Year 6 NCE
The San José State University Stem Cell Internships in Laboratory-based Learning (SJSU SCILL) is a consortium of scientists, faculty, and administrative leaders from Bay Area institutions who have made a commitment to training students at the graduate level for careers in stem cell biology. Graduates from this program will advance and accelerate stem cell therapies and increase community awareness about scientific and societal issues related to stem cells and regenerative medicine.
The SJSU SCILL program is designed to be completed in two years. Typically, SJSU SCILL students will take graduate laboratory courses in stem cells biology, immunology, molecular biology, developmental biology as well as courses in regulatory affairs, therapy development processes, and clinical trial management. Students also engage in patient interaction activities and develop a community outreach plan to share their knowledge and their expertise in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine with their communities. Each SJSU SCILL trainee will complete 12 months of full-time hands-on research in human stem cells, progenitor cells, or gene therapy, at one of our partner research universities (Stanford University, University of California, Santa Cruz), or translational research partners, involving stem cell product development (Dorian therapeutics, Amgen Inc, Notable Labs, Soteria Biotherapeutics, Neurona, Tenaya Therapeutics and SRI. On the successful completion of the SJSU SCILL curriculum and internship, students are awarded a master’s degree and are prepared for a career in stem cell biology.
The SJSU SCILL Program has a solid track record in training stem cell professionals at a graduate level, all from among California residents and representative of the diverse ethnicities of our state. More than 95% of our students have completed the two-year program. More than 90% are employed primarily in the state of California and about 50% of those are working in stem cell related fields in academia, in the biotech industry or have continued to higher advanced degrees.
In the year under report, San José State University has gradually returned to in-person curricular activities for the first year of students training at SJSU. We also successfully enrolled the students in the program for research internships in the following internship hosting agencies: Stanford University, University of California, Santa Cruz, Dorian therapeutics, Notable Labs, Soteria Biotherapeutics, and Tenaya Therapeutics to provide students with rigorous practical laboratory experience that prepares them for careers in stem cell research and translational therapies.
In the year under report, June 1, 2021, to May 31, 2022, the CIRM Bridges program at San José State University has gradually returned to in-person activities. About 60% of the class curriculum associated with the first year was delivered “in person”. This is a huge improvement from the constraints and restrictions of the previous COVID-19 pandemic year where all classes and labs were delivered online/zoom.
In the past year we advanced the performance of three cohorts: 2020, 2021, and enrolled the 2022 cohort:
Cohort of 2020 – 2nd year of training (10 interns)- attended a hESC workshop in June 2021 and then started the internship for this cohort prior to the internship at Stanford University, University of California, Santa Cruz, Dorian therapeutics, Notable Labs, Soteria Biotherapeutics, and Tenaya Therapeutics. Nine students completed the internship and one student had to stop the internship at Stanford after about 6 months due to family constraints. All interns will present their research work at the upcoming CIRM trainee meeting in July, 2022 in San Diego. Many of these students have already aligned jobs in Biotech or applied to Ph.D programs.
Cohort of 2021 (9 students) – 1st year of training – 60% of the classes where “in person”. Most importantly, this cohort obtained extensive stem cell lab training at SJSU as well as other lab classes such as immunology and molecular biology. Therefore, this cohort has received an expedited way out of the pandemic. Throughout the spring semester students were matched with internships that are currently starting at Stanford, UCSC, SRI, Dorian and Amgen.
Cohort 2022 (11 students) – was enrolled in the SCILL program throughout spring 2022 with great attention to DEI aspects. Students were interviewed and accepted recently. Their first orientation will be on August 10, 2022.
Other achievements during the year of report: Community outreach and patients interaction activities resumed to full capacity as well as industry perspective of stem cells work. We incorporated DEI activities in the student’s curriculum, and participation in professional stem cell meetings (although most were still on zoom). One student has been accepted to the Ph. D program at UCSC in the stem cell field, and five publications where co-authored by students in the SJSU program.