The CIRM SPARK Program

City of Hope is proud to be part of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) SPARK Awards program.  The CIRM SPARK Awards support summer internship programs that introduce high school students to stem cell science and developmental biology research. Students will have the opportunity to conduct research in established stem cell labs at City of Hope. During their internship, they will be trained in the latest stem cell techniques, attend lectures, participate in patient engagement activities, and communicate their research experiences through blogs and social media.

The SPARK Awards program is also intended to educate and broaden the participation in stem cell research by young individuals representing the diversity of California’s population, including those hindered by economic constraints. We encourage students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in this program.

Summer Student Academy CIRM SPARKS

In 2016 the CIRM SPARK Program at the City of Hope included (photos):

  • Lectures focusing on the ethics of alternative applications for stem cells.
  • Recruitment and learning opportunities with the Michael Amini Tranfusion Medicine Center
  • Three field trips for the students around Los Angeles.  In 2016, the students visited the California Science Center, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Aquarium of the Pacific.
  • A trip to the annual CIRM SPARK Awards Poster Day in Berkeley, California.
  • Blogs and Instagram posts by SPARK students about their internship experience and stem cell research. (Click here)
  • A music parody song and video to “Stay in the Lab” by The Bee Gees (Click here)

To learn more about the CIRM SPARK program, please visit the CIRM SPARK webpage (Click here)

2016 CIRM SPARK Students

Benjamin Ann, a junior at Arcadia High School, was mentored by Dr. Ben Shih in the Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology.

Jared Pollard, a junior at Pacific Ridge School, was mentored by Dr. Stephen Forman in the Department of Hematology.

Brandon Lu, a junior at Arcadia High School, was mentored by Dr. Marcin Kortylewski in the Department of Immuno-Oncology.

Alina Shahin, a sophomore at Mark Keppel High School, was mentored by Dr. Xiaochun Yu in the Department of Cancer Genetics and Epigenetics.

Brian Xia, a junior at Canyon Crest Academy, was mentored by Dr. Wendong Huang and Dr. Dustin Schones in the Department of Diabetes and Metabolism.

Olivia Sun, a junior at Arcadia High School, was mentored by Dr. John Rossi in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Phillip Chung, a senior at Great Oak High School, was mentored by Dr. Yanhong Shi in the Department of Developmental Stem Cell Biology.

Nancy Xu, a senior at Lynbrook High School, was mentored by Dr. Zijie Sun in the Department of Cancer Biology.


Summer Student Academy CIRM CREATIVE

The previous CIRM summer experience was the CIRM Creativity Program.  Over the four years we hosted the program the various experiences included:
  • Lectures focusing on potential disease treatments using stem cells.
  • Art Lectures on higher mathematics and how science can conserve artifacts and important historical structures.
  • Field trips for the students around Los Angeles and Orange County including: (1) The Getty Conservation Institute and Museum, (2) Natural History Museum, (3) The Institute For Figuring, (4) Griffith Observatory and (5) Owl Biomedical.
  • Workshops on making crochet coral reefs, public speaking, and drug marketing.
  • A trip to the annual CIRM Creativity Awards Poster Day in San Francisco.
  • Music Video Parodies to songs such as “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus (Click here), “I really like you” from Carly Rae Jepson (Click here),  and Let it Grow” from the Disney movie Frozen (Click here).
  • A flashmob in the City of Hope library (click here)