News Feature
October 14, 2009
By Susan Kaiser

SDSU Awarded Three Year Training Grant to Encourage Students Participation in Stem Cell Research

Stem Cells
Stem Cells
The SDSU College of Science has received a three-year grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to assist students pursuing careers in the growing scientific field of stem cell research. Through this program students will develop state-of-the-art expertise in laboratory techniques needed to work in the field of regenerative medicine.

The CIRM Bridges to Stem Cell Research Training Program provides a stipend of $2500/month to students working in local stem cell laboratories. Following a unique experience for students, including a brand new course in stem cell and regenerative biology taught by Dr. Ricardo Zayas, Assistant Professor of Biology and experience in a research laboratory at SDSU, or other institute, these students will participate in a full-time internship at various institutions from San Diego's Biotech community, including the Burnham Medical Research Institute, Invitrogen, Inc., Stemgent, The Scripps Research Institute and University of California at San Diego. Ten students will begin their internships in early November, and ten more will be placed for each of the next two years.

According to Program Director and Associate Dean of Graduate Affairs, Dr. Chris Glembotski, "When looking for a job in biomedical research, one of the most important qualifications a prospective employee can have is previous experience and training specific to the field of interest. When SDSU/CIRM fellows finish their paid internship, they will be well-trained in the field of stem cell research methods, which will make them very competitive candidates for employment in this exciting, new research area."

In addition, Dr. Cathie Atkins, Associate Dean, College of Sciences, and Program Co-Director, points out that, "There is a critical need to engage underrepresented students who represent the diversity of California's population and to develop their talents in sciences disciplines. The CIRM bridges program can take advantage of the rich diversity of students in the College of Sciences at San Diego State University by working with the Center for the Advancement of Students in Academia (CASA). CASA is an existing infrastructure in the college that serves underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students and promotes the academic development of the next generation of research scientists."

Dr. Zayas also describes the benefits of this program for faculty at SDSU, "Stem cells have attracted significant attention and research in this area has tremendous potential for medical breakthroughs. This program will help forge collaborative research projects between our faculty and researchers at the internship host institutions."

The program is open to both fourth year undergrads and beginning master's students at SDSU, pursuing their degrees in biology, biochemistry, microbiology or other related natural sciences. Applications can be found on the program website at Due date for the application is September 30, 2009 at 4 p.m.

For further information or questions regarding the SDSU/CIRM Internship Program please see our website at or contact Susan Kaiser, Program Coordinator, at

Neural Stem Cells
Neural Stem Cells

Doran's research team recently identified a surface-associated GBS protein, Srr-1, as a high molecular weight glycoprotein. An experimental model of GBS meningitis demonstrated that infection with an Srr-1 positive strain results in brain inflammation and classics pathologies associated with bacterial meningitis (Figure featured on cover). Srr-1 contributes to meningeal infection and virulence by facilitating invasion of the cells that compose the BBB. Dr. Doran's study is the first to identify a GBS factor that functions directly to mediate GBS attachment to BBB endothelium, a critical first step in CNS invasion.

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