Wednesday, November 28, 2018

LONG BEACH—Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) on Friday, Nov. 9 made a stop at Long Beach State University to meet with assistant professor Deepali Bhandari and tour her biochemistry lab. The tour provided Bhandari and Lowenthal an opportunity to discuss the focus of her work, which includes searching for ways to stress and destroy cancer cells.

Bhandari, who visited Capitol Hill in May 2018 with a group of scientists from The American Society for Cell Biology as part of a science advocacy effort, invited Lowenthal to campus to visit her laboratory and to engage him in an ongoing dialogue about why access to federal research funding is vital to Long Beach State University scientists and the community at-large.

Bhandari and Lowenthal also conversed on the importance of ensuring members of minority groups have access to research opportunities, and other issues affecting students.

“Being in a research lab enhances the undergraduate experience beyond measure,” Bhandari said. “Lab work exposes students to cutting-edge research tools and trains them how to test a hypothesis and think like a scientist.”

Lowenthal, who was a professor of psychology at Long Beach State for nearly three decades, is well-acquainted with high-level research requirements.

After touring the lab and viewing a demonstration involving particular cancer cells under a microscope with Bhandari, Lowenthal met with a mix of undergraduate and graduate students and listened to their concerns related to the affordability and accessibility of higher education.

Bhandari’s goals include diversifying professorships within the sciences, as well as ensuring members of minority groups have access to scientific fields. She is one of several College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics faculty members who mentor students benefiting from National Institutes of Health programs designed to increase diversity within the ranks of U.S. health researchers.