Stem Cell Training Enhancement Program

Stem Cell Training Enhancement Program

Funding Type: 
Bridges
Grant Number: 
TB1-01188
Award Value: 
$2,280,509
Status: 
Active
Public Abstract: 
The proposed project will build on a robust stem cell technician training program already in place at the home institution, expanding and enhancing student training through the implementation of 10 internship experiences each year as well as a range of other support activities. Specifically, the proposed project will:  Offer full-time internships to 10 students each year in CIRM-funded research laboratories or industry labs working with stem cells. Participating laboratories include both academic and industry labs throughout the region. Interns will be recruited from the pool of students who have completed a series of cell culture courses at the home institution and will engage in a six-month internship for which they will earn college credit.  Offer a stem cell techniques course, comprising 24 instructional hours, that will prepare students to begin their internship experiences.  Augment and update all existing cell culture courses with cutting-edge information, techniques, and equipment, serving approximately 60 community college students each year.  Offer seminars twice each semester through an existing infrastructure that hosts lectures and events for community college students, faculty, and staff as well as community members.  Engage a Project Director whose long-term experience in molecular biology and cell culture research will fully qualify her to implement the proposed project.  Mentor trainees through a four-unit independent study course. The proposed program will greatly enhance the training of future stem cell laboratory personnel by augmenting the existing community college program with hands-on experience at an academic or industry laboratory over a six-month period. Students participating in this internship will gain a robust set of skills that will allow them to enter the workforce and make a substantial contribution to stem cell research. Furthermore, by enhancing partnerships between the home institution and regional academic and industry laboratories, the proposed project will pave the way for future student training and professional development activities for faculty members.
Statement of Benefit to California: 
The proposed program will benefit the state of California and its citizens by providing high-quality training to a cadre of future stem cell research technicians. Over the three-year funding period, the proposed program will greatly enhance the training of future stem cell laboratory personnel by augmenting the existing community college program with hands-on experience at an academic or industry laboratory over a six-month period. Students participating in this internship will gain a robust set of skills that will allow them to enter the workforce and make a substantial contribution to stem cell research. Furthermore, by enhancing partnerships between the community college and regional academic and industry laboratories, the proposed project will pave the way for future student training, professional development activities for faculty members, and much more.
Progress Report: 

Year 1

Begun in 2006, City College of San Francisco's Stem Cell Technology Certificate Program was one of the first ever programs to specifically provide training in the field of stem cell biology. The goal of our program is to reach out to the diverse population of students and impart the knowledge, skills, and motivation for a rewarding career in stem cell research or related fields (such as medical/clinical laboratories involved with stem cell therapies). One of the key components to a successful program such as this is the internship component which would not be possible without CIRM. Once our students complete our program, they have the opportunity to work full time as an intern in a host research laboratory. Our Stem Cell Technology Certificate program can be completed in 2 semesters. The focus of the coursework is hands-on skills and all of the courses are taught in the laboratory. Students will become familiar with many of the techniques used in research. We bring in guest instructors; scientists from both UCSF and Gladstone Institutes to ensure that the students are being taught about the most current and exciting work in the field. After they complete their coursework, they receive a certificate and are eligible to apply for an internship. Each student intern will complete their own research project in the host laboratory. During the internship, the students take an additional course where we continue to support their training by featuring the development of additional skills such as giving research presentations, reading scientific papers, analyzing data, and documentation. At the end of the internship, the student interns highlight their accomplishments with a scientific poster presentation at both a CCSF and a CIRM scientific conference. Student projects have ranged from investigating cardiac disease by utilizing beating cells in a dish, finding differences in DNA expression in different types of stem cells, and creating new ways to study blood disorders by investigating bone marrow stem cells. Our interns contributed to the basic research of stem cells including the study of differentiation, germ cell development, human embryogenesis and hematopoiesis, and the optimization of assays and disease models. While their contributions may have been small, introducing students to the rewarding field of stem cell biology research will have a lasting impact. We inspire these students, who come from all walks of life, to search for answers, to make discoveries, with the hope that their efforts may some day result in a cure and a better life. Most of our students who complete this program do continue on to have careers related to this field. Training and motivating these students will lead to a brighter future for us all.

Year 2

Begun in 2006, City College of San Francisco's Stem Cell Technology Certificate Program was one of the first ever programs to specifically provide training in the field of stem cell biology. The goal of our program is to reach out to the diverse population of students and impart the knowledge, skills, and motivation for a rewarding career in stem cell research or related fields (such as medical/clinical laboratories involved with stem cell therapies). One of the key components to a successful program such as this is the internship component, which would not be possible without CIRM. Once our students complete our program, they have the opportunity to work full time as an intern in a host research laboratory. Our Stem Cell Technology Certificate program can be completed in 2 semesters. The focus of the coursework is hands-on skills and all of the courses are taught in the laboratory. Students will become familiar with many of the techniques used in research. We bring in guest instructors; scientists from both UCSF and Gladstone Institutes to ensure that the students are being taught about the most current and exciting work in the field. After they complete their coursework, they receive a certificate and are eligible to apply for a 9 month long full time internship. Each student intern will complete their own research project in the host laboratory. During the internship, the students take an additional course where we continue to support their training by featuring the development of additional skills such as giving research presentations, reading scientific papers, analyzing data, and documentation. At the end of the internship, the student interns highlight their accomplishments with a scientific poster presentation at both the CCSF BioSymposium and a CIRM scientific conference. Student projects have ranged from investigating cardiac disease by utilizing beating cells in a dish, finding differences in DNA expression in different types of stem cells, creating and characterizing iPS cell lines, and finding new ways to study blood disorders by investigating bone marrow stem cells. Our interns contributed to the basic research of stem cells including the study of differentiation, germ cell development, human embryogenesis and hematopoiesis, and the optimization of assays and disease models. While their contributions may have been small, introducing students to the rewarding field of stem cell biology research will have a lasting impact. We inspire these students, who come from all walks of life, to search for answers, to make discoveries, with the hope that their efforts may some day result in a cure and a better life. The majority of our students who complete this program do continue on to have careers related to this field. Training and motivating these students will lead to a brighter future for us all.

© 2013 California Institute for Regenerative Medicine