TRANSCEND – Training Program to Advance Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Research, Education, and Workforce Diversity

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TRANSCEND – Training Program to Advance Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Research, Education, and Workforce Diversity

Statement of Benefit to California:
The University of California, Riverside (UCR) is a research-intensive, federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution, which is uniquely positioned to fulfill CIRM’s program goals of accelerating stem cell treatments to patients with unmet medical needs and to broaden the participation of individuals representing California’s diverse population in regenerative medicine. UCR will meet these goals and contribute major benefits to California through TRANSCEND (Training Program to Advance Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Research, Education and Workforce Diversity). UCR has demonstrated success in educating the next generation of underrepresented minority (URM) scientists at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. We will build on these successes to train CIRM PhD and postdoctoral researchers who will contribute to the diversity of the California stem cell workforce and facilitate economic growth in the Inland Empire, a region without economic privilege. As a major education and research institution in the Inland Empire, our campus has been consistently ranked #1 in the nation for social mobility, which is a measure of the degree to which universities lift graduates into higher income brackets. TRANSCEND will integrate critical courses with multidisciplinary research projects to train next-generation graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the areas of stem cell research and regenerative medicine. TRANSCEND trainees will achieve an integrated education in stem cell biology, engineering, bioethics, and science to policy, while developing communication skills and contributing to the creation of new knowledge in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Our program includes a broad range of research areas that span basic stem cell biology to translational medicine. With this education, our trainees will be well prepared to contribute to the California workforce, while at the same time augmenting its diversity. Discoveries made by TRANSCEND trainees will benefit Californians by leading to new therapeutics, diagnostics, and medical devices for managing diseases, trauma, and the quality of life. Most of our trainees will come from the Inland Empire, a disadvantaged region with great diversity and many families with unmet medical needs. Our program will benefit economic development and growth in California, especially in the Inland Empire. Our cohort of well-qualified stem cell scientists will be ready to fill positions in the Inland Empire thereby enhancing their social mobility, while simultaneously aiding economic development by motivating biotech industries to locate in the Inland Empire. Taken together, TRANSCEND trainees will benefit the citizens of California by contributing to the diversity of the stem cell workforce, making new discoveries that lead to improvements in stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine, and assisting with economic development in the Inland Empire region of California.