Engaging the Next Generation of Leaders: Graduate Students in Sarwal Lab to Attend Clinton Global Initiative University
Joshua Y. Yang, B.S., Michael C. Nasr, B.S., and Tyler Schmeckpeper B.S., Master of Translational Medicine (MTM), graduate student researchers in the Sarwal Lab, were recently invited to attend the 9th annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) 2016 at UC Berkeley on April 1-3, 2016, and selected as presenters to disucss their work.
The MTM program, a cross-campus collaboration between two University of California campuses—San Francisco and Berkeley, and launched with the help of CTSI, is among the first educational programs of its kind aimed at accelerating the translation of cutting-edge research into patient care.
Under the guidance of the lab's two principal investigators, Lab Director Minnie Sarwal, MD, PhD, and Tara Sigdel, Ph.D., the trio of graduate students are working towards the development of an assay which will detect cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in the urine of kidney transplant patients.
The student's commitment to action, entitled "KIT: Kidney Injury Test", falls within their CGI U selected focus area, Public Health - Access to Health Care and Technology. The test under development is an inexpensive and sensitive assay to detect cfDNA, one which would enable early detection of subclinical kidney transplant injury and rejection. This is especially relevant in the global context where significant numbers of kidney transplants are performed in developing countries that may lack the facilities for sustained post-transplant care. While the acute rejection rate for kidney transplants in the U.S. is 15%, that rate may be significantly higher in developing countries in regions where transplant monitoring may be cost-prohibitive.
CGI U has paired the Sarwal Lab students with mentors who have been successful in past technology startups. At the CGI U meeting, the students will attend plenary and working sessions, as well as networking events that will enable them to build skills and identify partners with whom to collaborate. They will also have the unique opportunity to meet former President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and other notables.
|Joshua Y. Yang, B.S.||Michael C. Nasr, B.S.||Tyler Schmeckpeper B.S.|
About the CGI
Building on the successful model of the Clinton Global Initiative, which brings together world leaders to take action on global challenges, President Clinton launched the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) in 2007 to engage the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world. Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, university representatives, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges.
About the UCSF Master of Translational Medicine (MTM)
This Master of Translational Medicine (MTM) program, led by Executive Director Michael “Moose” O’Donnell, PhD, is "a cross-campus collaboration between the Department of Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UCSF, offering a new degree blending the engineering, clinical, and entrepreneurial aspects of translating medical innovation into clinical reality. Students are enrolled in both Universities, and draw on the range of expertise and technological resources available at the two institutions. In addition to these two core departments, students join in aspects of the leadership training offered by the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership at UC Berkeley.