Although these meetings are a critical component of the curriculum for those with primary and secondary academic appointments to the Stem Cell/Regeneration Program at Sanford-Burnham, they are intended for any individual whose work or interests intersect with stem cell biology and regeneration or their biological underpinning—whether or not (s)he holds a formal affiliation with the Program. Even if you personally cannot attend, please encourage your lab members to do so.
These meetings are meant to embrace not only the Sanford-Burnham community, although Sanford-Burnham will host them, but also the broader Southern California biomedical research community.
The meetings will be very interactive with the goal not only of being educational (including constructive critique of experiments and projects), but also of fostering collaborations.
It is our hope to be able to apply for an NIH Training Grant sometime in the next calendar year and, as you know, the most competitive applications are those that already have an educational and interactive program in place. We are gratified that so many investigators outside of the immediate Sanford-Burnham family have been attending. Ideally, the training program will continue attract the interest and participation of members of the broader Southern California academic and biotech community.
We intend these sessions to be very interactive and, hence, informal (a lab meeting or "working group" type atmosphere), and to be punctuated by frequent and active discussion.
On a rotating basis, each lab/group will have the opportunity (and responsibility) for orchestrate or plan a monthly session, using its assigned slot as it wishes. These options might include
- presenting data (e.g., a chalk talk or informal/impromptu PowerPoint presentation from new or evolving experiments)
- conducting a "journal club" (i.e., discussing/critiquing a recent publication pertinent to the field)
- bringing in an outside speaker
- soliciting input from the group to help plan or troubleshoot projects or experiments
Basically, any activity that the lab for that month deems relevant is acceptable. The session belongs to the particular lab for that month. How a lab delegates tasks among themselves is an intra-lab decision. We do encourage active participation by trainees.
Since these are the early days of the Stem Cell Program, should a single monthly meeting—or this format for the meeting—become too big, too unwieldy, or unresponsive to the scientific needs of the participants, then we will alter its frequency, its size, its format, or consider adding smaller specialty-theme working groups.