Camarillo, Calif., June 13, 2011 – Students  enrolled in CSU Channel Islands’ (CI) Master of Science in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics with an emphasis in Stem Cell Technology and Laboratory Management Program have had two very successful years. 

The program requires a one-year internship during which students work full-time in a research institution or a company doing advanced, real-time research on existing stem cell science projects. The internship program is overseen by Dr. Chunnian Zhao, an instructor for the MS program. A grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) funds the year-long internships for up to 10 students in the program each year at $35,750 for each student. 

The first cohort of students from CI’s MS program graduated in September of 2010.  All had job offers. Some of the companies or institutions they have joined since graduation include Dr. Jeanne Loring’s lab at the Scripps Research Institute, Dendreon Corporation, Celavie Biosciences, Stem Cell Core Facility at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Dr. Joseph Gleeson Lab at UCSD , PDS Technical Services, Inc., UCSB Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering, City of Hope, and Amgen. Some of the students have already published papers in the nation’s most prestigious journals. More manuscripts are being prepared for publication.

The second cohort of students will graduate in September of 2011 and are currently working as student interns at Scripps Research Institute, UCSB, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, University of Southern California, and City of Hope.  These students are involved in cutting-edge stem cell research at a very advanced level.

Michael Winkler, a student from the second cohort, is working at the City of Hope, under the guidance of Dr. Teresa Ku, a preeminent diabetes researcher. Winkler sought this opportunity because his father has diabetes and he has chosen research in diabetes and endocrinology as his field.  “I am able to work at something that helps my family personally and in my field of interest, with a doctor who is tops in her field.”

Chase Gabrelow is doing his internship at Scripps Research Institute and describes his research as, turning skin cells into brain cells.”  The goal of this research is to help a patient with a neurodegenerative disorder, such as Alzheimer’s, by providing better and more specific treatment options.  Upon completion of the program, Chase hopes to return to CI to earn his MBA, thus widening his career options.

“This internship program has provided wonderful opportunities for our students to engage in front-line research in an exciting and rapidly advancing field and our students have benefited greatly from the program” said Dr. Ching-Hua Wang, the Director for the MS program.

For additional information about these programs visit: MS Biotechnology and Bioinformatics.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.