Stem cell biology and regenerative medicine is one of the newest and most powerful approaches in biomedical science; it offers the opportunity to experimentally approach previously intractable biological questions, create models of human disease and develop cell-based therapeutics.
This two-year program will give students a deep understanding of the scientific and clinical underpinnings of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. In the first year, the program includes three didactic lecture courses that address developmental biology and human embryology, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine and translational and therapeutic aspects of stem cell technology. The program also includes two laboratory modules that provide guided hands-on experience with stem cells and stem cell laboratory approaches, along with several faculty-led discussion-based courses that allow detailed investigation within specific aspects of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.
During the second year, under the mentorship of department faculty, students will extend their educational experience with two additional seminar courses (DSR 620 and DSR 610 ) and apply methodologies used in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine to create an independent capstone project. This capstone project (SCRM 594a , SCRM 594b , SCRM 594z ) will involve assembling a thesis committee, meetings with the committee, preparing a thesis to be submitted to the USC library and a public defense.
Applicants to this program must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) in undergraduate work. Other materials required include: official transcripts, two letters of recommendation and a Statement of Purpose. The Statement of Purpose should succinctly describe the reasons for applying to the program, the preparation for this field of study, academic interests, future career plans and any other aspects of the applicant’s background that may aid the admissions committee in evaluating aptitude and motivation for graduate study in this field.
Students enrolled in the MS Program in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (without thesis) can petition to transfer at the completion of year 1 if they are in excellent academic standing. These students must obtain approval from both the Thesis Mentor and Program Director.
Students completing this degree will be well-positioned to proceed to PhD or medical programs, find laboratory or administrative employment in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology domains, engage in public policy or administration of academic, clinical or business efforts in the expanding discipline of regenerative medicine.
- Describe foundational concepts in stem cell and developmental biology and translational biology.
- Explain the principles underlying the equipment, reagents, databases and methods commonly used for research in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.
- Develop critical thinking skills by analysis of experimental data in published literature.
- Outline the steps of the research process, state key research criteria and pitfalls, and design a credible and meaningful research project.
- Evaluate current issues and approaches in stem cell biology through writing and oral presentation
- Implement and manage academic sources and citations to competently and efficiently produce documents.
- Create original research which will if appropriate, entail trouble shooting, hypothesis testing and data analysis.
- Defend a master’s thesis succinctly, in written and oral forms, to faculty, mentors and potential collaborators.
Graduation requires completion of 35 units according to the course schedule outlined below. This program is intended to be completed within two academic years and culminates with the completion of a capstone project to be presented and defended as part of SCRM 594a , SCRM 594b , SCRM 594z .
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