Brian Cummings, UCI professor of physical medicine & rehabilitation and founding member of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, has received a five-year, $2.7 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to establish a training program that supports first-generation and underserved students pursuing careers in public health and regenerative medicine. The Creating Opportunities Through Mentorship and Partnership Across Stem Cell Science program will pair student scholars with faculty mentors. With their tuition covered and a stipend provided during their two years as scholars, the students will learn hands-on lab skills and human cell culture; be introduced to good manufacturing procedures in UCI’s new GMP facility; and earn a certificate in clinical research coordination. “COMPASS provides the opportunity for students to explore a variety of ways in which their education and research skills can be applied toward improving human health through career paths in the public and private sectors. UCI’s COMPASS scholars program will produce a cadre of well-trained individuals who are ready to contribute to the workforce,” said Cummings, who is also the School of Medicine’s associate dean for faculty development. “A parallel objective is to foster greater awareness and appreciation of diversity, equity and inclusion in trainees, mentors and other program participants.” Administered via the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, the program will train 25 undergraduate and two-year college transfer students.