California State University, East Bay (commonly referred to as Cal State East Bay, CSU East Bay, or CSUEB) is a public university located in Hayward, California, United States. The university, as part of the 23-campus California State University system, offers 136 undergraduate and 60 post-baccalaureate areas of study. California State University, East Bay has been designated a top–tier institution among master's–granting universities in the west by U.S. News & World Report, and has been recognized as a "Best in the West" college by the Princeton Review.

California State University, East Bay is the most ethnically diverse college in California and the fifth most in the United States by The Chronicles of Higher Education's Almanac in the year 2015.

CSUEB Participating Programs:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry & Biogeochemistry
  • Earth & Environmental Science
  • Engineering
  • Physics

Printable version of participating faculty

CSUEB Department faculty eligible for this pilot program:

Biological Sciences

Ana Almeida: Dr. Almeida uses molecular tools to dissect the interplay between evolution and development. Her studies focus on how developmental mechanisms evolved to shape the diversity of plant form and function we see in nature today. She is also interested in understanding how genome evolution might have shaped the diversification of plants on Earth. Her work uses comparative genomics to study how genome modifications might have led to plant diversification.

Chris Baysdorfer: Dr. Baysdorfer works in the area of plant genomics. His research lab has contributed to the initial efforts to sequence and map maize cDNAs and pine cDNAs. His current studies focus on the genomes of plants in the Family Liliaceae, a group with the largest genome size of any higher plant. The objective of his research is to understand the mechanism of expansion of these genomes and to identify the selective advantage, if any, conferred by large genomes.

Ken Curr: Dr. Curr's research is based on three areas of study: (1) molecular virology (GB Virus Type C/HIV‑1), (2) marine invertebrate immunology and population genetics (the nudibranch Tritonia tetraquetra) and (3) heavy metal bioremediation using cyanobacteria (Spirulina plantensis/maximus).

Tyler Evans: Dr. Evans is interested in understanding how animals adapt to changing environmental conditions, in particular, to increases in temperature occurring as a result of climate change. Projects in the Evans lab are currently focused on structural changes occurring in proteins that might allow proteins to function at higher temperatures, such as modifying the number of hydrogen bonds or salt bridges. The research group is currently trying to develop high-throughput computational approaches to protein modeling that will allow quantification of protein structural change on a genome-scale. For more information, please visit our website.

Pascale Guiton: Dr. Guiton's research focuses on understanding the interactions of the parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, with its host. Specifically, she uses classic and novel molecular techniques to identify and characterize new determinants of Toxoplasma pathogenicity in vitro and in vivo. For more information about her work please visit her website.

Carol Lauzon: The main focus of Dr. Lauzon's research is on exploring microbial symbioses with an aim of understanding the role of microorganisms in host success, survival, and evolution. Applied aspects of this work include manipulation of symbioses for plant, insect, and animal pathogen control. Her work also includes research into the culture of microorganisms typically considered refractory to culture, including archaea species residing in extreme environments. Her lab also explores the use of new technologies to detect and identify foodborne pathogens.

Nazzy Pakpour: Dr. Pakpour's laboratory is currently working on the following projects: 1) Examining the impact of type 2 diabetes on malaria parasite development and transmission; 2) Using hackathons as an educational and community building activity for college students; 3) Establishing an insect petting zoo to travel to local schools. For more information about any of these projects, her lab, or the classes she teaches please visit her website.

Brian Perry: Dr. Perry's research integrates studies of fungal biodiversity and molecular phylogenetic analyses with data from disciplines such as genetics, ecology and geography to address broad questions of how these biological and physical processes interact to drive evolution. Please visit Dr. Perry's website for more information.

Claudia Stone: Dr. Stone’s lab uses transcriptomics (RNA-sequencing), proteomics (mass spectrometry) and genome editing (CRISPR-Cas) to better understand how plants function.

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Marlin Halim: Dr. Halim’s research focus is the development of chemical imaging tools using oligodeoxynucleotide molecules. She is especially interested in the detection of small molecule analytes and metal ions, which may be present in several common matrices including environmental water sources and biological fluids.

Patrick Huang: Dr. Huang’s research interests involve the development and application of quantum mechanical models for the behavior of molecules, solids, and interfaces. One area focuses on the f-block lanthanide and actinide elements, whose increasing importance in technological applications is accompanied by concerns over the environmental impacts of their production and disposal. Here, first-principles electronic structure techniques are employed to characterize bonding in f-element complexes and materials. A second area is the study of interfaces formed between a solid oxide (or clay) mineral and liquid water using molecular dynamics simulations. A fundamental understanding of the relationships between surface structure, water ordering, and chemical reactivity is highly important, since many relevant catalytic and environmental processes take place at mineral/water interfaces.

Anne Kotchevar: Dr. Kotchevar’s research group works on characterizing the products and pathways of the enzymatic degradation of halogenated organic contaminants, such as chlorinated antiseptics and brominated flame retardants.

Monika Sommerhalter: Dr. Sommerhalter studies enzymes involved in the neurotransmission (acetylcholinesterase) and detoxification (glutathione-S-transferase) in a marine slug called Tritonia diomedea. This project is a collaboration with Drs. Murray and Baysdorfer (CSUEB, Biological Sciences) and Dr. Amgata (SFSU). In collaboration with Dr. Gary Banuelos from the USDA, Dr. Sommerhalter also investigates the salt tolerance of pistachio and poplar trees and, in particular, the phenol antioxidant response in leaves and nuts of these trees after high salt and boron irrigation.

