Alumni and Giving


Congratulations to our newest alumni!
Spring 2021 graduates!
Enjoy our Virtual Recognition Ceremony.


Spring 2021 Distinguished Achievement Awardees

  • Jose Ortega
  • Natasha Crawford
  • Angela Lane
  • Madu Nzerem
  • Joanna Donatelli
  • Gabriela Alvarez-Azanedo
  • Cynthia Perez
  • Jessica Briones
  • Jessica Weng
  • Maria Jose Pastor-Infantas


You can make a difference. The SF State Department of Biology is a launching pad for our students to great futures. Your donation to our department helps support fundamental discovery and education of relevance to global health, the environment and conservation and biotechnlogy. Contributions help support:

  • Student Fellowships and Scholarships
    Recognize the achievements of our excellent and diverse students by helping to fund their education and their advancement to future careers.
  • Endowments
    Support finding amazing discoveries in environmental, conservation, education and biomedical research. Our faculty integrate student training into advancing their cutting-edge research projects, like the Great Sunflower Project and the Science and Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory.
  • Events
    The Biology Department hosts numerous events to network our students, faculty and staff with our surrounding community. Please consider helping us host these meaningful and exciting events that include the Personalized Medicine Conferences and the Department of Biology Graduation Ceremony

Direct your gift to the Biology Department. Thank you for your support!

→ Donate to SF State Biology


John Hensill

John Hensill Scholarship
for Undergraduate Biology Majors

Dr. John S. Hensill (d. 1998) joined the Biology faculty in 1947. While at SF State, he co-wrote a text "Biology of Man" and taught human biology and marine and invertebrate biology.  Dr. Hensill served as Chair of the Division of Biology in the late 1950s. In 1969, Dean Hensill oversaw the rapid growth of SF State's School of Natural Sciences (now the College of Science and Engineering). During his tenure, the physical science (Thornton Hall) and life science (Hensill Hall) buildings were built.  He retired in 1975.

Janis Kuby

Janis Kuby Memorial Fund Scholarship

Dr. Janis Kuby (d. 1996) received her Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of Califiornia, Berkeley and joined SF State's Biology faculty in 1979. Her teaching and research accomplishments in Immunology were widely recognized. She was the author of three editions of an Immunology textbook (first published in 1997) which gave a comprehensive introduction to the principles and research in the field. The quality of the original textbook was so great newer editions have been continued in Janis Kuby's name by a trio of authors. As one of her students (Elizabeth Crabb Breen) later wrote, "Janis Kuby will never be forgotten by anyone who has ever had the benefit of her knowledge and love of immunology, either face-to-face, or through her writing."

Felipe Andres Ramirez-Weber

Felipe Andres Ramirez-Weber (FARW) 
Undergraduate in Cell and Molecular Biology Scholarship

As a genetics and cell biology instructor, mentor and groundbreaking researcher in cell communication, Dr. Ramirez-Weber (1964 - 2007) empowered hundreds of Biology students in their professional development as scientists. He received his Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley in 1995 and joined the SF State Biology faculty in 2003. Along with his passion for research, Dr. Ramirez-Weber worked to improve minority access to education and increase diversity in science. 

Alumni Spotlight

Caroline Meloty-Kapella

Caroline Meloty-Kapella (M.S., Cell and Molecular Biology, 2003) graduated with a B.A. in Biology from Pitzer College in 2001, then pursued her Master's in Cell and Molecular Biology at SF State because of the "dynamic and collaborative learning environment and the numerous and exciting research opportunities."  While a graduate student, she was the first author on two scientific papers which included a cover photo on the June 2006 issue of Developmental Dynamics. Before earning her Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology with an emphasis in Biotechnology and Translational Research from UC Davis in 2007, she was selected as an inaugual fellow for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's "Integrating Medicine into Basic Science."

Caroline, a Clinical Regulatory Affairs employee at Genentech, believes in the value of mentoring students so they can achieve their goal of becoming scientists.  Throughout her academic career, she received mentoring by SF State's RISE program and her faculty advisor, Dr. Carmen Domingo.  She was also selected as the first Genentech Scholar which provided her with opportunities for biotechnology industry internships and mentoring by industry scientists. Now, Caroline is giving back to the community that helped her achieve her goals by being a mentor with the NIH-funded Spectrum Program offered by the Department of Biology's SEPAL program.


Kenneth Fong (B.A. 1971) Chairman of Kenson Ventures LLC, Fong was named San Francisco State University's 2006 Alumnus of the Year. "We are honored that Kenneth Fong discovered and developed his interest in genetic research on the campus of San Francisco State University," President Robert A. Corrigan said. "The contributions he has made to the field of biotechnology have helped countless researchers in their efforts to improve upon the health and well-being of future generations. We applaud him not only for his professional success but his continuing commitment to helping guide our students into promising scientific careers. He has never forgotten his roots and for that we are deeply grateful."

Stay Connected

Are you an SF State alum?  We'd love to hear from you!  Email to share your accomplishments with other alumni.

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