Nicole Bournias-Vardiabasis, professor of biology, received the prestigious 2024 Andreoli Faculty Service Award from CSUBIOTECH. The award recognizes California State University (CSU) faculty who have demonstrated the highest level of service and contributions to the development of biotechnology programs in the CSU system. Each year, a recipient is selected and awarded a $1,000 grant that can be used to fund academic or research activities at their campus.

Bournias-Vardiabasis was honored at the 36th annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium held on Jan. 12-13. The award highlights her dedication to the advancement of biotechnology education and research in the CSU system.

“I was very appreciative to receive a nomination from my fellow biology colleagues, Dr. Laura Newcomb and Dr. Dan Nickerson, for my long-standing commitment to serve our students,” said Bournias-Vardiabasis. “In the 35-plus years of being a faculty member in the biology department, I have had the opportunity and joy to guide and support the career and education paths of hundreds of students.

“I am proud of what I have accomplished in these many years and thankful that I have made a distinct difference in my students’ lives.”

Bournias-Vardiabasis has taught at Cal State San Bernardino for more than 35 years and is a developmental geneticist. Her innovative research has focused on the interactions between aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition, she is the director of the CSUSB Bridges to Stem Cell Research Internship program funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

In the program, six undergraduate and four graduate students are selected to participate in stem cell research internships at host laboratories, including City of Hope Beckman Research Institute; Stanford University; University of California, Riverside; University of California, Irvine; University of Southern California (USC); Loma Linda University; Western University of Health Sciences; and USC-Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The internships provide students hands-on experience and a pathway into the field.

CSUBIOTECH is a network of faculty, deans and presidents representing the CSU’s 23 campuses. Their work has led to biotechnology innovation and has helped students pursue careers in the life sciences.

The Andreoli Faculty Service Award is named for the late California State University, Los Angeles professor Anthony Andreoli, who was known for his commitment to students. Andreoli was passionate about advocating for underrepresented and non-traditional students and providing them opportunities in higher education.