The Regenerative Medicine Interdisciplinary Program at Cal Poly was created in 2009 with support from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and with the goal of continuing Cal Poly's tradition of graduating day-one ready professionals for the burgeoning Regenerative Medicine/Biotech Industry. With a year of coursework and project experience followed by a paid full-time 9-month internship, we prepare graduates of our MS Program for careers in research and development, biologics manufacturing, and translational research, as well as to matriculate into doctoral programs (for more details, please see our Informational Video, visit the Graduate Placement Page or review our Program Learning Objectives).
Cell and biologic therapies represent the future of medicine, and after years of promise, our field is beginning to realize its potential, as evidenced by the growth in the biotech sector, and the large number of clinical trials currently on-going for cell and tissue engineered therapies in the US. Apply now if you want to gain the skills that will allow you to make a direct contribution to bringing cell-based therapies into the clinic.
Interdisciplinary: Regenerative Medicine is an inherently interdisciplinary field, relying on the expertise of biologists, engineers, chemists, and others to bring regenerative therapies into clinical practice. Therefore, our program was founded by faculty from Biomedical Engineering, Biological Sciences, and Animal Science- drawing on our complementary skills to build a comprehensive training program. To strengthen the interdisciplinary nature of our program, we have matriculated students from a broad range of undergraduate degrees. In addition to those listed above, students have also come from biochemistry, chemical engineering, environmental sciences, among others.
Visit the Apply page to hear from some of our alumni and find out which major is the best fit for you.
The Core Courses are completed by all students (i.e. from each of the 3 participating departments- Biomedical Engineering, Biological Sciences, and Animal Science), and include offerings by the same 3 participating departments. The Core Courses are designed to prepare students for the fundamental skills of the regenerative medicine field, and the Laboratory Courses include Tissue Engineering (cell culture, histology, bioreactors), Biomedical Imaging (immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy), Cell Transplantation (surgery, efficacy measurement) and Molecular Biology (PCR, cloning, sequencing). Additional Core Courses include seminars on the Principles of Stem Cell Biology, Communicating Biology to General Audiences, Survey of Internship Partners, Product Development, and a rotating seminar (e.g. Development Biology, Neuroplasticity, or Post-transcription Regulation of Cell Fate). Students from Biomedical Engineering, Biological Sciences, and Animal Science also complete courses specific to their home department (see Department Specific Curricula).
Throughout their first year in the Program, and in the summer after completing their coursework, students design and execute a capstone project that allows them to apply the skills they learn through the coursework to a novel, open-ended project. The focus of individual projects will vary, but all will involve experimental design, data collection/interpretation, and a written report and poster presentation of the findings. The open-ended, independent nature of the project, along with the report and presentation, are designed to prepare students for rigors of the internship.
After completing their coursework and capstone project, students will embark on a 9-month internship with one of our partner institutions. Our current Industry Partners are AllCells, Capricor Therapeutics, Genea Biocells, Genentech, Kite Pharma, Organovo, Rubedo Life Sciences, and Viacyte, while the Academic Partners are The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, The Scripps Research Institute, The VA Medical Center at Stanford University, and UC San Diego. During the internship, students complete a rigorous project related to regenerative medicine or stem cell biology, with opportunities spanning translational research to product development to manufacturing. Though individual projects will vary, all internships will facilitate the mastery of broad technical skills, critical thinking & problem solving skills, current primary literature, and presentation and communication skills.