CIRM Bridges students at Parkinson’s Institute get job training, experience

The Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale not only carries out CIRM-funded research into therapies for Parkinson’s disease (you can see a list of their awards here), but they are also training the next generation of researchers to continue that work in the future. They’ve partnered with the San Jose State University CIRM-funded Bridges program to provide stem cell research experience to undergraduate and masters students. The Parkinson’s Institute recently featured their two Bridges interns Orlando Macaranas and Leo Rodriguez in their newsletter, writing:

“Though eventually Parkinson’s will be a disease of the past, research will continue, and we are proud to help foster the next generation of researchers.”

One goal of the Bridges program is to provide students with the kinds of hands-on experience they need to work in California’s growing stem cell industry. The newsletter quotes Macaranas:

“Being able to work in a lab and gain hands-on experience has been invaluable. I am more prepared for a job after graduation than my peers who have not completed this program.”

Orlando Macaranas, CIRM Bridges student

Rodriguez said:

“The Parkinson’s Institute is a perfect place to gain lots of experience. The stem cell researchers here are eager to teach and I have been given more responsibility and increased my skills more than I would have at a much larger facility.”

Leo Rodriguez, CIRM Bridges student

This page on our website describes the Bridges program here you can see the locations of Bridges programs and their mentor institutions [pdf]. You can also see a list of the Bridges award recipients in our list of all funded CIRM awards.

Here is a video shot at last year’s Bridges meeting where the students discussed their research progress.


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