The seventh year of the San Diego State University (SDSU)/CIRM Stem Cell Internship Program has provided nine interns with the technical skills and the experience to work in the field of regenerative medicine. These students have worked directly with stem cells or cancer stem cells. Student interns have studied such topics as telomerase stability in cancer, nuclear architecture and retrotransposition in neural stem cells, CRISPR/Cas9-based gene therapies for hemophilia B, transdifferentiation and genetic reprogramming of pancreatic cancer stem cells, and signal transduction pathways in cardiac and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. The interns carried out their research at leading institutes in San Diego, including the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, the Scripps Research Institute, The Sanford/Burnham Medical Research Institute and the University of California, San Diego. Many of these students, due to their diverse background, would have otherwise not had access to research at this level. As a result of their training they will bring their knowledge of regenerative medicine into a great many areas of public interest, including basic and translational research, the biotech industry and medicine and dentistry.
Our students have also become representatives for the field of regenerative medicine and well as for SDSU and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. We believe strongly that they will continue to represent the field of regenerative medicine in their future endeavors as well. Student interns have attended several meetings at both the regional and international level, including the Annual Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa in La Jolla in October, 2015 and the Annual Meeting for the International Society for Stem Cell Research in San Francisco, 2016, where they met with experts in the field and also presented their own research as part of the poster sessions. Because these student interns have had extensive training and experience in state of the art laboratories, as well as opportunities to share their newly gained knowledge, their expertise will strengthen the field of stem cell research in California, and beyond. Our Program has benefited the state of California by increasing the pool of young investigators and contributing to basic and translational studies designed to produce new medical treatments.