Unique Research Opportunities for Medical Students
Stem cell biology is not only about discovery, but is a unique field of medical study with the potential to fundamentally change our understanding and treatment of human diseases. Stem cell activation for tissue repair or the direct isolation and transplantation of tissue stem cells is the basis of regenerative medicine. Tissue-derived, embryonic, or induced pluripotent stem cells provide many paths to basic discovery, but these cells also offers a source of tissue stem cells that might participate in tissue or organ regeneration following transplant. The identification, isolation, and deep molecular research of each cancer stem cell again provides a path to discovery and, from those discoveries, novel molecular and immune therapies for those cancers.
Stem cell biology is becoming central to modern medicine. Knowing this, several leaders on the faculty, including Paul Berg, PJ Utz, Brian Kobilka, and Irv Weissman, have developed a new medical school basic science curriculum that extends the first two years of medical school into 3 years. There is also an option for an additional year to complete a master’s degree. In this curriculum, students will have daily dedicated research time starting late in the first year, with full time research each summer. This novel alternative provides sufficient time for the MD student to do meaningful research with our faculty in stem cell biology, regenerative medicine, and cancer stem cell biology. The Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine welcomes incoming medical students. We encourage all MD students to explore our research opportunities and, if relevant, to participate in our Faculty’s related clinical subspecialties such as hematopoietic cell transplant, tissue stem cell transplants, and cancer stem cell-related clinical trials, etc. To learn more about these opportunities in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine please contact Lorena Najarro.