During the reporting period the Shared Research Laboratory and Stem cell Technqiues Course continued to be an important and integral component of human embryonic stem cell training on the campus as well as providing important resources for the entire university and local regenerative medicine community. Over 50 students, postdocs and faculty took training courses or other personalized training provided by the facility, greatly enhancing stem cell research on the campus. In addition the provision and maintenance of state of the art equipemnt to the community increased in usage in large part because of the availablity of trained staff who provide expert guidance in using such equipment. The extension of our teaching material to include training in transplantation and imaging technologies provided new opportunities for researchers to learn methodology that will be important in translating basic research discoveries into clinical use.
In addition the Shared Research Lab staff continue to provide assistance on an ad hoc basis to researchers from around the campus and in the local community who are either entering the stem cell field or who are experiencing difficulty with their work. For example, one exciting ongoing project represents a collaboration with researchers in the School of Engineering who are developing new methods for detecting, analyzing and treating human heart disease. A second project that reached completion was the development of new materials on which to grow human embryonic stem cells and help maintain them in a pluripotent state.
In addition a member of the shared research laboratory staff was part of the organizing committee of the SoCal Flow Summit. Many flow cytometry users from Southern California’s regional research centers, clinical laboratories and leading biomedical industries attended this exciting opportunity for networking, sharing and education with Flow Cytometry colleagues from across the Southern California counties. This two-day meeting included scientific presentations from invited faculty, vendor presentations, poster session and core manager dinner (open to all attendees). The scientific program included six (6) hours of CEUs, available from FloCyte Associates. All meeting attendees registered for this event became members of SoCal Flow Cytometry Association. The meeting was held at the Beckman Center of the National Academies of Science and Engineering and the pratcial sessions were held at Sue and Bill Gross Hall: A CIRM Institute. The meeting brought much attention to the center and to the CIRM supported facilities and equipment.
Finally the Shared Research Laboratory continues to be a showcase of the stem cell work ongoing on the campus and highlights the support of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Tours of the laboratory for members of the public, donors and potential donors, highschool teachers and high school students have provided key outreach for the center within the local community and beyond, helped inform the debate about stem cell research and demonstrated the importance of CIRM support for regenerative medicine research.