Cole Schmidt

Class of 2013

Photo of Cole Schmidt
Education: BS Microbiology, currently pursuing MS in Biology


Cole's interest in stem cells and regenerative medicine came from a desire to take  the knowledge attained from genetics, immunology, and microbiology and applying it in as many new and innovative ways as can be discovered. His curiosity was peaked upon observing teratomas and wondering if these strange and potentially dangerous tumors could be understood and applied therapeutically. This led him to believe that all of the problems involving embryonic stem cell use could be bypassed by finding or creating an alternative stem cell. Beyond this, he was certain stem cell reseach will lead to many world-changing technologies, and he was excited to be studying this field so early on in its develpment.

He interned at the Salk Institute in the Laboratory of Genetics, Verma (LOG-V) (Inder Verma, PI) working under postdoc Oded Singer. His project involved exploring an alternative means of reprogramming somatic tissue into induced pluripotent stem cells. This experiment would provide a safer means of reprogramming than the traditional viral vector. He conceived this idea after listening to some of the presentations given by postdocs in the Verma Lab, and incorporating what Dr. Singer has taught him about genetic and cellular reprogramming. He constructed the vector and carried out cell culture with the aid of Dr. Singer's invaluable experience and direction. 

After graduating, Cole obtained a position with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he is studying patient-derived iPSCs.

Cole, presenting his Internship Research at the 2013 CIRM Trainee Meeting.