Supporting Critical Research

San Diego State University's Research Horizons series highlights remarkable early career faculty and their burgeoning research endeavors. Visit our faculty spotlight page to learn more about the great work of our professors.

Research Horizons: A Better Way to Make Life-Saving Drugs

Chemistry professor Yong Yan has developed a new process to produce the critical chemical bonds necessary to make pharmaceuticals.



Research Horizons: Examining Coastal Faults

Geologist Jillian Maloney works to predict earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis in coastal areas.


Research Horizons: Addressing the Needs of Nurses

SDSU nursing professor Amanda Choflet studies substance abuse among nurses, with the hope of one day creating interventions to reduce risky behaviors.


Research Horizons: Understanding Urban Wildfire

Engineering professor Alicia Kinoshita studies how fire alters landscapes and impacts urban environments.


Research Horizons: Motivating People to Live Tobacco Free

Communication professor Rachael Record studies how to encourage people to shed excuses and make healthier decisions.


Research Horizons: Unraveling the Mysteries of Spider Silk

Chemistry professor Gregory Holland is on a quest to develop a material just as hardy as true spider silk.


Research Horizons: The Science of Smell

Nutrition professor Surabhi Bhutani is on a quest to improve health by better understanding our sense of smell.


Research Horizons: Christal Sohl's Quest to Cure Cancer

Chemistry professor Christal Sohl studies how enzymes, the protein workhorses of human cells, go rogue in ways that lead to cancer. Unlocking the relationship between enzymes and cancer could help researchers develop new treatments for patients.


Research Horizons: Amanda McClain's Work to Reduce Food Insecurity

Nutrition professor Amanda McClain studies ways to reduce food insecurity. She has found that by participating in food assistance and community service programs, the food insecure can reduce stress and improve their health.


Research Horizons: Nick Barber's Work to Save the Disappearing American Prairie

Biology professor Nick Barber is working to save one of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet: America’s tallgrass prairie. In research supported by the National Science Foundation, Barber studies how to restore the prairie and support the biodiversity of the plants, animals, and microorganisms that live there.


Research Horizons: Erica Forsberg’s Gut Reaction Lab

Why do we get that sinking feeling in our stomach when we are nervous? Chemistry professor Erica Forsberg analyzes how the bacteria in our guts communicate with our brains. Her “gut reaction” lab studies how the beneficial bacteria in our guts produce compounds that alter how we feel and how our brains function.


Research Horizons: Arianne Miller's Self-Care Psychology

Most people know the importance of engaging in self-care, but many of us nevertheless neglect our emotional and physical well-being. Counseling and school psychology professor Arianne Miller’s research aims to identify and remove the obstacles that prevent people and communities from participating in the vital practices that promote health and well-being.


Research Horizons: Lluvia Flores-Rentería’s California Flora Research

How is climate change affecting Southern California flora? Biology professor Lluvia Flores-Rentería’s studies how plants interact with fungi and microbes, and how those interactions are influenced during episodes of extreme climate, such as drought or high temperatures.


Research Horizons: Yea-Wen Chen’s Intercultural Communications Research

Why are conversations with people who disagree with us on political issues so difficult to have? Intercultural communications professor Yea-Wen Chen studies how people communicate about sensitive issues like politics or healthcare. Her research considers how communication affects communities and people groups, and how the ways we communicate about different cultures inevitably influences diversity, inclusion and social justice.


Research Horizons: Ijeoma Nwabuzor Ogbonnaya’s work to build healthy environments for abuse victims

How can we create healthy environments for families that have experienced domestic violence? Social work professor Ijeoma Nwabuzor Ogbonnaya studies difficult issues like domestic violence and child maltreatment. She researches, designs and hopes to eventually implement interventions and programs that serve victims in ways that are culturally and socially relevant to them.