Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells


The Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells (IBSC) at UC Santa Cruz aims to support and advance stem cell research by promoting interdisciplinary discoveries in biology, engineering, and information science.

Trainee funding

Postdoc training programs - Extended Application Window open until Dec 1

About the IBSC

The Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells (IBSC) encompasses research, training, and facilities. The institute was made possible by the high quality of biological and engineering research on the UCSC campus and by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which in September 2005 approved funding for UCSC to establish a training program in stem cell research. Funding from CIRM also made possible the UCSC Shared Stem Cell Facility, and other major projects that have supported stem cell research on this campus, such as a major facility award that funded the IBSC space in the new Biomedical Sciences Building.

In 2021, CIRM approved funding for another training program for IBSC postdocs and PhD students who research the biology of stem cells.


Our logo design represents a "self-renewing” version of the UC Santa Cruz mascot Sammy the Slug. Stem cells are defined by their ability to self-renew and differentiate. Self-renewal is the process by which stem cells divide to make more stem cells. Stem cell differentiation is the process by which a more specialized cell is formed from a stem cell.

Photo: Carolyn Lagattuta

IBSC Directors

Lindsay Hinck is a Professor in MCD Biology. She earned her Ph.D. in cancer biology with W. James Nelson at Stanford University and received postdoctoral training in neuroscience with Marc Tessier-Lavigne at UC San Francisco.

Primary research focus: cellular interactions during organogenesis and tumorigenesis.

Camilla Forsberg is a Professor in Biomolecular Engineering. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular and cellular pharmacology with Emery Bresnick at the University of Wisconsin and received postdoctoral training in stem cell biology with Irv Weissman at Stanford University.

Primary research focus: stem cell fate decisions of the blood system.

Executive Committee

Camilla Forsberg

Lindsay Hinck

Catharina Casper-Lindley is the IBSC Program Director. She earned her Ph.D. in Plant Physiology with Olle Björkman at Stanford University and received postdoctoral training in Plant Pathology with Brian Staskawicz at UC Berkeley. She has worked in managerial roles at UC Santa Cruz and in industry.

Sofie Salama is a Senior Scientist, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and UCSC Adjunct Professor, Biomolecular Engineering. She directs the Salama/Haussler wet lab. Sofie earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley with Jeremy Thorner and received postdoctoral training in molecular oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, with Ed Harlow. After her postdoctoral training, she was a senior scientist and director of core technology for Microbia Inc. in Cambridge, MA.

Primary research focus: genome evolution, comparative genomics, alternative splicing, and functional genomics

Zhu Wang is an Associate Professor in MCD Biology. He earned his Ph.D. in developmental biology with Daniel Kalderon at Columbia University and received postdoctoral training in cancer biology with Michael Shen at Columbia University Medical Center.

Primary research focus: adult stem cells and cancer stem cells in the prostate

Advisory Committee

Bari Holm Nazario is the Facilities and Flow Cytometry Manager (QB3/IBSC Staff). She earned her B.A. in Social Sciences at the CSU San Jose and has worked with flow cytometry since 1979 at Stanford University and in industry.

Ben Abrams is the Director of the Life Sciences Microscopy Center Facility Manager (PBSCi/IBSC Staff). Ben earned his Ph.D. at UCSC and has run the Micoscopy Center since 2011.