates were required to submit audition videos in which they had to explain the relevance of their research in less than 60 seconds; the 12 invited presenters then underwent training webinars and other exercises to prepare for the networking event.

The CCST showcase was organized in partnership with California State Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education.

“California is home to world-class, cutting-edge scientific research and discoveries,” says Assemblymember Medina. “The CCST Science Translators Showcase provides a great training opportunity for California’s student researchers and a fantastic learning opportunity for the Capitol community. Opening the lines of communication between California’s researchers and policymakers can only help to ensure the bright future of California.”

The Science Translators Showcase is one of many events during CCST’s 2019 Science & Technology Week at the California State Capitol, celebrating the role of science in service to state policy.

CCST Science translators showcase

The 2019 CCST California Science Translators:

Derreck Carter-House | PhD Candidate, UC Riverside
Derreck will explain how to harness antifungals from gases produced by bacteria.

Byran Fuhrmann | PhD Student, UC Merced
Byran will explain the costs and benefits of using oxygenation in lakes and reservoirs.

Morgan Funderburk | PhD Candidate, UC San Diego
Morgan will explain the development of sensors to monitor erosion around bridge piers.

Geoff Hollett | PhD Candidate, UC San Diego
Geoff will explain how to use nanotechnology to build better birth control.

Nichole Holm | PhD Candidate, UC Davis
Nichole will explain the effects of genetics and aging on adult neurogenerative diseases.

Clio Korn | Postdoctoral Researcher, UC San Francisco
Clio will explain the neuroscience behind flexible thinking in health and disease.

Utkarsh Mital | Postdoctoral Researcher, Caltech
Utkarsh will explain the use of advanced geotechnical models for building resilient societies.

Maria Montchal | PhD Candidate, UC Irvine
Maria will explain how the act of remembering can affect memory accuracy.

Stephanie Nitopi | PhD Candidate, Stanford
Stephanie will explain how we can recycle CO2 into useful fuels and chemicals.

Zachary Petrek | PhD Candidate, UC Merced
Zachary will explain the use of carbon nanotube biosensors for disease detection.

Jonathan Schor | MD/PhD Candidate, UC San Francisco
Jonathan will explain the use of deep brain stimulation for treating Parkinson’s disease.

Ben Sommerkorn | PhD Candidate, UC Riverside
Ben will explain the blood dynamics of brain aneurysms.

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