Year 3

The primary goal of the San José State University Consortium for Stem Cell Internships in Laboratory-based Learning (SJSU SCILL) is to continue to provide the State of California and the central coast region with well-educated scientists who are proficient in stem cell biology at the graduate level. The program is designed to equip students with a broad-based understanding of stem cell biology through classroom instruction and seminars, and in-depth, laboratory-based expertise in a specialty area unique to each student’s professional development plan through a year-long internship.
Specifically, to CIRM 2 round of funding, we incorporated three new classes: 1) patient engagement and interaction, 2) Bench to Bed side- providing a sense of the process of translating a research study in to a therapy 3) Community outreach and patient advocacy where students obtain education on describing stem cells and their promises and inform the public on stem cell therapies. These experiences are built on the foundation of a strong stem cell biology curriculum and classroom laboratory experience at San José State University, coupled with an array of stem cell internship opportunities encompassing basic cell and molecular research at our research university partners (Stanford University and UC Santa Cruz), translational research involving stem cell product development at our corporate partners (Asterias, Inc. Notable labs, NeuCyte and Amgen).
The SJSU SCILL program is a two-year program leading to an M.A./M.S. Biological Sciences or a Professional Science Master of Biotechnology (MBT) degree.

Students enrollment:
Ten students are enrolled annually in the SJSU SCILL program. Students are selected from the pool of applicants to master’s at SJSU in biology department and masters in biotechnology program MBT, based on their prior academic achievements, personal career goals, and interviews with faculty. Master’s candidates in our M.A./M.S. Biological Sciences have career goals in basic research while Master’s candidates in our MBT Program are seeking careers in the private sector.

Program curriculum:

Year one:
Students participated in stem cell biology core classes (9 units) (intensive lab, stem cell biology lecture, and journal club). Advanced Molecular Biology lecture and lab, Developmental Biology, flow cytometry, bench to bed side course and other elective graduate classes such as immunology, virology, neurology customized to each of the students according to their previous education).
Students attended Americans for Cures workshop and attended support group that provided them with a patient interaction experience. As part of the community outreach activity, students participated in disease-oriented walks and presented stem cells introduction talks in two communities of their choice (typically high schools, and community centers).

Internship matching:
during the second part of the year, students are matched with internship labs. Students attend tours at the various host institutions and interview with potential P.I.’s.
Summer year one: students attended a one-week workshop on Human Embryonic Stem Cell techniques at the Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University.

Year two:
Students participate in a 12 month internship in a stem cell research lab at a collaborating host institution. The research activities are unique to each intern as developed in their professional development plan, and in line with the assigned internship host institution, focusing on basic research in human models.

Culminating Experience:
In fulfilling the curriculum described above, interns submitted a portfolio composed of a professional development plan, an internship research report, and an internship assessment report in the form of poster presentation. Their work will be additionally presented at the CIRM Bridges meeting in San Mateo on July 14-16, 2019. On satisfactory completion of all these tasks a culminating experience report will be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies at SJSU and the appropriate graduate degree will be conferred.

In summary-
CIRM Bridges program at SJSU prepare students for careers in stem cell biology. Graduating students typically work in stem cell private sector (50%), continue their scientific education in advanced graduate studies such as Ph.D and medical school (20%) or work in academic stem cells research labs (30%).
This program increases awareness of our students on urgent clinical needs in stem cells therapies therefore providing well rounded and holistic scientists that also act as ambassadors and advocate for stem cells therapies in the communities.