Ruth Tinnacher: Dr. Ruth Tinnacher investigates geochemistry problems that are driven by energy-and climate-related questions. These include the environmental impacts of nuclear energy and waste, the impacts of geologic CO2 sequestration and hydraulic fracturing on groundwater quality, and the link between environmental geochemistry and carbon cycling. Dr. Tinnacher has recently received funding from DOE’s Nuclear Engineering University Program to investigate uranium (VI) sorption and diffusion processes in bentonite and clay, in collaboration with researchers at Lawrence Berkeley and Los Alamos National Laboratories.

Earth & Environmental Science

Mitchell Craig: Dr. Craig’s research is in the area of applied geophysics. Current projects involve seismic methods for site characterization and earthquake hazard assessment in the East Bay and Sacramento Delta. The primary methods utilized are active and passive seismic surface wave methods, for the measurement of shear wave velocity. Dr. Craig also utilizes the seismic reflection method for direct imaging of subsurface geology.

Michael Massey: Dr. Massey’s general research interests are in the environmental biogeochemistry of nutrients and contaminants in soil and water. Much of his present and past work focuses on the spectroscopic examination of phosphorus in soils and heavy metals and contaminants, such as uranium and lead, in sediments and groundwater. Dr. Massey also has interests in water treatment, waste management, and the characterization of minerals, such as iron oxides and amorphous silica, in the environment.

Jean Moran: Dr. Moran’s research interests are in groundwater dating and groundwater contamination and the application of isotopic tracers in the study of surface water-groundwater interactions and artificial recharge. In addition to conservative water isotope and noble gas tracers, she applies isotopic and geochemical tracers to characterize the sources and fate of nitrate and iodine. Recent research involves an evaluation of the effects of climate change on groundwater recharge and baseflow to streams.

Patty Oikawa: Dr. Oikawa studies biogeochemistry and biosphere-atmosphere interactions with an emphasis on trace gas measurements in restored wetlands and agricultural land. She employs eddy covariance methods to measure ecosystem exchange of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. She also uses measurements of the stable carbon and oxygen isotopes of CO2 to partition CO2 fluxes at the ecosystem scale into photosynthesis and respiration components. Current field sites include tidal wetlands in the San Francisco Bay, restored freshwater wetlands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and agricultural fields in the Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Imperial Valleys. Field measurements are combined with remotely sensed data to build and validate ecosystem to regional scale models, which help to improve the accuracy of carbon and nitrogen accounting in natural and managed ecosystems for carbon markets. Please visit Dr. Oikawa’s website for more information.


Reza Akhavian: Dr. Akhavian’s professional focus is in the area of information technology, data analytics, machine learning, and automation and robotics for different Construction Engineering and Management applications. More specifically, his research and industry involvement focus on leveraging different types of data collected from job site entities such as workers, equipment, material and the built environment to help make informed decisions. Much current work involves enhancing health, safety, and productivity of construction project operations, and sustainability and resiliency of the built environment.

Fadi Castronovo: Dr. Castronovo's passion for education is reflected in his research on the use of innovative technology, such as simulation games and virtual reality, for the enhancement of construction management and engineering education. Together with a research team, he has developed the Virtual Construction Simulator 4, a simulation game that engages learners in solving complex construction management problems. He leveraged on his minor in Educational Psychology by performing research on self-regulated learning of Lean design and construction practices.

Cristian Gaedicke: His research interests are sustainable construction materials, infrastructure, construction engineering, and engineering education.


Amy Furniss: Starting with her PhD work. Dr. Furniss has been studying gamma-ray astrophysics, active galactic nuclei, blazar environments, evolution and emission, extragalactic background light, intergalactic magnetic fields, extragalactic cosmic ray and photon propagation, relativistic acceleration mechanisms and non-thermal emission processes. She studies these cosmological phenomena with significant help from her undergraduate research group at CSU East Bay, where students are able to contribute to the work through programming and analysis of both ground and space-based telescopes that observe the most extreme processes in the Universe.

Kathryn Grimm: Prof. Grimm is a particle physicist with the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratory. Her current research focuses on understanding the Higgs boson and searching for new particles, with a focus on particles that decay to tau-leptons. She is involved with the performance and upgrade of the tracking detector within the ATLAS experiment, especially as it pertains to reconstructing the primary vertex of particle collisions.

Erik Helgren: Prof. Helgren’s research focuses on the intersection of Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science. In particular, he is currently studying organic conducting polymers, testing their fundamental transport properties and terahertz (THz) electrodynamic response in the framework of theories associated with the disorder driven metal-insulator quantum phase transition. Furthermore, he is testing to see how universal these theories are in conducting polymers as compared to classic crystalline doped semiconductors and amorphous metal semiconductor alloys. CSUEB undergraduates and graduate students help synthesize the polymers and assist in carrying out the transport and time-domain THz spectroscopy measurements at CSUEB.

Derek Jackson Kimball: Prof. Jackson Kimball’s research focuses on using techniques of experimental atomic physics and nonlinear optics for precision tests of the fundamental laws of physics. In particular, his group is searching for exotic spin-dependent interactions that may have a connection to dark matter or dark energy. Prof. Jackson Kimball’s collaborative work on a series of projects has established the most stringent constraints on exotic dipole-dipole interactions of electrons, neutrons, and protons at the atomic scale. A recent experiment, searching for a spin-gravity coupling of the proton, allowed to improve the constraints on such effects by over three orders of magnitude.

Ryan Smith: Dr. Smith's research interests are in renewable energy materials, ultrafast optics, spectroscopy from the terahertz to visible range, nanoscale phenomena, and advanced laboratory education.