Location, Time and Date:

The 40th Annual West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research (WCBSUR) Conference will take place on Saturday, April 25, 2015, on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University, located in San Diego, California.  The WCBSURC is among the oldest conferences of its kind in the nation;  through its first 39 years, it has brought together student and faculty participants representing 160 institutions in 31 states.

Program Schedule (tentative)

Conference History

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Leroy Hood

LeeHood2014.jpgDr. Leroy "Lee" Hood is the President and Co-founder of Institute for Systems Biology and the 2012 National Medal of Science Recipient (please see below for photo).  The title of Dr. Hood's  presentation is "Systems Medicine and Proactive P4 Medicine:  A Revolution in Healthcare".

Dr. Hood's outstanding contributions have had a resounding effect on the advancement of science since the 1960s. Throughout his career, he has adhered to the advice of his mentor, Dr. William J. Dreyer: “If you want to practice biology, do it on the leading edge, and if you want to be on the leading edge, invent new tools for deciphering biological information.”

Dr. Hood has been directly involved in the development of several instruments critical for contemporary biology.  Probably the most significant of these is the automated DNA sequencer, which has completely revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science.   He was awarded the Russ Prize in 2011 from the National Academy of Engineering for this major achievement.

Hood also played a role in the development of protein sequencers, DNA synthesizers, peptide synthesizers, and the ink jet printers that are used for constructing DNA arrays.   Together, these five instruments have helped opened the door to high-throughput biological data and the era of "big data" in biology and medicine, including the rapid and inexpensive sequencing of the human genome.

In 1992, Hood created the first cross-disciplinary biology department, Molecular Biotechnology, at the University of Washington. In 2000, he left the UW to co-found the Institute for Systems Biology, the first of its kind. He has pioneered systems medicine in the years since ISB's founding, making seminal discoveries in the fields of immunology, neurobiology and biotechnology.  Most recently, he has helped lead the effort to apply systems biology to cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and P4 medicine (predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory).  Currently he and the Institute for Systems Biology are involved in a P4 pilot project involving 100,000 well individuals that has the potential to transform healthcare.

In addition to his ground-breaking research, Hood has published 750 papers, received 36 patents, 17 honorary degrees and more than 100 awards and honors. He is one of only 15 individuals elected to all three National Academies—the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Hood has founded or co-founded 15 different biotechnology companies including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Rosetta, Darwin, Integrated Diagnostics and Indi Molecular.
Visit Dr. Hood's lab page and company page.

Dr. Lee Hood poses with President Obama after receiving the National Medal of Science on Feb. 1, 2013, at the White House. (Photo by Ryan K Morris/National Science & Technology Medals).


Registration Fee

The Conference registration fee for both students and faculty is $40, when postmarked by the registration deadline date of March 20th, 2015. The fee for late registrants is $50. The registration fee helps offset the costs of the continental breakfast, hot buffet luncheon, plenary speaker, awards reception and the Conference Abstract booklet.



Student Research Presentations and Abstract Submission

Undergraduate researchers are encouraged to present original research that they have conducted in any area of biology or biochemistry. Research presentations may be given in either a seminar or poster session format. Seminar presentations are limited to 12 minutes plus 2 minutes for questions. Poster presentations must fit within a 48” by 48” square.  Cash prizes will be awarded for the ten best seminar and ten best poster presentations.

Abstract Submission

Sample Poster Session Schedule (from 2013)

Sample Seminar Presentation Schedule (from 2013)

Travel Information

Maps of the greater San Diego area are accessible at www.mapquest.com. For a campus map and driving directions to the PLNU campus, please visit Point Loma Nazarene University's web site at Maps & Directions.

Hotel Information

Some hotels that are conveniently located to the PLNU campus are listed below, along with their web addresses:

Bay Club Hotel (Shelter Island): http://www.bayclubhotel.com/  800-672-0800
Comfort Inn at the Harbor: http://www.comfortinnattheharbor.com/  619-223-8171
Holiday Inn (Harbor Drive): http://www.holinnbayside.com/ 800-662-8899
Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn and Suites: http://www.halfmooninn.com/ 800-542-7400
Island Palms Hotel and Marina: http://www.islandpalms.com/ 800-922-2336
Kona Kai Resort and Spa: http://www.resortkonakai.com/ 800-566-2524
The Dana at Mission Bay: http://www.thedana.com 888-809-4914
The Inn at Sunset Cliffs: http://www.innatsunsetcliffs.com/ 866-786-2543

Several of these establishments have traditionally offered discounts to guests who are attending functions on the PLNU campus, so be sure to inquire.


For further information or clarification regarding Conference details, contact Dr. Michael McConnell by phone (619) 849 2304, FAX (619) 849 2598 or email: mmcconne@pointloma.edu, or contact LeAnne Elizondo at Lelizond@pointloma.edu (619) 849-2205.