Year 1

During the reporting period, the UC Irvine Regional Human Embryonic Stem Cell Shared Research Laboratory and Stem Cell Techniques Course continued to train scientists in the use and application of human pluripotent stem cells. We continued to train students, technicians, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in the use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs). These individuals have come from all over the world. In the reporting period we trained 30 individuals in our training course. Most of the individuals were from UC Irvine, one from Kyoto University in Japan, one from West Coast University and two students from the newl-integrated Bridges to Stem Cell Research from Cal State Long Beach. These courses are tremendously popular and are oversubscribed. The training provided by the Stem Cell Techniques Course has enabled enormous scientific progress in a variety of areas related to the mission of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Scientists trained in the course have gone on to do groundbreaking research in many areas including Alzheimer’s disease, glioblastoma, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and many others. In addition the Shared Research Laboratory has continued to serve as the training site for the Stem Cell Emphasis Track of the UC Irvine Masters Program in Biotechnology. This program was designed to train technicians for the biotechnology industry. Because of the paucity of technicians trained in the use of hESCs and other pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), this is a much sought after workforce. The facilities and equipment provided under this CIRM award have also been made available to many investigators across the university for carrying out stem cell-related research. In addition to the research mission of the program the Shared Research Laboratory has provided outreach to the community and education about stem cell research to members of the public. The staff of the Shared Research Laboratory has regularly provided tours to visitors from around the world as well as members of the local community. These include local high school teachers, local teaching organizations such as Vital Link and the Coastline Regional Occupational Program, members of the business community, philanthropic donors and our local Congressional representatives. The outreach activities of the Shared Research Laboratory serve to educate the public about our work and to address the needs of our local patient communities. They in turn provide important advocacy within the local community and with our representatives at the state and federal level. In short, the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Shared Research Laboratory and Stem Cell Techniques Course continues to serve a vital function within the stem cell research program at UC Irvine and within the larger research community in Orange County.