Year 7

The primary goals of the Cal Poly Pomona (CPP)/California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) Stem Cell Bridges Training Program have been: 1) to provide comprehensive training and full-time research internships for qualified students; and 2) to give other university students a basic understanding of stem cell research through development of appropriate stem cell curriculum and an opportunity to attend seminars from leading stem cell experts. Since the initiation of the grant in the summer of 2009, we have generated very strong student and faculty interest in the program by keeping the campus communities regularly informed about our program activities via the University CIRM website, campus emails, and exposure to cutting-edge stem cell researchers from industry and academia through our seminar series. The program has allowed us to continue to offer a total of three upper division stem cell courses at CPP (2 courses) and CSULA (1 course). These courses have now enrolled approximately 400 students. We have continued to develop general education stem cell materials, such as user-friendly digital presentations which summarize the main points of impactful stem cell articles about advances in stem cell research. Through these various activities we have stimulated on-campus discussions about the impact of stem cell research on the health of future generations.

To date, 62 of our students have completed their stem cell research internships in research-intenselaboratories at City of Hope, California Institute of Technology, Scripps Research Institute, University of Southern California and Western University of Health Sciences. student have graduated with a degree (24 from CPP and 20 from CSULA), including 26 undergraduate (UG) level and 18 Master of Science degree (MS) level participants. About 89% of our UG level interns have entered higher degree educational programs (MS/PhD),professional schools (MD/Dental/Pharmacy/Physician Assistant) or the research work force, and 100% of our MS level interns have joined a PhD or MD program or the research work force.

Since our last year-end report was submitted in May 2015, Julio Sanchez and Alberto Herrera from Cohort 6 have been accepted into Ph.D. programs at Cornell University and City of Hope, respectively. Another undergraduate intern, Sevan Esaian from Cohort 6 has begun the Master’s of Science Program at CSULA. Anthony Park and Kevin Parducho from Cohort 6 have continued to work in the laboratories in which they did their stem cell internships, and Elena Chavez from Cohort 6 is now employed as a Research Assistant at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

It is clear that this program continues to have a profound effect on the students and faculty at both campuses not only through the research experiences of the student interns but also through the exposure of the campus communities to the promises of future medical treatments that will be derived from stem cell research.