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Daily Business Report-March 15, 2016

Daily Business Report-March 15, 2016

Cal State San Marcos student Alex Mendoza is interning at Thermo Fisher Scientific through the Bridges to Stem Cell Research program. (Courtesy Cal State San Marcos)

Cal State San Marcos Receives Grant to Train

Next Generation of STEM Cell Scientists

By Margaret Cbantung

California State University San Marcos will receive a $3,045,000 grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to continue its Bridges to Stem Cell Research Internship Program.

Mendoza said she has found the program to be not only rewarding but inspiring.

Mendoza said she has found the program to be not only rewarding but inspiring.

The program, based at CSUSM and in partnership with MiraCosta and Miramar Colleges, places students in full 12-month internships with host laboratories throughout San Diego County to cultivate the next generation of young scientists and ensure that California remains at the forefront of stem cell discoveries.

A total of $40.13 million was awarded by the CIRM Board for stem cell internship programs across 15 California State University campuses, including CSUSM. Participating students earn a stipend of $2,500 a month as well as their tuition paid in full by the grant up to $7,000. Participating labs also receive a small remuneration to offset any costs incurred.

According to CIRM, stem cells have the potential to treat a wide range of injuries, diseases and neurological problems. Through the Bridges to Stem Cell Research Internship Program, academic coursework is designed to teach students about stem cells including research, ethics and regulatory affairs. Other activities are also designed to provide students with direct patient engagement and outreach activities engaging California’s diverse communities.

In the field, the students gain extensive hands-on training through a comprehensive lab-training course in basic cell culture and maintenance of stem cells as well as a 12-month research internship at local host institutions investigating human stem cell therapies and disease models.

Alex Mendoza is a first generation in college student at Cal State San Marcos currently interning at Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Carlsbad site through the Bridges to Stem Cell Research program. She says that she has found the program to be not only rewarding but inspiring. “Thanks to this program, I can put all of my energy and focus into being a scientist,” she said. “The skill sets I’m learning at Thermo Fisher Scientific — from hands-on experiment planning, to learning how to minimize errors and learn from my mistakes — is giving me a complete picture of what a career in stem cell research will be like.”

During the internship period, students attend research seminars, present their scientific progress at monthly colloquia to other students as well as participating host mentors and scientists, and present scientific posters at local and regional scientific meetings.


1st Phase of Breakwater Town Center

Set to Begin Construction in April

Construction of the first phase of the long-planned Breakwater Town Center in Imperial Beach — a project that will bring together an array of restaurants and retail stores — is scheduled to start in April, with completion in the second half of 2017.

The first phase will include 33,000 square feet of retail shopping, will have as its anchor tenant Grocery Outlet, a national grocery store that is known for its NOSH department (Natural, Organic, Specialty and Healthy foods).

Sudberry Properties, which is developing the 45,000-square-foot shopping center on Palm Avenue at 9th Street, is in  a public/private partnership with the city of Imperial Beach. The 4.75-acre site extends over a three-block area on Palm Avenue.

“We are delighted to finally start construction on this pivotal site in the heart of Imperial Beach,” said Colton Sudberry, president of Sudberry Properties. “As anyone who has followed the entitlement process knows, the project suffered a major setback in 2009 when the State of California eliminated local redevelopment agencies.  If it wasn’t for the tireless and heroic efforts of past and present city staff and elected officials, this project would still be on hold.”

Sudberry said a number of restaurants and retailers are interested in locating in Breakwater Town Center, including Starbucks, Jersey Mike’s, T-Mobile, Baskin Robbins, Chipotle, Five Guys, and Wing Stop, among others. “Soon we expect to announce the full line-up of tenants for the first phase,” he said, noting that construction on the second phase of the center will proceed when tenant commitments can be secured.

Andrew Hull Stevenson Architects of San Diego designed Breakwater Town Center.

Grossmont Hospital Opens New

Pharmacy and Clinical Testing Lab

A new pharmacy and clinical testing laboratory has opened on a lower floor of the $60 million Heart and Vascular Center currently under construction at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa.

The new 6,700-square-foot pharmacy has replaced the hospital’s existing 3,100-square-foot pharmacy, said Dr. Kenneth Schell, hospital pharmacy director. “The last upgrade to the existing pharmacy was in 1997,” Schell said. “Our new pharmacy will help us increase our current capacity of 90,000 medication orders a month. Our workload has been increasing by several hundred orders every month for the past several years.”

Construction on the upper floor of the Heart and Vascular Center will be completed later this year.

Schell said the new pharmacy also features a retail operation so that all patients upon discharge from the hospital can get prescriptions filled at the hospital instead of an outside retail store. He also said the new pharmacy provides extra space for research studies for patients needing investigational drug therapies.

The H&V Center is part of renovation and modernization that’s been underway at the publicly-owned, 540-bed hospital since June 2006, when voters approved Proposition G, a $247 million bond measure sponsored by the Grossmont Healthcare District.

UC San Diego Extension to Present

Annual Career Development Week

The UC San Diego Extension will hold its annual Career Development Week from March 22-24 to assist individuals in preparing for the job market. The event is free and open to the public. It runs from 5 to 8 p.m. each day at UC San Diego Extension’s University City Center at 6256 Greenwich Drive, San Diego.

