By Jocelyn Colbert |Staff Writer|
Dr. Cynthia Crawford, a psychology professor at CSUSB, has been named the recipient of the 2015 California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) award.
“I was surprised being awarded,” said Crawford. “Most of the people that win tend to be biologists, and I’m a psychologist and I won! It was nice, very special to me.”
Crawford has been serving the university (CSUSB) since 1996.
“I like doing research. It’s harder to do it at a UC school than a Cal State. At UCs we hired people or worked with staff. We work with students here at Cal State and I like doing the research with students because they are always excited,” said Crawford.
CSUPERB works with external partners in biotechnology to help fund grants and student programs to get students involved.
Crawford was awarded a Diversity-promoting Institutions Drug Abuse Research Program (DIDARP) grant through NIH/NIDA . The project total is close to two and a half million dollars and is funded through 2017.
Biotech involves tools you need for biotechnology and any type of product a company wants to market. From asthma medication to drug effects, you need people to test these products,” said Crawford.
Crawford received the award for her extensive bio-medical neuroscience and psycho-pharmacology field research.
“I perform animal research to assess new drugs companies want to put on the market,” said Crawford.
When testing the addictiveness of a drug, researchers will test the lab animals first to confirm the safety.
The tests allow scientists to gauge the animal’s responses.
Dr. Crawford has achieved international recognition for her work on the neurological bases of addiction.
“For instance cocaine and methamphetamine were found to be heavily addictive for the animals. Animals with nicotine in their system took meth more. That means that if you’re treating someone (humans) for meth addiction you have to treat the nicotine addiction as well,” added Crawford.
Current students and former students attended the annual CSUPERB conference. CSUSB alumni Sergio Iniguez and Arturo Zavala introduced Crawford as she was presented with the award.
Both men received their PhDs and are Crawford’s former students.
“I cried when I saw them,” said Crawford. “I see a lot of students at conferences and I stay in touch with my students. I made a Facebook so they didn’t just have to email me to keep in touch.”
Crawford has received many accolades and grants.
Crawford is also the recipient of the 2014 CSUSB Outstanding Professor award for her scholarship, teaching and commitment to students.
“I love the hands on stuff in the lab. My favorite thing is to teach the students why their research and testing is important,” said Crawford.
According to The Press Enterprise, Crawford “is an authority in the use of animal models to study addiction and has published more than 65 papers in prestigious journals.
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