Internship at a Cutting Edge CIRM-funded Stem Cell Research Facility

Internship at a Cutting Edge CIRM-funded Stem Cell Research Facility

Funding Type: 
Creativity Awards
Grant Number: 
TC1-06070
Award Value: 
$211,928
Status: 
Active
Public Abstract: 
The CIRM Creativity Program is a novel internship program for high school students in cutting edge stem cell research facilities. It is a motivating, stimulating and successful program encouraging young people from California to enter the field of stem cell biology and research. We conducted a previous successful summer internship program where motivated and talented students from Northern CA high schools were selected from the winners of our University’s well-established high school student award program in the field of biotechnology and regenerative medicine. This program was highly rewarding for both students and mentors. We now propose to expand this program to include more students. They will participate in a lab project guided by a mentor, and can choose to intern in one of 29 laboratories involved in developing cutting edge stem cell therapies for injury and diseases that currently have few other options for treatment. Students will participate in a formal theoretical and practical class in stem cell biology and stem cell manufacturing practices, earn a certificate of training in how stem cell treatments are produced, and will prepare and present, in front of their peers and CIRM officers, a poster about their project. They will also participate in an additional project to stimulate creative thinking. These high school students will soon become a vital part of our future research community and will contribute highly to life saving, cutting edge stem cell research.
Statement of Benefit to California: 
The CIRM Creativity Program, a novel internship program for high school students in stem cell research facilities is a motivating, stimulating and successful program encouraging young people from the State of California to enter the field of stem cell biology and research. A pilot program conducted with 4 high school students last year at our institution showed that the summer spent at a cutting edge stem cell research facility was not only a highly educational experience for the students, but also helped them shape their intentions for a future career in science and possibly stem cell research in the State of California. Our previous experience and the expanded program planned for the coming year highlights the following areas of benefit to the State of California: Highly motivated and also talented students are selected from the pool of applicants who may become California's future leaders in biotechnology and stem cell biology. Interested and motivated high school students are of highly diverse backgrounds and may be of underserved status; they are shown a career path that may not have been available to them otherwise. A pool of excellent researchers and highly skilled biotechnology laboratory personnel will be needed in the near and extended future to manufacture stem cell treatments in California which are currently developed and moved into the clinic by CIRM funded stem cell research laboratories. These young people are the future of California's health and economy.
Progress Report: 

Year 1

At the UC Davis Stem Cell Program, the CIRM Creativity Program fit well into our intention, to educate the future stem cell scientist of California. The CIRM Creativity Program is a novel internship program for high school students. It allows for these interns to work side by side with noted researchers in cutting edge stem cell research facilities, and is motivating and stimulating for young people. Based on our previous successful summer internship program, 10 highly interested and also talented students from Northern CA high schools were selected from the winners of the UC Davis Biotech Challenge Program. The students had to create a website featuring and discussing cutting edge science in the biomedical field, and present their work at a meeting. Ten winners were then selected and paired up with individual scientist mentors from the UC Davis Stem Cell Program (we have 29 laboratories the students could choose from) and took on projects involving the development of cutting edge stem cell treatments for heart disease, diseases that affect the brain, liver, kidney, and bladder disease, bone disease, skin disease, eye disease, HIV, and others. The summer project was structured so the students could complete a research project within the allowed timeframe and then generate a poster for a CIRM poster day held at Stanford University in August of 2012. In order for our interns to receive formal training in stem cell biology, they also participated in a class called "Stem Cell Biology and Manufacturing Practices" taught over the summer by the PI of this grant. This class also called for hands on training in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)(the production of clinical grade materials for stem cell trials) inside the CIRM funded UC Davis Good Manufacturing Practice facility. The students took two written exams and one practical exam, including an exam inside the GMP facility. They all earned a training certificate, which they truly deserved, as all of the student interns passed their exams. The individual mentors and the PI supervised the students in creating their research poster, and also selected one student speaker who was to present the summer research project in an oral presentation on poster day. Additionally, all students presented their posters in front of their peers and CIRM officers. All of our summer interns also participated in a second, not stem cell research related activity. As the PI of this award has also been continuously teaching, for the last 7 years, an accredited college seminar called "The History of the Motion Pictures" at the UC Davis main campus and is an expert in film history and its technical development, the students became involved in this subject. First, the development of motion pictures, over the last 100 years, from the scientific, technical and artistic side was discussed. This allowed the students to see what effort it took to get motion pictures from parlor exhibitions into 16 theater multiplexes, as we are used to today. A special effort was put into explaining to students the development of color film, which has an extensive history, starting at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, with being fully developed in the early 1930s. The interesting part of this second activity was that the students did not see this in lectures on slides or in books, they got to experience this by the seeing and interacting with the original historic film and equipment, hands on. They were able to see a 75 year old, original Technicolor film print run on original historic film equipment, in the proper historic setting. This was a very unique opportunity for the students, as movie theaters do not show actual film anymore. The second activity complemented excellently their summer research project in the laboratory, as the students were able to see how much scientific and technical effort it took to develop motion pictures into this huge industry that we know currently, and how much artistic and creative talent and development it has taken to come to the artistic level required for movies to become "the" art form of the 20th century. It also became clear to the students, through comparison with the development of the motion picture industry, that a new field, such as stem cell science today, needs dedicated, highly skilled and hard working individuals who will persevere to become successful and at the same time, make the new field successful. The internship program really inspired these young people who spent their summer with us, as our interns expressed their desire to continue their education in the biological / biotech field. Excellent researchers and highly skilled biotechnology laboratory personnel will be needed in the near and extended future to produce stem cell treatments in California which are currently developed and moved into the clinic by CIRM funded stem cell research laboratories. These young people are the future of California's health and economy.