The three-night event will offer keynote presenations  on employment trends, hands-on training sessions, career workshops and networking opportunities. To ensure that Career Development Week is providing the latest and most relevant information on sought-after job skills, UC San Diego Extension based the event’s programming on its latest research that looked at careers with the highest growth potential. To highlight those findings, UC San Diego Extension will release its “Emerging Careers of 2016” during Career Development Week.

There are 19 workshops scheduled that will feature industry professionals. These sessions are designed to provide valuable insights to career trends, education and opportunities in a variety of fields including marketing, business analysis, software development, and project management. To view all workshops and preregister, click here.

Spidey is Sam Conley of Montebello on bridge overlooking Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center.

Spidey is Sam Conley of Montebello on bridge overlooking Comic-Con at the San Diego Convention Center.

Comic-Con International Partners With

Lionsgate for Video On-Demand Service

City News Service

Comic-Con International on Monday announced a partnership with Lionsgate to launch a video-on-demand service with original scripted and unscripted content based around the annual celebration of the popular arts in San Diego.

Comic-Con HQ is scheduled to launch a free beta platform May 7, with an official premiere set for June.

Seth Laderman, executive vice president and general manager of Comic-Con HQ, told City News Service that the service will remain free through July 25, and include this year’s edition of the convention, which usually sells out of badges within minutes.

The ad-free streaming service will initially be available for computers and iOS/Android devices. The paid subscription service will roll out across more devices in the future, like Roku, AppleTV and Xbox One. Additional distribution platforms will be made available throughout the year, according to Comic-Con HQ.

Laderman said the pricing structure has not been finalized.

“For nearly half a century, Comic-Con has served as the definitive common ground where the fans of genre entertainment come together to express their passion for comics and pop culture,” Laderman said.

“Comic-Con HQ aspires to extend that exchange 365 days a year, bringing everything we love about Comic-Con to the world in ways never before seen and experienced,” Laderman said. “The new platform will provide a year-round destination to enjoy all facets of the community and access the vast diversity of content the world has come to expect from the largest and longest-running pop cultural celebration of the year.”

Council Streamlines Charter

School Permitting Process

City News Service

People who establish charter schools in San Diego will no longer have to obtain costly, and time-consuming, conditional use permits before beginning operations, following a vote Monday by the San Diego City Council.

The change came in a unanimous vote to approve around three dozen amendments to the city’s land development code.

At an earlier news conference, leaders of a couple of relatively new charter schools said their plans were nearly derailed by the city’s laborious requirements.

Demi Brown, principal of Empower Charter School in Linda Vista, said her campus opened three weeks late last year because of “a maze of city regulations.” They were only able to begin operating after receiving help from numerous city officials, she said.

Tom Keliinoi, chairman of Elevate Charter School in Tierrasanta, said the city requirements were crippling. Created to instruct children in military families in the Murphy Canyon area, the school had to spend its first year in La Mesa, with a one-third reduction in the size of the student body, he said.

A conditional use permit is required for establishments that significantly deviate from a neighborhood’s normal zoning, and can cost tens of thousands of dollars and 18 months to two years to obtain. A prospective charter school that wants to enroll more than 300 students would still be required to get a CUP.

L.A. Federal Judge is Top

Candidate for Supreme Court

City News Service

 Judge Paul Watford

Judge Paul Watford

Judge Paul J. Watford, a Southern Californian who serves on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has emerged as a leading contender for President Barack Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

The president has narrowed his search to three appeals court judges, including two from Washington, officials close to the process told the Los Angeles Times. All three have had bipartisan support in the past, though Republicans have made clear they would oppose a Supreme Court nomination this late in the president’s term.

Watford, who was born in Garden Grove, would be the third African American to sit on the nation’s highest court if nominated and confirmed. He would also be the fifth person from California but only the first from Southern California, according to The Times.

When Obama nominated Watford, 48, to the 9th Circuit in 2011, he won glowing praise, including from prominent conservatives. He won Senate confirmation on a 61-34 vote, with the support of 52 Democrats and nine Republicans.

Since then, he has won compliments from judges who serve with him.

“The bottom line is he is just really wonderful,” Appeals Court Judge Alex Kozinski, a Reagan appointee, told The Times.

Watford clerked for Kozinski for a year early in his career, but “I can’t describe him ideologically,” the judge said. “He has been my colleague for three or four years, and I can’t pigeonhole him into anything. The guy is really, really smart. He is careful about applying precedent, but based on ideology, you cannot predict the guy.”

Two of Watford’s opinions were reviewed by the Supreme Court last year. Both were affirmed, The Times reported.


Personnel Announcements

Michael Roberts Joins Colliers International

Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts

Michael J. Roberts, a San Diego-based expert in capital markets investing, has joined Colliers International’s Institutional Investment Services Group– Western Region, as a managing director.

Roberts, who formerly served as a senior broker and director with Cushman & Wakefield’s Southern California Capital Markets Group in San Diego, will focus on representing institutional owners of office and R&D properties throughout the West. He will remain based in San Diego.

During Roberts’ career, he has been involved in some $2 billion in investment transactions totaling 12.9 million square feet of office, R&D, and industrial properties in Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. He will continue to focus on representing owners of institutional office properties in the West.

Roberts’ academic background includes an undergraduate degree from the University of California at San Diego, where he also played four seasons on the university’s NCAA basketball team, the Tritons.

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