Brian Cummings, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at UCI and founding member of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, received a five-year, $2.7 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to establish a training program that supports first generation and underserved students pursuing careers in public health and regenerative medicine. The program Creating Opportunities Through Mentorship and Partnership Across Stem Cell Science will match university students with faculty mentors. With their tuition covered and a stipend paid during their two years as researchers, students will gain hands-on skills in the laboratory and human cell culture; be introduced to good manufacturing procedures in the new UCI GMP facility; and obtain a certificate in clinical research coordination. “COMPASS provides students with the opportunity to explore diverse ways to apply their education and research skills to improve human health through career paths in the public and private sectors. UCI COMPASS fellows will produce a cadre of well-educated individuals who are ready to contribute to the workforce,” said Cummings, who is also the School of Medicine’s associate dean for faculty development.” A parallel goal is to foster greater awareness and appreciation of diversity, equity and inclusion among interns, mentors and other program participants.” Administered by the Sue Stem Cell Research Center & Bill Gross, the program will train 25 undergraduate and two-year college transfer students.
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