Year 1

The Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI)/UC Berkeley Summer Stem Cell Research Internship Program for High School Students is a collaborative effort between two institutions that collectively represent a range of exciting stem cell research training opportunities for high school students. It augments an established summer research program that has been providing biomedical research experiences to high school and college students. High school juniors and seniors, including those from underrepresented groups, worked closely with their mentors on a one-on-one basis in a research lab in developmental and stem cell related projects. They were part of a larger cohort of undergraduate, and post baccalaureate students under the umbrella of the CHORI Summer Research Program. They attended a series of structured research-related seminars on current topics in health and disease by leading scientists in the Bay Area and actively participated discussions regarding research careers, and ethics and integrity in academia and research.

The trainees also participated in a second area of interest unrelated to their core project- they undertook a custom-designed online course called “Design of Clinical Research”, as an enrichment activity. Closely guided by the Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland doctors, this course challenged the trainees to undertake an activity outside their main research work. Finally, they presented their research work in a professional setting in an oral or poster format at the CHORI Summer Research Symposium at the conclusion of the program.

By attracting trainees at an early stage during a formative time of their lives, this program helped to stimulate high school students’ interest to pursue a career in stem cell research. It informed and increased the awareness of the exciting new advances and possibilities with stem cells, in addition to offering new career opportunities. The program served to nurture the future generation of stem cell researchers in California. In summary, each student gained a remarkable research experience and exposure to stem cells and developmental biology through this program. The CHORI/UC Berkeley Summer Stem Cell Research Internship Program contributes towards producing a generation of stem cell researchers who can approach problems in new ways, which is necessary for new breakthroughs and to keep California competitive internationally in the stem cell field.