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Monday, September 25, 2023

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Aaliyah Staples-West looks at images of stem cells stained with red, green and blue dye.

Stem Cell Research Internship Opened New Doors for SDSU Alumna

Gaining confidence and technical skills paves the way to new advances in regenerative medicine
By Sarah White, Video by Bailey Chan

“The internship has prepared me 110%,” said Aaliyah Staples-West (‘22), a biology and chemistry graduate from San Diego State University.


Since completing the year-long Bridges to Stem Cell Research Internship Program, Staples-West has been using the techniques she learned in the program to rewrite the playbook for how to differentiate stem cells at biopharmaceutical manufacturing company, Resilience.


“This one-year experience has taught me so much about myself,” she said.


The mentorship and support Staples-West received from the program’s leadership and in her lab at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine helped her learn that science can be collaborative rather than competitive.


Initially hesitant about her ability to succeed in research, she also gained clarity about her future. She plans to eventually go back to graduate school and earn her Ph.D., M.D. or potentially both, because of how much she enjoyed conducting experiments.


Applications for the Bridges to Stem Cell Research Internship Program are open until March 1st. Undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in the future of medicine are encouraged to apply.


The program is funded through the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Proposition 71 and Proposition 14, both approved by California voters in 2004 and 2020 respectively.