Two female researchers in the lab wearing lab coats

The UCLA Creating Opportunities through Mentorship and Partnership Across Stem Cell Science (COMPASS) Program prepares a diverse cadre of undergraduate students for careers in regenerative medicine through practical research opportunities and structured mentorship experiences. 

The program provides stem cell education and training to undergraduate students, named COMPASS scholars, with particular attention to participation by individuals from groups that are historically underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.

Each UCLA student accepted into the program is matched with a faculty mentor from the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center and becomes a fully integrated member of a leading stem cell laboratory, gaining valuable hands-on research experience and earning credit towards their degree. 

COMPASS scholars also complete courses to equip them with the skills they need to become leaders who are well-versed in stem cell ethics, entrepreneurship, science communications and community outreach.

The program is funded through the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s COMPASS Training Grant Program.

  • 1-on-1 mentorship
  • Capstone project
  • Workshops on resume/interview preparation, professional development, networking and science communications
  • Career counseling and introduction to various science career paths
  • Scientific poster presentation at UCLA’s Annual Stem Cell Symposium

Faculty mentors have included:

Headshot of S. Thomas Carmichael in a lab coat smiles in a UCLA lab
S. Thomas Carmichael, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Neurology
Amander Clark photograph.
Amander T. Clark, Ph.D.
Professor, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
Dr. Brigitte Gomperts
Brigitte Gomperts, M.D.
Associate Director, Translational Research, UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center
Song Li, Ph.D.
Professor, Bioengineering
A researcher smiles into the camera inside a lab.
Hanna K.A. Mikkola, Ph.D.
Professor, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
Kathrin Plath Headshot
Kathrin Plath, Ph.D.
Professor, Biological Chemistry
BSCRC director Thomas Rando smiles at the camera and sports a grey suit jacket.
Thomas A. Rando, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center