Howell Foundation: Twenty Years of Funding Research for Future Women’s Health Biology and Medical Professionals.

Summary prepared by Carolyn Northrup for the Doris A. Howell Foundation
Pictured with Dr. Howell, 2 of the 12 C-SUPERB Scholars, Anna Leighton and Andres Bermudez during the Foundation's Lecture on Telemedicine in February.

  • Howell-CSUPERB Students Present their Fields of Research during Foundation’s first Luncheon of the Year.
  • Scholars to Start their Research in Women’s Health in Spring &Summer 2015
  • CSUPERB and the Doris A. Howell Foundation:  Proud of our Scholars! 

Twelve biology students will now have the research experience required to complete their related studies in women’s health.   Receiving a total of 30 applications, the Howell Foundation, partnering with the CSUPERB program, chose students from 12 CSU campuses to receive scholarships worth $42,000 last year.  The scholarship awards were announced on November 25th, 2014, and the students are expected to start their studies during Spring and Summer.

“The opportunity that the Doris A. Howell Foundation offers is time.  With our scholarships, students can now dedicate the time to conduct the required research to complete their studies; time that would otherwise be spent away from women’s health research” comments Dr. Carole Banka, Chair for the Foundation.   All of the students’ research projects are mentored by CSU Faculty.

A strict protocol is followed in the choice of the students, including rigorous review of the students' scholarship applications by the Scholarship Committee at the Foundation; and by quality of supervision during their research work through a “Mentor Program”, which has ensured the program's success.  Each student must have a qualified research mentor to direct and guide them.

The research subjects range from the most basic of life sciences such as cell biology to creating vaccines and testing altered immune reactions. Often the results of the student's research are presented at professional conferences or published in peer-reviewed journals, contributing to the community and the future of women's health nationwide through the advancement of cutting-edge scientific knowledge.  

We wish them all the success!  The Howell-CSUPERB Scholars for 2015 are (in alphabetical order): 

1. Joy Aparicio Valenzuela (Biology, California State University, Fresno) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “The expression of the Alzheimer’s disease associated protein tau and the development of associated cognitive decline in Drosophila melanogaster.” Mentor: David Lent, Biology 

2. Andres Bermudez (Biology, San Diego State University) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “Identification of the GBS Bacterial Factor that Contributes to Tight Junction Disruption in Brain Endothelium.” Mentor: Kelly Doran, Biology 

3. Annalisa Duenas (Biological Sciences, San José State University) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “The Effects of Developmental Ethanol Exposure on Neuropeptide F Signaling in Drosophila melanogaster.” Mentor: Rachael French, Biological Sciences

4. Lukas Fuentes (Chemistry & Biochemistry, California State University, Long Beach) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “Lysine and glutamate residues in the C-terminal domain of human apolipoprotein A-I are responsible for oligomerization.” Mentor: Paul Weers, Chemistry & Biochemistry 

5. Joshua Gladfelder (Chemistry & Biochemistry, California State University, Chico) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “Inhibiting the Proliferation of Breast Cancer Cells by the use of Dimeric Binders of the Grb2 SH2 Domain.” Mentor: Carolynn Arpin, Chemistry and Biochemistry

6. Lindsay Hetrick (Biochemistry, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “Functional Study of Bmi1 in Breast Cancer cells.” Mentor: Junjun Liu, Biology 

7. Anna Leighton (Biology, San Diego State University) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “A molecular approach to Myosin Storage Myopathy (MSM) disease mechanism through in vivo and in vitro assays.” Mentor: Sanford Bernstein, Biology 

8. Geil Merana (Biology, California State University, Fresno) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “Study of the Effects of California Particulate Matter Samples on the Production of Reactive Oxygen Species in Alveolar Macrophages.” Mentor: Laurent Dejean, Chemistry 

9. Jessica Phan (Biological Sciences, California State University, Long Beach) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “Ovarian steroid hormone regulation of progesterone receptor Src kinase signaling pathway.” Mentor: Kevin Sinchak, Biological Sciences 

10. Aaron Ridder (Biological Sciences, California State University, Long Beach) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “Androgen regulation of Sfswap protein expression in the developing mouse cortex and hippocmapus.” Mentor: Houng-Wei Tsai, Biological Sciences

11. Jaime Tran (Chemistry & Biochemistry, California State University, Long Beach) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “Mass Spectrometric Determination of the Conformation of Apolipoprotein E3 in High Density Lipoproteins.” Mentor: Vasanthy Narayanaswami, Chemistry & Biochemistry 

12. Kaycee Villarreal (Biology, California State University, Long Beach) Award: $3,500 for the proposal titled “The Effect of Dialkyl Bis-Phosphates on Beta-Amyloid Formation.” Mentor: Roger Acey, Chemistry & Biochemistry

For more information on how you can improve women's health via our scholarships, please visit  
For information on CSUPERB (California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology) visit 


About CSUPERB:  

CSUPERB’s mission is to develop a professional biotechnology workforce by mobilizing and supporting collaborative California State University (CSU) student and faculty research, innovating educational practices, and responding to and anticipating the needs of the life science industry. CSUPERB provides grant funding, organizes an annual symposium, sponsors industry-responsive curriculum, and serves as a liaison for the CSU with government, philanthropic, educational, and biotechnology industry partners. 

About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:

The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community. 

The organization does so by funding scholarships to scientists researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, researchers, and authors to convey the timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health. of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that will create women’s health awareness and advocacy in the community.


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