Grant Award Details

COMPASS Program for Southern California Hispanic Serving Institution
Grant Number: 
Project Objective: 
  • This COMPASS grant is integrated within the biotechnology major at Cal State San Marcos and will support 30 trainees in 3 cohorts. Students will be recruited from local high schools and and prepped for eventual selection in program, which takes place during the sophomore year. Appointed trainees will work in different laboratories on campus, followed by a summer capstone experience. COMPASS trainees will take courses in the Biotechnology major including FAIR principles of data sharing, good research habits, principles of translational research, bioengineering, statistics and bioinformatics. Interns will participate in formal and informal mentoring sessions, community engagement and patient advocacy activities. All mentors and interns receive DEI training.
Award Value: 

Grant Application Details

Application Title: 
  • COMPASS Program for Southern California Hispanic Serving Institution
Public Abstract: 
Statement of Benefit to California: 

California is a leader in advancing stem cell and regenerative medicine and the field is progressing rapidly towards viable therapies and cures for human disease. In order to continue to accelerate this progress and drive future innovation, we must provide a pipeline for the training and development of a diverse pool of stem cell scientists. Our program is designed to meet this need by providing an op diverse college students to receive comprehensive training and education allowing them to enter this field more quickly than traditional pathways. Additionally, we develop well rounded stem cell researchers who understand the full “bench to bedside” process of bringing treatments to the clinic. Simultaneously, they learn the need for public communication and outreach so that the regional community understands the benefits from their research.

Our institution has partnered with three local high schools. We deliver a robust and comprehensive internship program for undergraduates in an intensive two-year long research experience on our campus in the areas of stem cells, bioengineering, immunology and virology. Our student trainees receive college credit and will be supported by educational enhancement and patient advocacy activities through community organizations. At the end of their internship year, our trainees will be prepared to contribute to California’s workforce pipeline and/or continue their academic journeys.

Our program impact is significant. We will train 10 trainees each year, who are representative of our diverse region and often remain in the area to join the scientific workforce. Therefore, California will benefit from this additional pool of well-prepared stem cell/life scientists from diverse backgrounds that have a broad understanding of the benefits of stem cell research and life science application who can continue to advocate and accelerate California’s commitment to advancing stem cell research, treatments and therapies for human diseases.