One of the central goals of the Regenerative Bioscience Center (RBC) is to help connect, inform and educate the research and non-research community about stem cells, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The RBC serves as a platform for sharing of information, ideas and collaboration and to assist the scientific community in gaining access to cutting edge biomedical research tools (e.g. induced pluripotent stem cells, large animal disease models). The RBC is also a conduit connecting the regenerative medicine research community to the general population. A number of questions from the public have been raised about regenerative medicine and the RBC believes that it is the responsibility of scientist to help address these questions. Members of the RBC have regularly given talks at middle and high schools, colleges, social clubs and to public officials at the local, state and national levels.
The India National Dairy Research Institute “Hands on Training on Stem Cell Research for Quality Animal Production” workshop
Dr. Franklin West recently went to Karnal, India as the keynote speaker and instructor at the National Dairy Research Institute’s stem cell workshop. During this 10 day workshop, he taught researchers from all over the country how to isolate embryonic stem cell from livestock and to generate induced pluripotent stem cells. Dr West started from the basics of cell culture and passaging and ultimately showed them how to fully characterize cells for the present of stem cell genes and proteins. One of the participants described it as an “excellent hands on experience that will truly help me do research with my own hands once I get back to the lab.” The workshop did not go unnoticed by the general population with several articles being published in the local Hindi newspaper.
The Human Embryonic Stem cell Toolbox (HEST) Workshop
Over the last 6 years, a number of researchers from across Georgia and Virginia as well as from India, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Canada and Europe have attended and participated in the HEST workshop. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and other private donors such as ArunA Biomedical, the HEST workshop has trained well over 38 investigators. The HEST workshop serves as the platform for future educational activities in the RBC. The workshop covers the maintenance of adult, embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells and includes advance topics such as lineage specific differentiation and genetic manipulation of these cells. Drs Stice and Rao are the organizers of the HEST workshop and other RBC members including Drs. Baile and West have served as lecturers.
Undergraduate Research Experiences
Undergraduate students take honors credits to conduct research in RCB faculty laboratories. They gain invaluable hands-on research experience and develop critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills applicable in course work as well as the hESC based research. The program helps to identify academic and career interests and develop a collaborative, working relationship with a RBC faculty member early in a student's academic career. The RCB works closely with the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) program, the University of Georgia Honors Program, and other undergraduate research programs on campus. Recently, two RBC undergraduate researchers received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship- an academic excellent award for highly qualified college students interested in science, mathematics and engineering. RBC undergraduates have also received numerous other awards including the Gates Cambridge Scholarship and Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation Scholarship with students repeatedly citing their research experience being one of the most important and influential aspects of their development.