Stem cell agency funds research training program at UC Santa Cruz

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) awarded UC Santa Cruz a $ 4.9 million grant for a CIRM training program in stem cell systems biology. Led by the Institute of Stem Cell Biology (IBSC) at UCSC, the program will support graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

“Alumni of our training programs have an excellent track record in achieving their desired career goals,” said Catharina Lindley, IBSC Program Director. “We are particularly excited to welcome mentors and interns from the Science and Justice Research Center to the new program. Integrating social and ethical aspects of stem cell research will provide interns with valuable perspectives.

The training program places a strong emphasis on one-on-one mentoring, building cohorts and building strong scientific and professional networks. Mentors and interns will come from a variety of disciplines including bioengineering, genomics, biology and social sciences.

Since its inception in 2005, the IBSC has built a cohesive interdisciplinary stem cell research community at UCSC. With a stem cell research center and courses in stem cell research and ethics, the institute brings together 31 laboratories headed by professors from seven different departments and three divisions.

The program will provide rigorous training in stem cell research under the guidance of an IBSC faculty mentor. The interns’ research will focus on solving important problems in stem cell research using interdisciplinary and innovative approaches. The integrative core courses will bring together trainees from different scientific backgrounds to promote cross-fertilization and cohort building. Other components of the program include patient awareness and engagement opportunities and career development skills training.

“A major goal of our program is to focus on understanding the ‘big picture’, so that trainees can confidently identify the main outstanding issues in the field of stem cells and innovative pathways for them. study them, “said Camilla Forsberg, professor of biomolecular engineering and co-director of the IBSC.

“UCSC’s strength lies in pushing the boundaries of basic science,” added co-director Lindsay Hinck, professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology. “Interactions with translational and clinical medicine teams will enrich the perspectives of our trainees and encourage fruitful collaborations in the development of new stem cell-based therapies. “

IBSC’s stem cell training and career development infrastructure has been bolstered by several recent grants, including an Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, a student training program graduates funded by the UC-Hispanic Serving Institutions doctoral diversity initiative, and a mentorship program funded by the Genentech Foundation.

The new program is expected to expand in the first few years, eventually serving eight doctorates. students and six postdoctoral fellows per year by the third year of the program.

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