California State University, Long Beach
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2008 Distinguished Faculty Scholarly
and Creative Achievement Awards

James A. Davis

College of Health and Human Services Department of Kinesiology

James A. Davis

James A. Davis came to CSULB in 1985 after eight years of conducting research at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance. Since then, Davis has made 52 presentations, 20 of them at scientific meetings, and has published 30 abstracts, serving as lead author on eight of them. He has also had three book chapters published.

In addition, Davis has had 19 peer-reviewed journal articles published, serving as lead author on 11 of them. Thirty-three CSULB students have been co-authors on the most recent 10 journal articles in which Davis has been lead author. The students who co-authored the papers were involved in the calibration of equipment prior to each day’s collection of test data, data collection, data reduction and reviewing the manuscript before it was submitted for publication. 

Davis’ work has been widely read. The Web site for Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging features two of his articles on the list of the 20 “most read” articles in the journal as of May 2008.

His research includes testing the accuracy of the BOD POD Body Composition System, the latest commercially-available machine that measures a person's percent body fat and ventilatory efficiency during exercise. He has been awarded more than a dozen research grants, including two from the Long Beach Lung Association and one from the Prepex Biomedical Corp. 

Davis has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in physical education from San Diego State University and holds a doctorate in physiology from UC Davis.

Editte Gharakhanian

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Department of Biological Sciences

Editte Gharakhanian

When Editte Gharakhanian came to CSULB in 1990, she was the first molecular cell biologist in the Department of Biology working in a makeshift laboratory that had at one time been a glass shop. Two years later, Gharakhanian had secured a major instrumentation grant from the Keck Foundation – the first awarded to CSULB – and a NIH research grant enabling her to set up the infrastructure needed to conduct research.

Since then, Gharakhanian’s research laboratory, which has created new knowledge in the field of protein trafficking, has trained more than 70 undergraduate and more than 20 graduate students. Together, they have produced more than 75 student research presentations at local and regional conferences, and more than 30 peer-reviewed research abstracts and comprehensive peer-reviewed manuscripts. Gharakhanian has obtained more than $1.5 million in research funds from NIH and NSF as sole principal investigator, more than $500,000 as co-principal investigator of instrumentation grants and more than $5 million in student research training awards. 

As department chair from 2005-07, Gharakhanian focused on improving the research infrastructure, initiating departmental research mini-grants, establishing departmental assigned time for grantsmanship for faculty members, enhancing student assistant support and increasing instrumentation repairs and acquisition. 

Gharakhanian has a doctorate in cell, molecular and developmental biology from UCLA and a certificate in professional program development and grant communication from the Grant Institute at USC.

Stephen Mezyk

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Stephen Mezyk

Ask Stephen Mezyk for the key to his research success and he’ll tell you it’s student involvement.  

A physical chemist with interests in energy and the environment, Mezyk has worked with 18 undergraduate and graduate students at CSULB to conduct cutting-edge research that focuses on the study of free-radical reactions with drinking water contaminants. He is currently working with nine students on removing cancer-causing mutagenic nitrosamines – chemical compounds that have been turning up in water in small amounts. They are performing their research at CSULB as well as national laboratories and universities throughout the country. 

Mezyk’s research has been presented with 31 student authors at more than 44 conferences around the world, including some of the top conferences in his field. In addition, since he arrived at CSULB in 2001, Mezyk has published 30 peer-reviewed papers with 12 student co-authors, four peer-reviewed book chapters, and nine extended conference abstracts with 12 student co-authors. 

“I have endeavored to provide my research students with a unique and rewarding educational opportunity that also gives them the experience and tools to succeed at the next level in their career paths,”  Mezyk said. “I am very proud to have helped our future academics, professionals and scientists achieve their dreams.”