The Consortium for Stem Cell Internships in laboratory-based Learning was formed by faculty and administrators from eight institutions who made a commitment to educate and to train students at the graduate level for careers in stem cell biology and to increase awareness about scientific and societal issues related to stem cell biology and regenerative medicine among non-science majors.
This CIRM-supported program, endorsed by the leaders in the stem cell arena, will ensure that California will continue to lead the nation by providing a regional stem cell workforce of the highest quality.
Vision and Goals
The state of California is in urgent need for therapies for a variety of degenerative diseases. Developments in stem cell biology are on the verge of providing such therapies. The process of translating research-based innovations into useful, proven patient therapies is complex, and requires professionals at various levels. In creating CIRM the voters in California ascended to a leadership position in developing stem cells for therapeutic applications.
Through CIRM funding, the Stem Cell Internships in Laboratory-based Learning Program at San José State University (SJSU SCILL) continues to generate well-rounded professionals who will accelerate the development of stem cell therapies. We train California State University students who will provide the engine supporting California’s stem cell industry.
We partner with premier institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area to train high quality professionals in basic cell and molecular research, translational research involving stem cell product development and clinical applications of stem cell science.
We also train our students to understand the people in need of stem cell therapies by engaging them in patient care at degenerative disease clinics and institutes for translational medicine. Our students will also reach out to their communities to educate wide audiences about stem cell sources and their pathway to therapeutic applications.
Furthermore, SCILL provides young people of California from diverse backgrounds with a university master’s degree in science and career opportunities in this expanding California industry.
Outcomes of SCILL Bridges Program
The SJSU SCILL Program is now in its 10th year. Jusst over ninety students have already graduated with a master’s degree. They represent the face of California’s diverse population. More than 90% of these graduates hold professional positions in the Bay area. More than 50% now work in biotech companies, many on generating stem cell therapies. About 30% work in academic labs advancing stem cell research. About 15% of SCILL graduates continue to Ph.D. programs or medical school, and will further advance this field in the future.