Statement of Benefit to California:
Year 1The objective of the Humboldt State University CIRM Bridges training program is to provide motivated and talented undergraduate students who are interested in stem cell and regenerative medicine with an opportunity to receive one year of independent research training in a CIRM supported research laboratory at UC Davis, UCSF or Stanford University. A committee of Biology faculty members selects students through an application and interview process. The selected students are fully supported by the CIRM Bridges grant during their training period. The effectiveness of the program is evident from the success of the students who have completed the training. 91.5% of the students who have completed the training in the past four years have been either employed (58%), accepted to Ph.D. programs (21%) or professional programs (12.5%). We attribute this level of success to the way the Bridges program was designed by CIRM and the quality of the students selected to the program. We expect to maintain this level of success in the ensuing years of the project. In 2012-13 academic year, we placed seven CIRM Bridges trainees in different labs at Stanford (4), UCSF (1) and UC Davis (2). Of the seven, two of them have been accepted to Ph.D. programs in Stem Cell/ Regenerative Medicine fields, one is in the process of applying to MD/Ph.D. programs and three of them have been offered research technical positions. The remaining one student will be taking courses to complete her undergraduate degree.
Year 2The Humboldt State University CIRM Bridges program is designed to provide opportunities for HSU students in education and training in stem cell and regenerative medicine fields. In addition, the program also supports activities to educate non-science majors, the general public and those in the local medical community as to recent advances in regenerative medicine and its potential to cure a variety of human ailments, specifically neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
The CIRM Bridges program also allowed the HSU Biology department to establish a very rigorous and successful stem cell training program on campus. This has benefited a large number of students and has generated a tremendous interest in the field.
Over the past five years, the CIRM program at HSU has facilitated the stem cell/regenerative medicine training of 39 students in one of the three major research institutions, UC Davis, UCSF or Stanford University. Of these 39 students, 11 were accepted to Ph.D. programs in the stem cell field. Four were accepted to professional programs in medicine. In addition, 3 were selected to MS programs in stem cell/regenerative medicine fields. 19/39 (49%) are employed in a research laboratory or in the biotechnology industry in California. 95% of our 39 students met the objective of the program- each has been employed in the biotech industry/ research labs or has been accepted to higher education in the stem cell/ regenerative medicine field. We attribute the success of the program to the quality of students and the effective design of the program by the CIRM administration.