(TNS) — California State University, Sacramento, has been awarded $2.5 million to train stem cell researchers.

The funds are part of $42 million that the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has divided among 21 universities, colleges and other institutions.

The grant will fund internships for 50 more students in Sacramento State's Bridges to Stem Cell Research and Therapy Program. The 20-month master's degree program includes three semesters in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and a paid internship for $15,000 with the disease team at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures in Sacramento.

Sacramento State's $2.5 million will help an additional 50 biological science students enroll in the program, which was established seven years ago.

"This program will expand the pipeline of stem cell researchers needed to accelerate the application of stem cell biology to clinical use and improve health care for patients and communities in California," said Jane Bruner, associate dean for Sacramento State's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, in a statement.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine was launched in 2004 after voters approved funding to support scientific research. The state agency supports about 300 active stem cell programs and has $3 billion in funding.

©2016 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.), distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.