Information for Cell Design Institute Scholars

Welcome Cell Design Institute (CDI) Scholars!

The goal of the UCSF/SFSU Cell Design Institute program is to train MS students to enter research careers in cell biology and cell engineering, in collaboration with the UCSF department of Pharmacology and the Wendell Lim labthe Hana El-Samad lab, and the Kole Roybal lab.

Program Description

The UCSF/SFSU Cell Design Institute program will provide a comprehensive slate of lab and lecture courses, thesis research internships, professional mentoring, and community service opportunities to ensure that our students possess not only scientific and technical proficiency but also a thorough grasp of the ethical implications of the technology and the ability to communicate effectively with a general as well as a scientific audience. 

The research internships will provide students with training in state-of-the-art facilities in the laboratories at the forefront of cell engineering research. Students completing this program will gain knowledge and the experience necessary to successfully enter PhD degree programs or the biotechnology workforce. The graduates from this master’s program will be fully prepared to contribute to the growth of a vibrant cell engineering and biotechnology industry that is fully reflective of the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives in our state.   

Program Highlights

  • 2-year Master of Science program in Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Integrated program of academic course work in cell biology, ethics, and science writing
  • Two-week cell engineering lab training workshop at UCSF
  • 21 to 24-month master’s thesis research project in cell biology at UCSF
  • Mentoring from research faculty, academic faculty, graduate students and peers
  • Weekly colloqium
  • Research activities include lab meetings, journal clubs, retreats, and opportunities to attend and present research at national meetings
  • $21,000 stipend + In-state Tuition per year of the program for 2-years contingent on successful research progress and completion of academic course work

News about the CDI labs:


CDI Scholarship Stipends

SEO CDI Scholarships are disbursed through a monthly stipend. Stipend checks used to be picked up in the Disbursement Office ADM 358 usually on the 15th of each month. However, with COVID-19 restrictions, we encourage you to sign up for direct deposit instead. If the 15th of the month falls on a weekend, then the checks are usually available on the prior Friday afternoon.