A $2.5 million grant awarded to Sacramento State’s Bridges to Stem Cell Research and Therapy Program will help an additional 50 biological science students get a master of arts degree in 20 months.
The state grant was announced Jan. 19 by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), California’s stem cell institute. It’s part of a $42 million package divided among 21 universities, colleges, and other institutions.
The Sac State program is an intensive 20-month path to a master’s that includes three semesters of course work with the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, a five-day Stem Cell Techniques Training Course at the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato, and a six-month, $15,000 internship with the disease team at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures in Sacramento.
This grant continues the program, which was created and initially funded seven years ago. “It extends our capability to provide the paid internships at UC Davis for the students in that program,” says Jane Bruner, associate dean for Sac State’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
And there’s yet another Hornet connection: UC Davis Stem Cell Program Director Jan Nolta got her bachelor’s degree at Sac State in 1984.
“Jan Nolta is a Sac State alum, as am I, so we enjoy collaborating on things for our students,” Bruner says.
Ten students are admitted to the program each year. Because this is a 20-month track, their sessions overlap.
“This program will expand the pipeline of stem cell researchers needed to accelerate the application of stem cell biology to clinical use and improve health care for patients and communities in California,” Bruner says.
CIRM was launched in 2004 and now has $3 billion in funding and supports about 300 active stem cell programs.
For more information about CIRM, visit www.cirm.ca.gov. More information about Sacramento State’s program visit www.csus.edu/nsm/academic%20programs/programs/psm.html or call (916) 278-7391. – Craig Koscho
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