Over the past six years the Humboldt State University CIRM Bridges training program has trained 49 undergraduate students in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Of the 49 students, 17 have been accepted to graduate programs, four to MD or MD/Ph.D. programs, 22 are gainfully employed in Stem Cell Biology fields and one trainee has entered the teaching profession. We attribute this high rate of success (92%) of our program to the quality of our students and the CIRM training program at the host institutions. The rigorous selection criteria that we use and the initial training that these students receive at Humboldt State University have contributed to this success. Humboldt State University is located in rural Northern California, 200-300 miles away from any class-I research institution. Therefore, students selected to participate in the CIRM training program spend 12 months away at institutions that host our students. This has allowed them to be completely immersed in research and emerge at the end of their training period with tools and scientific sophistication to enter graduate/professional programs or join the stem cell biology/regenerative medicine industry.
In the 2014- 2015 training period, of the nine students who were selected to participate in the program, one has already been accepted to a Ph.D. program. Five have been offered a position in the same laboratory where they received their initial training. The remaining three are taking a year off to prepare to apply to graduate/professional programs. Based on the record of trainees from previous years, there is a very good chance that all of these students will be either accepted to graduate/professional programs or find gainful employment in stem cell related fields. Based on our record, it possible for us to state that the CIRM Bridges Training Program has achieved its goals and is probably one of the best designed training programs of its kind when compared to many of the federally or privately funded undergraduate training programs.