CIRM approves $5 million grant to train the next generation of stem cell scientists

By Christopher Vaughan

Oct. 1, 2021

The board of the Californian Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) approved granting Stanford $5 million to fund the institute’s CIRM Scholar Training Program. The program will help provide training for predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in stem cell research.

The grant is part of a larger block of more than $86 million CIRM is providing for training at various institutions throughout California. “The field of regenerative medicine is expanding rapidly and that’s creating a rising demand for skilled workers to help keep up,” says CIRM spokesperson Kevin McCormack. “CIRM has been a big supporter of training grant programs ever since we were created by the voters of California, and now we are kick-starting those programs again to ensure the field has all the talented workers it needs.”

In the first year at Stanford, the CIRM Scholar Training Program will fund three predoctoral trainees, two PhD postdocs and two clinical fellows. In subsequent years, the program will grow larger and provide more trainees with a framework for professional development.

The CIRM training program will augment the educational mission of SCBRM by extending training opportunities to post-PhD and post-MD trainees interested in the translation of laboratory research findings, says Gerald Spangrude, PhD, executive director of education for the Graduate Program in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. This will help promote the clinical application of the latest findings in stem cell science and regenerative medicine, he says.

“The CIRM training grant will also provide additional training positions for pre-doctoral trainees in addition to our current predoctoral funding from the National Institutes of Health T32 training program,” Spangrude said. “Our mission is to extend stem cell therapies to the clinical setting, and to train a workforce that represents California’s diversity. The CIRM training grant will allow SCBRM to fund trainees in a research-intensive environment that will intimately result in translation of laboratory research to patients.”