These NIH-sponsored stem cell training courses provide hands-on training for investigators to learn how to culture, manipulate, and differentiate embryonic stem cells from humans in vitro. These courses bring together some of the leading experts on embryonic stem cell technology, and through comparative approaches, train students in the successful culture, maintenance, and manipulation of embryonic stem cells.
New for the March 2009 course at CHOC: Tools and techniques for derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We will add training in human iPSC derivation, propagation, and characterization to our current training program. The purpose of this new component of our T15 training program is to seed the field with investigators that possess the specific skill set to properly derive iPSCs. The nature of the training will be such that the students will have hands-on exposure to all facets of iPSC derivation, propagation, and characterization. This is essential for proper training in this new technology and will be accomplished using a temporal shift technique that we already use in our current training program.
In addition, each course now ends with a symposium designed to focus on the potential application of novel stem cell therapies in pediatric diseases.
The courses are unique not only because of their diverse and highly skilled faculty, but also because they provide students with experience in both embryonic and adult stem cells.
This cross-training approach gives the students both the depth and breadth of understanding of stem cell biology that will help them in the design of their future research projects.
The overall goal of the courses is to send students back to their labs with the ability to efficiently set up and conduct human embryonic stem cell research.
Each course covers:
- Demonstration of proper growth conditions for cells
- Proper freeze-thaw cycling and preparation of cell passages
- Use of co-culture techniques
- Use of cell separation procedures
- Review of basic good laboratory practices for use of human biological materials
- Development of protocols that support the characterization of embryonic stem cells
- Application of standard research protocols for directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells
- Employment of standard detection methods for infectious organisms or other contaminants
- Cross-training of techniques used in other applications of stem cell biology
Each ten-day course is limited to twelve participants who are chosen from throughout the world, based on their potential to perform outstanding research in this field.
The next course will be held September 9-18, 2008 in southern California at The Scripps Research Instiute in La Jolla, California.
The course after that will be held in March 3-12, 2009 in southern California at the CHOC Research Institute in Orange, California.