EiHS Summer Program
                                  In Stem Cell Research


Welcome to the USC EiHS Summer Program in Stem Cell Research
The USC Early Investigator High School (EiHS) Summer Program in Stem Cell Research provides a rare opportunity for budding scientists to explore the cutting-edge field of stem cell science.  Through a unique ten-day training course or eight-week research internship, participants work hands-on with human stem cells in state-of-the-art research facilities. They learn about the latest advances in regenerative medicine and explore the relationship between stem cells, ethics and public policy. EiHS is the only program that offers comprehensive training in stem cell theory and research techniques to pre-college students. 

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are unspecified cells which differentiate to form cells with specialized physiological functions, such as neurons. Humans develop from a single stem cell called the zygote which is generated after an egg is fertilized by sperm.  The zygote is a totipotent stem cell capable of making all of the cells in the adult human body.  During early development the zygote undergoes rapid cell division and forms a structure known as a blastocyst. The blastocyst contains cells that can be isolated and grown in the laboratory.  These so called embryonic stem cells (pictured above) are of great interest to biomedical scientists because they retain the ability to make any cell type in the adult human body and may one day be used to treat degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Cells with similar biological properties to human embryonic stem cells can also be generated by ‘reprogramming’ somatic cells like skin and blood cells. The reprogramming process is carried out by engineering somatic cells to express genes that enable them to turn into stem cells. These cells are called induced pluripotent stem cells and, have very similar properties to embryonic stem cells.   In addition to embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells, small pockets of stem cells also exist in the adult body. These 'adult stem cells' play an important role in enabling the body to maintain tissues such as the skin which are continually being replaced and to repair damaged tissues.


Beating Cardiomyocytes





  • Course dates for 2015 EiHS Techniques Course We are pleased to announce the 2015 EiHS Techniques Course will take place on June 15th to June 26th and July 6th to 17th.  Please visit Stem Cell Techniques Course ...
    Posted Jun 5, 2014, 11:58 AM by victoria Fox
  • Applications for the EiHS Techniques Course are now closed. The 2014 EiHS Techniques Coures has reached full capacity.  We are currently placing students on a wait list for next years program.  Please contact us at ...
    Posted May 21, 2014, 12:48 PM by victoria Fox
  • Applications for the EiHS Research Internship are now closed. We are still accepting applications for the EiHS Stem Cell Techniques Course. 
    Posted Mar 25, 2014, 2:07 PM by victoria Fox
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"Science is an imaginative
    adventure of the mind
       seeking truth in a 
        world of mystery"


                   Sir Cyril Herman Hinshelwood, English chemist, 
                   Nobel prize winner 1956