Year 2

The CIRM Creativity Program fit well into our intention at the UC Davis Stem Cell Program, to educate California's future stem cell scientists. The CIRM Creativity Program has been designed as a novel internship program for high school students. It allows for high school interns to work side by side with noted researchers in cutting edge stem cell research facilities, and is highly motivating and stimulating for young people. Based on our two previous successful summer internship programs, 10 highly interested and talented students from Northern CA high schools were selected from the winners of the UC Davis Biotech Challenge Program. The students had to create a website featuring and discussing cutting edge science in the biomedical field, and present their work at a meeting. 10 winners were then selected and paired up with individual scientist mentors from the UC Davis Stem Cell Program (we have 29 laboratories the students could work in) and took on projects involving the development of cutting edge stem cell treatments for heart disease, diseases that affect the brain, liver, kidney, bone disease, skin disease, eye disease, HIV, and others. The summer internship was structured so the students could complete a research project within the allowed timeframe and then generate a poster for a CIRM poster day held in San Francisco in August of 2013. In order for our interns to receive formal training in stem cell biology, they also participated in a class called "Stem Cell Biology and Manufacturing Practices" taught over the summer by the PI of this grant. This class also called for hands on training in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)(the production of clinical grade materials for stem cell trials) inside the CIRM funded UC Davis Good Manufacturing Practice facility. The students took two written exams and one practical exam, including an exam inside the GMP facility. They all earned a training certificate, which they truly deserved, as all of the student interns passed their exams. The individual mentors and the PI supervised the students in creating their research posters that were presented at CIRM poster day, and also selected one student speaker for an oral presentation. All of our summer interns also wrote regular blogs about their projects, took photographs and created videos of their internship to be publicized on the CIRM webstite. Participation in a second, not stem cell research related activity was also required. As the PI of this award has also been continuously teaching, for the last 7 years, an accredited college seminar called "The History of the Motion Pictures" at the UC Davis main campus and is an expert in film history and its technical development, the students became involved in this subject. Regular workshops depicting the development of the motion pictures, over the last 100 years, were held for the students. This allowed them to exp[erience what effort it took to get motion pictures from parlor exhibitions into 16 theater multiplexes, as we are used to today. A special effort was put into explaining to students the development of color film, which has an extensive history, starting at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, with being fully developed in the early 1930s. The interesting part of this second activity was that the students did not see this in lectures on slides or in books, they got to experience this by the seeing and interacting with the original historic film and equipment, hands on. They were able to see a 76 year old, original 35mm film print run on original historic film equipment, in the proper historic setting. This was a very unique opportunity for the students, as movie theaters do not show actual film anymore. The second activity complemented excellently their summer research projects in the laboratory, as the students were able to see how much scientific and technical effort it took to develop motion pictures into this huge industry that we know now, and how much artistic and creative talent and development it has taken to come to the artistic level required for movies to become "the" art form of the 20th century. It also became clear to the students, through comparison with the development of the motion picture industry, that a new field, such as stem cell science today, needs dedicated, highly skilled and hard working individuals who will persevere to become successful and at the same time, make the new field successful. The internship program really inspired these young people who spent their summer with us, as our interns expressed their desire to continue their education in the biological / biotech field. Excellent researchers and highly skilled biotechnology laboratory personnel will be needed in the near and extended future to produce stem cell treatments in California which are currently developed and moved into the clinic by CIRM funded stem cell research laboratories. These young people are the future of California's health and economy.

