2018 First Place IEEE Biotech Award

Cardiothread poster presentation at USC Medical School, Feb. 2018 (Left to right, Brandon L, Ryan S., Natali C., Melony LB, Maribel A., Martha T., Dr. James Harber).

Congratulations to Oxnard College Summer Biotechnology students Natali Chavez and Melony LaBoy who were awarded a First Prize Undergraduate Biotechnology Track Award in the 20th Annual Southern California Regional Society of International Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) competition held at the Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, CA on February 10, 2018. Their winning project  “Cardiothread: a Curriculum for Personalized Medicine” details the process of cardiac tissue engineering on a 3D CAD printed substrate. Judges and audience members consisted of a diverse cross-section of several hundred United States medical school student residents and faculty.

The winning presentation and other footage of OC biotech students in action are posted on the Central Coast Biotech Institute’s YouTube channel.

Founded and directed by Oxnard College Professor of Microbiology Dr. James Harber, the Oxnard College Summer Biotech Institute is in its eleventh consecutive year. This summer’s cohort will include a total of twelve students, five of whom are returning from the year prior to oversee the development of three promising projects: Cardiac 3D, Ocean HABS and Oral Microbiome. These projects have been included in a number of important conferences throughout the region this year, including events at USC Medical School, LabRoots Cell Biology and the Keck Institute, among others.

2017 students of the Oxnard College Summer Biotech Institute (from left to right- Ryan S., Gonzalo C. Melony L.B., Dr. James Harber, Valerie, Brandon L., Natali C., Martha T., Brian C.; not pictured, OC Physics & Engineering Professor Justin Miller).













In October 2017, Natali and Melony also won the Bioengineering Prize from the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native American Students at their annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. For three years running, the Oxnard College Summer Biotech Institute has received three Bioengineering first prizes in the IEEE competition: 2015 Claremont, 2016 USC and the current 2018 award at Keck Institute. Other recent recognitions include a third place standing at the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society’s 2017 Ocean Conference held at CalTech.

Congratulations to Natali, Melony, Dr. Harber and all program participants!

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