University of Southern California

         Meet the Director

  Dr. Brinton Awarded Presidential Citizens Medal by President Barack Obama

Roberta Diaz Brinton, Ph.D.
R. Pete Vanderveen Chair in Therapeutic Discovery and Development

Recipient of the 2010 Presidential Citizens Award

Click here for Dr. Brinton's interview with KPCC on her Presidential Citizens Medal.

Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering and Neurology

Norris Foundation Laboratory for Neuroscience Research

Founder & Director of the USC STAR Science Education Program 

Director, Center for Scientific Translation




External Links




The USC Science, Technology And Research (STAR), directed by Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton, in existence for over 25 years, is a collaborative science education program between the University of Southern California (USC) and Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School. STAR students learn problem based science and math by conducting real science that really matters with a team of USC scientists.

STAR student research contributes to scientific publications and research grant proposals. 100% of USC STAR Students attend college, and on average 92% (vs 29% of their peers) attend top-tier colleges and research institutions including: USC, Harvard, Stanford, Duke, Columbia, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell, Brown, the Claremont Schools, and UC’s at Berkeley, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Davis and Irvine. 97% of STAR students receive academic scholarships to attend university and while in college 88% continue to conduct scientific research with declared majors in science and engineering. STAR students from underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds attend research institutions and major in science and engineering at rates commensurate with students from represented backgrounds.

Collectively, the data indicate that the STAR Program is a critical conduit that begins with a high rate of participation among students who have been historically underrepresented in the scientific research pipeline, and keeps them in the pipeline—at the nation’s top research universities. (Brinton, Journal of Neuroscience 2007, 27(42):11163–11166).

Click here to see program requirements.



"The USC Bravo STAR Program provides cutting edge STEM education in world class laboratories that advances scientific breakthroughs at the bench and around the globe."
~ Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton, Program Director





August 1st, 2014 | The STAR Program Celebrates its 25th Anniversary!

Click here for the full story.

Click here for event photos.


Dr. Brinton photographed with STAR Alumni (left to right) David Akhavan (Class of 1997), Harut Hovsepyan (Class of 2001), and Arash Shamsian (Class of 1999).  


June 16th, 2014 | 2014 STAR Summer Interns






March 4th, 2014 | USC-Bravo Science Fair

STAR II Program Winners



 August 13th, 2013

A CIRM blogspot post about STAR student, Bryan Ruiz, Class of 2014. Click Here for the full blog post.



July 12th, 2013

The USC CIRM STAR students joined EiHS students for a discussion on Stem Cell Public Policy.






Click here for California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Press Release of July 12th USC STAR program and EiHS Public Policy Forum