If you have read the headlines lately, you’ll know that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on the shipping industry. Container vessels are forced to sit out at anchor for a week or more because there just aren’t enough dock workers to unload the boats. It’s a simple rule of economics, you can have all the demand you want but if you don’t have the people to help deliver on the supply side, you are in trouble.
The same is true in regenerative medicine. The field is expanding rapidly and that’s creating a rising demand for skilled workers to help keep up. That doesn’t just mean scientists, but also technicians and other skilled individuals who can ensure that our ability to manufacture and deliver these new therapies is not slowed down.
That’s one of the reasons why CIRM has been a big supporter of training programs ever since we were created by the voters of California when they approved Proposition 71. And now we are kick-starting those programs again to ensure the field has all the talented workers it needs.
Last week the CIRM Board approved 18 programs, investing more than $86 million, as part of the Agency’s Research Training Grants program. The goal of the program is to create a diverse group of scientists with the knowledge and skill to lead effective stem cell research programs.
The awards provide up to $5 million per institution, for a maximum of 20 institutions, over five years, to support the training of predoctoral graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, and/or clinical trainees.
This is a revival of an earlier Research Training program that ran from 2006-2016 and trained 940 “CIRM Scholars” including:
• 321 PhD students
• 453 Postdocs
• 166 MDs
These grants went to academic institutions from UC Davis in Sacramento to UC San Diego down south and everywhere in-between. A 2013 survey of the students found that most went on to careers in the industry.
- 56% continued to further training
- 14% advanced to an academic research faculty position
- 10.5% advanced to a biotech/industry position
- 12% advanced to a non-research position such as teaching, medical practice, or foundation/government work
The Research Training Grants go to:
|EDUC4-12751||Cedars-Sinai||CIRM Training Program in Translational Regenerative Medicine||$4,999,333|
|EDUC4-12752||UC Riverside||TRANSCEND – Training Program to Advance Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Research, Education, and Workforce Diversity||$4,993,115|
|EDUC4-12753||UC Los Angeles||UCLA Training Program in Stem Cell Biology||$5 million|
|EDUC4-12756||University of Southern California||Training Program Bridging Stem Cell Research with Clinical Applications in Regenerative Medicine||$5 million|
|EDUC4-12759||UC Santa Cruz||CIRM Training Program in Systems Biology of Stem Cells||$4,913,271|
|EDUC4-12766||Gladstone Inst.||CIRM Regenerative Medicine Research Training Program||$5 million|
|EDUC4-12772||City of Hope||Research Training Program in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine||$4,860,989|
|EDUC4-12782||Stanford||CIRM Scholar Training Program||$4,974,073|
|EDUC4-12790||UC Berkeley||Training the Next Generation of Biologists and Engineers for Regenerative Medicine||$4,954,238|
|EDUC4-12792||UC Davis||CIRM Cell and Gene Therapy Training Program 2.0||$4,966,300|
|EDUC4-12802||Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles||CIRM Training Program for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research||$4,999,500|
|EDUC4-12804||UC San Diego||Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Training Grant at UCSD III||$4,992,446|
|EDUC4-12811||Scripps||Training Scholars in Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research||$4,931,353|
|EDUC4-12812||UC San Francisco||Scholars Research Training Program in Regenerative Medicine, Gene Therapy, and Stem Cell Research||$5 million|
|EDUC4-12813||Sanford Burnham||A Multidisciplinary Stem Cell Training Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys Institute, A Critical Component of the La Jolla Mesa Educational Network||$4,915,671|
|EDUC4-12821||UC Santa Barbara||CIRM Training Program in Stem Cell Biology and Engineering||$1,924,497|
|EDUC4-12822||UC Irvine||CIRM Scholars Comprehensive Research Training Program||$5 million|
|EDUC4-12837||Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation||Stem Cell Training Program at the Lundquist Institute||$4,999,999|
These are not the only awards we make to support training the next generation of scientists. We also have our SPARK and Bridges to Stem Cell Research programs. The SPARK awards are for high school students, and the Bridges program for graduate or Master’s level students.