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CIRM Bridges Interns Share Stem Cell Fun with Schools and Libraries during

Stem Cell Awareness Week

                                                        Stem Cell Plinko with K-12

During the week of October 9-13, 2023, the CIRM Bridges Interns turned their knowledge of stem cells and regenerative medicine into a fun activity for local middle schools and libraries. The after school lessons included designing a Plinko board which showed what type of cells are made from the original stem cells in our body. The interns also shared a little about their research. Although nnot always, the students were engaged and according to one of the interns, "A lot of the kids actually had good questions about stem cells, like “How long do they live?” “What happens when they die?” and “Where do they come from?”

              Stem cell Plinko Boards                         Stem Cell Plinko

The interns learned some things as well. One comment was "It definitely was a learning experience to try and explain stem cells in smaller, simpler words than I was taught." Many of the interns felt this was a valuable outreach adventure. "I felt really connected to the community and I really enjoyed seeing how much the kids enjoyed the stem activity even while they are so young." "Even just getting a positive response from those few students made the whole thing a worthwhile venture." And some had the feeling that they had definitely made an ipact. "By presenting information to as many people as we can reach, even though most won’t be interested we can impact those who are. That matters quite a bit." " It feels wonderful to pass it on, and I hope I was looking at some future scientists."

CIRM Bridges Interns Learn State-of-the-Art Stem Cell Research Techniques

Interns in protective gear

The 2023-2024 cohort of CIRM Bridges Interns have completed their two-week training course, wherein they learned state-of-the-art techniques used in the study of regenerative medicine. Following this course, they began their year long journey in world-class academic or industry labs working with stem cells, in a quest to find treatments for diseases with unmet medical needs. The interns will work in these labs for a full year, learning more advanced techniques, on their way to becoming effective and well-trained scientists. The interns are working in labs that study how stem cells might provide treatment for cancer, cardiac disease, neurological disorders and many other diseases. 

Microscope use              In the hood         

Interns Assist with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation "Summerfest"

Interns help with Summerfest

On September 10, 2022 the CSU San Marcos Bridges Interns assisted with the Annual JDRF "Summerfest," an event that helps diabetes patients and their families find much needed resources. The interns helped set up for the event and worked various booths during the event. This event provided the interns with an opportunity to talk with families, especially those with a patient recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. They listened to many stories and heard about what it is like living with diabetes. They learned that "diabetes is not limited to those of higher or lower incomes nor those who are younger or older."  One of the interns was suprised to hear that "individuals are healthy one day and come to find out they have T1D the next." The one thing that the patients and their families discussed consistently was the need for constant monitoring of blood sugars and how difficult this is especially for young patients. But with the advent of a new monitor and automated pumps, things are a bit easier.


Setting up            Working the booths

Alumni Updates

As of May, 2022, CSUSM has trained 137 interns. Of those 137 interns, 132 have successfully completed the entire 12-month internship over the course of the last 14 years. The majority of these have stayed in the field of regenerative medicine working in labs in both academia or biotechnology companies. Several have completed or are continuing their educations toward earning BS, MS, PhD, MD or combined MD/PhD degrees. 

To find out more about the research being done and how it is affecting patients check out the CIRM website below: