Year 7/NCE

This annual progress and final report documents the activities of the CIRM-funded type II grant to train postdoctoral scientists at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) in La Jolla, California during the final period 9/1/2016 to 6/30/2017. During this period, the SBP CIRM training program operated in a no-cost extension (NCE) and trained 1 postdoctoral fellow, as approved by CIRM prior to awarding the NCE.

This report concludes a period of training from 9/1/2010 under the present grant CIRM TG2-01162. During this time, we trained 17 postdoctoral fellows. This training program followed on a previous 3 year training grant bringing the total of postdoctoral researchers trained to 29. Most of our trainees made noteworthy contributions to stem cell research in California while supported by CIRM, and many now hold faculty positions in academia or leadership positions in pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies (see additional feedback section).

The program is designed to offer comprehensive training in stem cell research and allied disciplines required to translate basic discoveries to clinic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical settings. The program created an enduring benefit to stem cell research by introducing new technology into established laboratories, and training a new generation of scientists.

With CIRM support, the training program organized lectures, journal club and laboratory courses jointly with similar CIRM programs at the Salk Institute, Scripps Research Institute and the University of California, San Diego. Our curriculum included intensive lecture courses on Stem Cell Biology (>48 hours lectures), and Ethics, Intellectual Property and Regulatory Affairs (>20 hours lectures). This course continues as a yearly course offered by UCSD. We also offered a 3-week hands-on, intensive laboratory courses. The program also funded instructors to provide specialized workshops in human pluripotent stem cell techniques and we co-hosted a retreat of all CIRM program trainees in Salk Institute, Scripps Research Institute and the University of California, San Diego. Our trainees also attended local La Jolla and CIRM statewide trainee meetings to augment interchange and education. In addition, the training program provided a research stipend to defray the costs of the trainees’ research.

SBP faculty direct a large stem cell research and teaching enterprise that comprises over 100 biologists, chemists, engineers and clinicians with extensive expertise in stem cell biology and in allied disciplines dedicated to stem cell-based therapies for cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, hematopoietic and metabolic disorders.