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Meet the Dean

Katherine Kantardjieff, Ph.D. is among a growing list of women science deans and the founding dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at CSUSM.

An academic in the California State University system with nearly 30 years of experience, Dr. Kantardjieff established and directs the Keck Center for Molecular Structure (CMolS), a full service and comprehensive X-ray diffraction facility serving the 23 campuses of the California State University system as a core facility of the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) consortium. As Director of CMolS, she has been a pioneer in remote enabling of instrumentation in chemistry and stewards a research partnership between the CSU and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource.

As Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM), Dr. Kantardjieff is an innovative and engaged leader who works with faculty and staff to build and sustain a supportive and inspiring undergraduate and Master’s level educational environment where excellent instruction, interdisciplinary and collaborative research, innovation, and creative endeavors provide students with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to meet technological challenges in a rapidly evolving world. Under her leadership, CSM is committed to be a resource for innovation and workforce development in the region we serve: South Orange County, Southwest Riverside County and North San Diego County.

Prior to coming to San Marcos, Dr. Kantardjieff held academic appointments as Professor and Chair of Chemistry at California State Polytechnic University Pomona and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at California State University Fullerton. She received B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Southern California, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physical Chemistry from the University of California at Los Angeles. Dr. Kantardjieff is a biophysical chemist and crystallographer, whose research utilizes combined experimental and computational approaches to better understand how structure controls chemical and physical properties of biomolecules, and applies this knowledge in drug design and development, as well as in engineering molecules with defined properties. She has brought in more than $5 million in grants to the CSU from government funding agencies and industry, and she has published more than 60 articles on scientific research and education.

Dr. Kantardjieff’s professional service includes membership on the United States National Committee for Crystallography NAS/NRC for nearly 12 years, chairing the Education Subcommittee from 2002-2006, serving as USNCCr Vice Chair from 2006-2009, and serving as USNCCr Chair from 2009-2012. She has represented the United States three times as a delegate to the International Union of Crystallography Congress and General Assembly, and she chaired the delegation in 2011. Katherine Kantardjieff is Chair of the National User Facility Organization (NUFO) Steering Committee and Co-Editor of the Journal of Applied Crystallography. As a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Crystallographic Association, she has been active in promoting the professional development of women in science, education and training of science teachers, and crystallographic science in Latin America.

Honors and Awards

  • Pinnacle Award, in the category of Individual in Education, Athena San Diego (2018)
  • Distinguished Engineering Educator, Orange County Engineering Council (2013)
  • Distinguished Faculty Member, CSU Fullerton (2009)
  • Andreoli Faculty Service Award, CSUPERB (2009)
  • Campus Technology Magazine National Innovator Award (2008)

Dr. Katherine Kantardjieff

Follow Dr. Katherine Kantardjieff on Twitter @CoSMDean.