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 yearlong internship. These experiences are built on the foundation of a strong 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 partner (Escape Therapeutics, Inc.), and clinical applications of stem cell science at the Parkinson’s Institute.
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. Ten students will be enrolled annually in the SJSU SCILL program. Master’s candidates in our M.A./M.S. Biological Sciences have career goals in basic research and emphasize a specialty through their program of study. Master’s candidates in our MBT Program are seeking careers in the private sector emphasizing product development and commercialization. The SJSU SCILL students will complete an academic program composed of graduate laboratory courses in immunology, molecular biology, flow cytometry, stem cell biology, graduate writing skills and other courses in consultation with their SJSU faculty mentor, take a stem cell laboratory techniques workshop at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University (a CIRM-funded Shared Research Laboratory), and complete a stem cell internship at one of our research internship partners. After completion of the SJSU SCILL curriculum and research internship, an internship report, a professional developmental plan, a poster and oral presentation of their internship work, students will be awarded their master’s degrees.
Year one: Students selected for the SJSU SCILL program will take graduate lecture and laboratory courses at SJSU (Advanced Molecular Biology, Stem Cell Biology as well as Developmental Biology, flow cytometry and other related graduate seminars).
Summer year one: Human Embryonic Stem Cell workshop: This is a one-week intensive training on human embryonic stem cell techniques at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University prior to SCILL students’ internship.
Year two: SJSU SCILL interns will devote most of this second year to their internship laboratory research at their internship host institution. These research activities will be unique to each intern as developed in their professional development plan, and in line with the assigned internship host institution, focusing on basic research (Stanford and UC Santa Cruz), product development (Escape Therapeutics, Inc.), or translational/clinical applications (Parkinson’s Institute). Additionally, students will take advantage of the SJSU SCILL Consortium expertise through seminars and courses as outlined below.
Culminating Experience: In fulfilling these course requirements SJSU SCILL interns will submit a portfolio composed of a professional development plan, an internship research report, and an internship assessment report; and fulfill a culminating experience as required by the university. On satisfactory completion of these tasks a culminating experience report will be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, and the appropriate graduate degree will be conferred.
A second goal of the SJSU SCILL Program is to provide an educational experience for non-science majors and the general public in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.
Human Biology: Presentation of recent advances in biotechnology with discussion of health, societal implications, and bioethics. Topics include applications of basic research (including stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, genetics, molecular biology and immunology) to health and human welfare.
In summary- achieving these two goals will enable us to continue to provide stem cell biology training and education to our culturally and ethnically diverse students. We will prepare students for careers in stem cell biology through the SJSU SCILL Program. We will also increase awareness of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine throughout the university through our general education course. Both of these programs will be continued with CIRM funding, and will be sustained as valuable additions to our capacity with continued support from our SJSU SCILL Consortium partners.