New Lab Based Research Offered
The Panama College of Cell Science now offers an exciting laboratory-based option to students who prefer to complete a dissertation based on actual stem cell research. Up to now, our graduate students have done elegant “reviews” to meet their dissertation requirement. These review papers have been published in peer reviewed journals as well as through other outlets such as Amazon. In a “review”, the student selects a very current topic within the stem cell field and proceeds to summarize the most prominent and latest articles, not only establishing the current consensus but more importantly describing where that aspect of the field is now and synthesizing where it is likely to be proceeding. New hypotheses and ideas for future experiments are presented. The purpose of the dissertation—to demonstrate a command of stem cell science and ability to think independently—is thus accomplished.
Now, through the generosity of US Stem Cell Inc., one of the premier regenerative medicine companies in the US, a lab based research option is available, that would allow some graduate students to perform actual stem cell research in connection with their dissertation requirement. As always, however, lab based research is not required. Read the full description HERE: New Laboratory Based Research Option/
We do not have laboratories at the College. We have essentially dropped entirely our pursuit of a lab for a demonstration project. The expense of maintaining a lab along with the fact that most students would not participate due to distance or visa issues or otherwise caused us to reconsider the need. We have a diverse number of countries represented in our program, many of which are considered to be “third world” with some students studying alongside a flickering lightbulb due to power issues!! There is no way for a lab to be accessible to such a diverse student body. A country that you can easily travel to might not be any good for others.
Students are encouraged to locate and participate in hands-on training sessions in stem cell science held from time to time in their home countries. Any such extra work is recorded in the student’s Academic Record.
Training in Laboratory Techniques
Don’t feel that our lack of laboratory will somehow leave you unprepared…we train you in laboratory techniques and we train you well. Here is a sample of a student’s work in our Growth Media, Cell Tagging, and Cell Separation course. You will see that this student is well prepared to walk into any lab and speak confidently about the stem cell field and to conduct laboratory procedures. We all learn on the job anyway, and most graduates from traditional colleges find that when they become employed, they do not use one piece of equipment they trained on as graduate students.
What has also surprised us is that some of our students (due to having masters degrees and/or access to local labs due to employment or otherwise) are managing to conduct simple laboratory studies for their dissertations, even though this is not required.