Mohamed Abousalem Picked by Governor to Represent CSU on Board Advancing Stem Cell Research

by | Feb 9, 2022 | Leadership

Mohamed Abousalem meets with students has been appointed to represent the CSU on the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee of the CIRM. (Photo: Josie Lepe, ’03 BFA Photography)

San José State University and the California State University’s (CSU) efforts in stem cell research has earned the CSU a spot on the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) governing board. Earlier this week, SJSU Vice President for Research and Innovation Mohamed Abousalem was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to represent the CSU on the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee of the CIRM. 

CIRM’s mission is to accelerate stem cell research and turn it into cures for patients with unmet medical needs. Through Proposition 71 and Proposition 14, $8.5 billion has been dedicated to fund stem cell research in California since 2004. Abousalem’s appointment to represent the CSU will help bring the full education and research strengths of the CSU to CIRM’s programs. The CSU has successfully delivered student training and internships through the Bridges to Stem Cell Research Awards Program.

“The CSU system excels in health communication and health equity research and is well connected to underrepresented groups in California that need access to these services,” said Abousalem. “Being included on the CIRM governing board will help expand stem cell funding to these groups and further the board’s goal to help solve medical questions that can disproportionately affect these groups.”

SJSU’s work in stem cell research ​​is primarily led by the Stem Cell Internships in Laboratory-based Learning (SCILL) consortium. SCILL’s mission is to train graduate students to accelerate stem cell translational research and therapy development. Over the last 12 years, the SCILL program has graduated 110 students with a master’s degree and advanced training in stem cell biology. Almost 95% of graduates are employed in biotech, academia or health-related graduate programs, with many of them working directly in stem cell research.