The SJSU SCILL program is a two-year program leading to an M.A./M.S. graduate degree in Biological Sciences or a MBT. The curriculum is designed to equip students with a broad-based understanding of stem cell biology through classroom instruction, seminars, and in-depth laboratory skills. 

A significant new aspect of the program will focus on patient interaction and community outreach activities. This curriculum is also supplemented with education in regulatory affairs and process of therapy development. 

This program is compliant with M.A./M.S. in Biology or MBT

Year 1

Students attend two semesters of stem cell biology and molecular classes at SJSU. 

Stem Cell Biology Core Classes 

Principles of Developmental Biology- 3 units 

This is an upper division undergraduate lecture course based on current literature in developmental biology, designed to provide an understanding of molecular mechanisms of gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation and organogenesis.

Advanced Molecular Biology Techniques - 4 units

This course is a graduate molecular biology lecture/laboratory course that develops comprehension and competency in preparation for independent research. Students isolate DNA, clone a gene of interest, transfect mammalian cells and analyze expression by RTPCR and western blot.

Flow cytometry class - workshop

This techniques-based class is taught by an specialized instructor. Students design multi-color flow cytometry experiments, to characterize immune cells, stem cells, and analyze signaling pathways. They acquire skills on Canto and LSRII, and sort with Aria flow cytometers. Data is analyzed with FlowJo in a 24-station computer lab at SJSU.

Graduate writing class and seminar

This class emphasizes written and oral presentation of scientific information, research proposal preparation and professional development.

Year 2

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Training Workshop

Students will attend a one-week lab/workshop at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University prior to starting their internship (see “Stem Cell Techniques Course” section).

SJSU SCILL Internship

SJSU SCILL students will devote 12 months to a full time internship at one of our partner host institutions. These “hands on” research activities will be unique to each intern as developed in line with the assigned internship  mentor, focusing on stem cells and progenitors basic, or translational research (see “Internship host Institutions” section). 

Career Development Activities

During this year SJSU SCILL students will develop an individual professional development plan (PDP) in consultation with the SJSU mentorship team (see “Mentoring, Advising and trainee assessment” and “Internship mentors” and “Trainee Selection and Internship Placement” sections), participate in career fairs, and network with SCILL alumni and other profession groups to facilitate their immediate employment upon completion of the program. Interns will be encouraged to join the SJSU SCILL LinkedIn group for career tracking purposes.

Culminating Experience

Upon completing the curriculum, the student will summarize their research thesis or project and orally defend it in front of their Master's committee and audience. 

Additionally, the student will present their work in a poster format at the annual CIRM trainee conference. These activities will culminate their program commitment and will award them with a master degree from SJSU.