[REDACTED] Program: Stem Cell & Developmental Biology Research Internships

[REDACTED] Program: Stem Cell & Developmental Biology Research Internships

Funding Type: 
Creativity Awards
Grant Number: 
TC1-05868
Investigator: 
Award Value: 
$261,614
Status: 
Active
Public Abstract: 
The proposed summer internship will strengthen the future of stem cell research in California by providing California high school students the exciting opportunity to delve into hands-on research in various areas within stem cell biology. Using a one-on-one direct mentorship model, California students will be mentored by graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and Faculty within various research labs. Students will be trained on the basics of the stem cell field through the opportunity to attend a lecture series course in stem cell biology. The students will have ample opportunities to present their research through an oral presentation, presentation at lab meetings, as well as at a poster session. During the summer, our goal for the students is to be well trained in laboratory techniques and to motivate them to continue their excitement for stem cell and regenerative medicine research. Participating students will disseminate their excitement for regenerative medicine to their families, classmates in high school, and local communities. The discoveries that they make will almost certainly be published in the top journals in the field, further promoting stem cell research in California and throughout the world. Our program will recruit new people to the field, and may even recruit talented students from other states to participate. The ultimate goal of our program is to train a diverse group of students who will be the next generation of future stem cell scientists.
Statement of Benefit to California: 
Even before the great Gold Rush, the State of California was considered a place where Americans were drawn --- to seek adventure and to make important discoveries. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Gold Country prospectors, and Los Angeles movie industrialists exemplify the risk taking and creativity needed to change the world, and to make California what it is today. Now in 2011, Stem cell biology and regenerative medicine require visionary leaders, and organizations such as CIRM to fund them and to sustain their ideas. The United States, and California in particular, is falling further behind by the day in science and math education. There is no better way to improve science, math and engineering education in California than by enabling California students to DO science themselves – as stem cell researchers. Exposing California high school students to this new field of stem cell research will allow them to explore biomedical research as a possible career, and to create a pipeline of future Californians to serve as stem cell biologists. These same young trainees will benefit other Californians by making important discoveries that will improve the health of other Californians – and for that matter the whole world.
Progress Report: 

Year 1

During the summer of 2012, our summer research program offered exciting hands-on research opportunities to 10 high school students. The high school students were placed in various stem cell research labs and they were each paired with a one-on-one mentor. The main focus of the program was for these students to learn how to design and carry out experiments under the mentorship of a graduate student, fellow or Faculty member. In addition to carrying out research experiments, these students also had the unique opportunity to participate in 10-12 specialized lectures in the stem cell research area which gave them a strong grasp of the fundamentals of stem cell biology and the techniques involved. They also attended 8 joint lectures and special seminars on topics such as careers in science and how to write a research abstract and make a research poster. Students also had the opportunity to attend weekly lab meetings, peer interactive social events and to attend a local field trip. At the end of the program, these students had the opportunity to present an oral powerpoint presentation within their group and they also presented their research poster at a poster session held on campus. All the students did an outstanding job on their research projects and their presentations. Because of this internship program, there were many benefits for the students, mentors and for the future of stem cell research in California. For many of these students, this was the first time they had an opportunity to work in a research lab. As these students came from very diverse backgrounds, this experience had a profound impact on how they viewed scientific research and the many career options that they could explore in the future. This experience also taught them valuable techniques and skills that they will be able to use in future lab experiences in college and graduate school. The students had the opportunity to meet other students who were excited about science research and through the many small group sessions, they were also able to build strong peer relationships within the group. These students were also able to learn the value of what it means to work collaboratively as part of a lab and to have interactions with other trained scientists within the lab. Furthermore, because of this opportunity, one of the major benefits was the self confidence that could be built in these students as they were able to contribute in a meaningful way to the labs' research aims. This internship also provided valuable mentoring experiences for the direct mentors for these students. In summary, this internship had many benefits for all involved. It provided students from various backgrounds the opportunity to engage in cutting edge research in stem cell biology, and to be part of the pipeline of students who will be our future researchers.

Year 2

Our summer research program offered hands-on research opportunities to 10 high school students during the summer of 2013. The students interned in various stem cell research labs and learned how to design and carry out experiments under the direct tutelage of a one-on-one mentor. The students were mentored directly by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows or Faculty members. These students also had the unique opportunity to attend 10 lectures in the stem cell field which were focused on the fundamentals of stem cell biology and the techniques involved. They also attended 8 joint group lectures and special seminars on topics such as careers in science and how to write a research abstract and make a research poster. Students also had the opportunity to attend a local field trip and to attend weekly lab meetings and other peer interactive social events. At the end of the program, these students had the opportunity to present an oral powerpoint presentation within their group and they also presented their research poster at a poster session held on campus. All the students did an amazing job on their research projects and their presentations. Because of this internship program, there were many benefits for the students, mentors and for the future of stem cell research in California. For many of these students, this was the first time they had an opportunity to work in a research lab. As these students came from very diverse backgrounds, this experience had a profound impact on how they viewed scientific research and the many career options that they could explore in the future. This experience also taught them valuable techniques and skills that they will be able to use in future lab experiences in college and graduate school. The students had the opportunity to meet other students who were excited about science research and through the many small group sessions, they were also able to build strong peer relationships within the group. These students were also able to learn the value of what it means to work collaboratively as part of a lab and to have interactions with other trained scientists within the lab. Furthermore, because of this opportunity, one of the major benefits was the self confidence that could be built in these students as they were able to contribute in a meaningful way to the labs' research aims. This internship also provided valuable mentoring experiences for the direct mentors for these students. In summary, this internship had many benefits for all involved. It provided students from various backgrounds the opportunity to engage in cutting edge research in stem cell biology, and to be part of the pipeline of students who will be our future researchers.

Year 3

During the summer of 2014, our summer research program offered hands-on research opportunities to 10 high school students from California. The students learned how to design and carry out experiments under the direct mentorship of a graduate students or post-doctoral student within a stem cell based research lab. These 10 students also attended 10 lectures in the stem cell field which were focused on the fundamentals of stem cell biology and the techniques involved. They also attended 8 joint group lectures on a variety of topics and special seminars on topics such as how to write a research abstract and make a research poster. They had the opportunity through these joint lectures to hear from famous Faculty in various fields including a Nobel Prize winner.During the summer, the students also had the opportunity to attend a local field trip and to attend weekly lab meetings and other peer interactive social events. At the end of the program, these students presented an oral powerpoint presentation within their group and they also presented their research poster at a poster session held on campus. All the students did a wonderful job on their research projects and their presentations. The internship experience had a great impact on all the students and mentors and for the future of stem cell research in California. For many of these students, this was the first time they had an opportunity to work in a research lab. As these students came from very diverse backgrounds, this experience had a profound impact on how they viewed scientific research and the many career options that they could explore in the future. This experience also taught them valuable techniques and skills that they will be able to use in future lab experiences in college and graduate school. The students had the opportunity to meet other students who were excited about science research and through the many small group sessions, they were also able to build strong peer relationships within the group. These students were also able to learn the value of what it means to work collaboratively as part of a lab and to have interactions with other trained scientists within the lab. Furthermore, because of this opportunity, one of the major benefits was the self confidence that could be built in these students as they were able to contribute in a meaningful way to the labs' research aims. This internship also provided valuable mentoring experiences for the direct mentors for these students. In summary, this internship had many benefits for all involved. It provided students from various backgrounds the opportunity to engage in cutting edge research in stem cell biology, and to be part of the pipeline of students who will be our future researchers.

© 2013 California Institute for Regenerative Medicine