Cal Poly Pomona

Graduate Students

Kenna Schnarr

Scroll down for a list of previous CIRM Graduate Student Interns and their projects.

Internship Overview

  • A one year full-time paid research internship ($2575/month***STIPEND SUBJECT TO TAX) in a stem cell lab at City of Hope, Caltech, USC, The Scripps Institute or Western University of Health Sciences. 
  • During the internship, the student will  keep his/her status as a full-time student and receive unit credit for the research.
  • The internship research is considered the student’s thesis research and the student receives thesis research units.  If necessary, to finish the thesis project, research may continue after completion of the internship, but without support from CIRM.
  • There are 2 positions available at CPP and 2 positions available at CSULA.
  • Participants will be chosen by a committee including faculty from both CPP and CSULA.
  • All interns will participate in a 1-week Stem Cell Techniques Training course at the USC CIRM Shared Research Laboratory prior to starting their internships.
  • The interns will be assigned both a research mentor from the institution in which they will be doing their stem cell research and a CSU faculty mentor to guide them during their internships.
  • Upon completion of their internships, interns will give talks on their research at a CPP/CSULA symposium.

Application Requirements

  • Your overall GPA must be a 3.0 or above.
  • You must have completed at least three of the courses listed below, before the research internship begins (January or June), or their equivalents, with a B or better.


Cal Poly Pomona

          BIO 310 Molecular and Cell Biology

          BIO 450 Concepts of Molecular Biology

          BIO 451/451L Molecular Biology Techniques

          BIO 455/455L Molecular Biology of Recombinant DNA

          BIO 570/570L Cellular Immunity and Disease

          MICR415/415L Immunology and Serology

          BIO465/465L Stem Cell Biology

          BIO 565/565L Animal Tissue Culture


Cal State L.A.

          BIOL 380 Cell Biology OR CHEM 431 ABC Biochemistry

          BIOL 413 Molecular Diagnostics

          BIOL 416 Molecular Genetics

          BIOL 417 Principles of Gene Manipulation

          BIOL 519 Genetic Engineering Laboratory

          MICR 304 Immunology and Serology

          MICR 450 Innate Immunity

          BIOL 481 Basic Cell Culture Theory and Techniques (required)

Additional requirements for graduate students for completing their Master's degree

          • All classes listed below must be taken before the completion of your Master's Degree.
          • BIO 693, BIO 694 and BIO 696, at CPP, can be completed during the Stem Cell Research Internship at City of Hope, Caltech, USC, The Scripps Institute or Western University of Health Sciences.
          • You must complete all other Graduate Degree Requirements (CPP Biology and CSULA Biology) specified by the Biological Sciences Department or the department in which you are enrolled for your Master's degree.


Cal Poly Pomona Graduate Students: Biological Sciences Department

      BIO 680 Seminar in Biology - usually taken three times for 1 unit each 3
      BIO 693 Presentation of Research Proposal 1
      BIO 694 Thesis Research in the Biological Sciences 6
      BIO 696 Master’s Degree Thesis 3
      Program courses - determined by the student with the approval of the Thesis Advisor and thesis committee. At least 11 units must be from 500 and 600-level courses 32
      TOTAL 45


Cal State L.A. Graduate Students: Biological Sciences Department

    (2) BIOL 510 Seminar (1 unit each) 2
    (2) 500-level Seminar course (3 units each) 6
    BIOL 599 9
    BIOL 597 6
    Program courses - determined by the student with the approval of the Thesis Advisor (400-level or 500-level coursework). 22
    TOTAL 45



  • It is your responsibility to request official transcripts from all previous post-secondary educational institutions to be mailed directly to the address below.
  • An unofficial electronic copy of your transcripts needs to be sent to
  • You must also have three letters of recommendation in an electronic form as an attachment (pdf on letterhead preferred) sent by your recommenders to Hard copies of the letters must also be sent to the address below.
  • Send official transcript documents to the address below:

Airan Jansen, Program Administrator

Department of Biological Sciences

Cal Poly Pomona

3801 West Temple Avenue

Pomona, CA  91768


Previous CIRM Graduate Student Interns



Marissa Chen
The effect of different three dimensional conditions on Chondrocyte and Stem cell capacity to regenerate cartilaginous tissue
Mentor: Tsaiwei Olee, Ph.D., Scripps Clinic

Prasanthi Durvasula
Effects of Inducible KLF4 Activation on Hematopoietic Stem Cell Proliferation and Maintenance
Mentor: John Rossi, Ph.D., City of Hope

Omar Snoussi
Role of miRNA145 in Hematopoietic stem & Progenitor cell maintenance of pluripotencyMentor: John Rossi, Ph.D., City of Hope

Julie Kim
Transdifferentiation of Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts to Neural Crest Cells by Defined FactorsMentor: Gage Crump, Ph.D., USC

Raha Shirkhani
Development of a Small Molecule Screening Assay using a Three Dimensional Culture System
Mentor: Francesca Mariani, Ph.D., USC


Etana Kopin
Enhanced Long-Term Transduction and Engraftment of CD34+ Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells Transduced with Tyrosine-Modified Recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus Serotypes 2 and 6
Mentor: Saswati Chatterjee, Ph.D., City of Hope

Kent Young
Regulation of gene expression in human embryonic stem cells during differentiation
Mentor: Linda Iverson, Ph.D., City of Hope

Kenna Schnarr
Gold Nanoparticle-Loaded Neural Stem Cells for Photothermal Ablation of Cancer
Mentor: Karen Aboody, M.D., City of Hope

Kenneth Ng
Generating Bcl11b Gene Targeting Vectors by Recombineering
Mentor: Ellen Rothenberg, Ph.D., Cal Tech


Jessica Jackson

Digit Tip Regeneration in Neonate Mice

Mentor:  Francesca Mariani, Ph.D., USC

Grace Asuelime

Switching Fates: Building a Direct Reprogramming Strategy from Human Fibroblasts to Astrocytes

Mentor: Yanhong Shi, Ph.D., City of Hope

Kevin Urak

TRIM 5 alpha expression and activity in multicistronic exons for anti-HIV lentiviarl vectors Mentor: John Rossi, Ph.D., City of Hope


Natalie Rodriguez

Therapeutic efficacy of enriched hAEC transplantation in Mucopolysaccharidosis Type 1 (MPS-I) mouse model of liver congenital metabolic disease

Mentor: Toshio Miki, M.D., Ph.D., USC

Patsy Chenpanas

A TALEN-mediated gene correction for Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome

Mentor: Jiing-Kuan Yee, Ph.D., City of Hope

Jaona Loeza

Optimizing in vitro and in vivo studies to investigate whether TWIST1 plays a role in generating and maintaining breast cancer stem cells

Mentor: Carlotta Glackin, Ph.D., City of Hope

Bryan Hernandez

Use of the hydrodynamic tail vein injection and Sleeping Beauty transposase system to elucidate the role of GDF15

Mentor: Andrew McMahon, Ph.D., USC

William Reallyvasquez

Costal periosteal gene expression response in large scale costal resection

Mentor: Francesca Mariani, Ph.D., USC

Eleanor Kim

Targeting human acute myeloid leukemia stem cells by inhibiting Wnt/β-cateninsignaling

Mentor: Ravi Bhatia, M.D., City of Hope