Year 3

The CIRM Creativity Program, implemented at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures has one overarching goal: To educate California's future stem cell scientists. It has been designed as a novel internship experience for high school students and allows for the interns to work side by side with noted scientists in cutting edge stem cell research facilities; it is truly motivating and highly stimulating for young people. Based on our three previous successful summer internship programs, 10 talented students from Northern CA high schools were again selected from the winners of the UC Davis Biotech Challenge Program. The students had to create a website featuring and discussing cutting edge science in the biomedical field, and present their work during a meeting at the UC Davis campus. The 10 winners were then paired up with individual scientist mentors from the UC Davis Stem Cell Program (we have 30 laboratories the students could work in) to take up projects involving the development of cutting edge stem cell treatments for diseases that affect the brain, liver, heart, skin, eye, the immune system (such as HIV) and others. The summer internship was structured so the students could complete a research project within the allowed timeframe and then generate a poster for a CIRM poster day held in San Francisco in August of 2014. In order for our interns to receive formal training in stem cell biology, they also participated in a class called "Stem Cell Biology and Manufacturing Practices" taught over the summer by the PI of this grant. This class also called for hands on training in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)(the production of clinical grade materials for stem cell trials) inside the CIRM funded UC Davis Good Manufacturing Practice facility. The students took two written exams and one practical exam, including an exam for sterile fill inside the GMP facility. They all earned a truly deserved training certificate, as all student interns passed the written and practical exams. The individual mentors and the PI supervised the students in creating their research posters that were presented at CIRM poster day, and also selected one student speaker for an oral presentation. All of our summer interns participated in the CIRM social media request, took photographs of their work environment and created an outstanding video of their internship experience. Participation in a second, not stem cell research related activity was also required. As the PI of this award has also been teaching, for the last 8 years, an accredited college seminar called "The History of the Motion Pictures" at the UC Davis main campus and is an expert in film history and its technical development, the students were introduced to this subject. Regular workshops depicting the development of the motion pictures, over the last 100 years, were held for the students. This allowed them to experience what effort it took to get motion pictures from parlor exhibitions into 16 theater multiplexes, as we are used to today. A special effort was put into explaining to students the development of color film, which has an extensive history, starting at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, with being fully developed in the early 1930s. The interesting part of this second activity was that the students did not see this in lectures or in books, they actually were able to experience this by the seeing and interacting with the original historic film and equipment, hands on. They saw an 82 year old, original 35mm film print run on original historic film equipment, in the proper historic setting. This was a very unique opportunity for the students, as movie theaters have switched to digital projection and do not show film anymore. This activity complemented the students' summer lab research projects, as they were now able to see how much scientific and technical effort it took to develop motion pictures into this huge industry that we know now, and how much creative talent and development it has taken to come to the artistic level required for movies to become "the" art form of the 20th century. It also became clear to the students, through comparison with the development of the motion picture industry, that a new field, such as stem cell science today, needs dedicated, highly skilled and hard working individuals who will persevere to become successful, and at the same time, make the new field successful. The internship program really inspired these young people who spent their summer with us. The student interns expressed their desire to continue their education in the biological / biotech field. Excellent researchers and highly skilled biotechnology laboratory personnel will be needed in the near and extended future to produce stem cell treatments in California, which are currently translated into clinical applications by CIRM funded stem cell research laboratories. These young people are the future of California's health and economy.

© 2013 California Institute for Regenerative Medicine