06:50 AM

CSUSM Infinity Lab Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

Cal State San Marcos’ Infinity Lab, a state-of-the-art research facility, marked its first anniversary after launching last spring to offer affordable bench space for bioentrepreneurs. 

Originally designed as a teaching space, the university pivoted because of the pandemic and reimagined the Infinity Lab as part of its innovation ecosystem under the direction of Scott Gross, associate vice president of industry partnerships, and Betsy Read, the founder of the university’s biotechnology program, and with the added assistance of Debora Galasso. Galasso is a 25-year veteran of the biotech industry who became a lecturer in the Master of Biotechnology: A Professional Science Master’s program in 2019 and last year was enlisted by Gross and Read to manage the expansion of the Infinity Lab. 

The modern, light-filled laboratory has quickly attracted four exciting bioscience entrepreneurs: Grann Pharmaceuticals, Alcheme Bio, Indaptus Therapeutics and GSD Bio. The Infinity Lab’s convenient location in CSUSM’s Extended Learning building, ready availability of standard research equipment and instrumentation, and collaborative environment are key elements of the laboratory’s success. 

"Aligned with CSUSM’s mission, the Infinity Lab is an environment where students are encouraged to pursue and embrace opportunities, explore new ideas, take intellectual risks and begin the process of becoming the researchers and innovators of tomorrow,” Read said. “The Infinity Lab is fostering innovation and collaboration between CSUSM faculty and students and industry partners. Six students are currently gaining real-world experience working alongside entrepreneurs from Alcheme BioSciences, Grann Pharmaceuticals, and the San Diego Zoo Global." 

Bioscience research can be an expensive venture, but the Infinity Lab helps reduce the burden by offering affordable bench space in a laboratory with most standard molecular and protein biology instrumentation. 

“For many small companies, the administrative requirements of running a lab can be a significant burden,” Gross said. “When companies join the Infinity Lab, they fall under CSUSM Safety Health and Sustainability, Facilities and Operations, and Distribution Services. This relieves the company from managing these tasks so they can spend more time focused on their research.”  

The Infinity Lab also provides waste disposal, shipping and receiving, postal, telephone and data support, all of which free up time and resources to allow companies to focus on scientific endeavors. 

The open floor plan and location on campus make the laboratory a naturally collaborative environment. In addition to interactions between the entrepreneurs within the lab, they are also working with faculty and providing valuable opportunities for students to see and interact with bioscience industry partners, supporting the university’s student-centered mission. 

Visit the Infinity Lab website to learn more about joining the lab.