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July 30, 2003
DH 03 TK041
Contact: Thomas Knox
(310) 243-3367


CSU Dominguez Hills Biology Professor
Receives Role Model Citation from Minority Access, Inc.

National Role Models Conference set for Sept. 14 in Washington, D.C.

Carson, Calif: – Laura Robles, Ph.D., professor of biology at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), has been selected to receive a Role Model Citation from Minority Access, Inc. (MAI) and will accept the award during a National Role Models Conference and Banquet on Sunday, Sept. 14, at the Hilton Washington Hotel, in Washington, D.C.

Robles, a cell biologist at CSU Dominguez Hills, is being singled out for her outstanding accomplishments in assisting minority students to excel in the fields of neurosciences and cellular research.

“I am excited and honored to be selected as a recipient of such a distinguished award,” said Robles, program director of the Minority Biomedical Research Program (MBRS) at Cal State Dominguez Hills funded by the National Institutes of Health. “I am committed to do everything possible to help my students achieve their dreams in biomedical research as I am pursuing my dreams.”

Robles has been actively involved in providing mentoring to minority students at CSUDH for the past 28 years. Her career with the university began in 1975 when she was hired as a full-time lecturer. A year later, she won a tenure-tract position in the university’s Biology Department.

Her love for the neurosciences served as a driving force that guided the next 28 years of her career. In her early years, Robles filled her summers and her Fridays by working in the laboratory of Dean Bok, Ph.D., at the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute when she was not teaching. She termed this as an “informal postdoctoral experience” that enabled her to begin her investigations on photoreceptor cells using the octopus retina as a model system. In 1979, she was invited by Lois Chi, Ph.D., then-program director for the MBRS program at CSUDH to submit a subproject for their competitive renewal. Robles has never looked back and has become a fixture of the program since then.

Robles received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from San Diego State University in 1968 and 1972 respectively. She earned her doctorate in biology in 1975 from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

MAI is completing the fourth year of a Cooperative Agreement with the Office of Minority Health (OMH) of the Department of Health and Human Services to identify role models who recruit, retain, nurture and assist minority students into successful careers in biomedical research.

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