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Life Sciences 

In partnership with Boz Institute, we will offer a unique science research learning experience. Our programs will involve field work, fundamental molecular biology topics, modern laboratory techniques, and relevant bioinformatics and statistical applications. Learn to synthesize life science fundamentals, review literature, formulate hypotheses and design experiments, collect and process samples, execute experiments, analyze data, and showcase your work through poster presentations attended by local scientists and industry leaders.

Application now open for Summer 2020. Click on the "Apply Now" tab to Apply. 

These Courses are now online as a result of COVID19.  

Molecular Biology Research Immersion Program - ONLINE

This Research Program offers two research opportunities: Aging and Protein Aggregation and Fruit Fly Sex-Specfic Gene Activity in the Brain During Stress. As a result of COVID19, both of these experiences are online. 

Dates: July 7th - August 13th, 2020 

Tuition: $1,500/research project 

Grade Level: Students must currently be in 10th - 12th grade


Research Projects 

Research Project #1:


  • Tuesday and Thursday (9am – 11am)
  • 4 hours of synchronous teaching a week
  • 4 hours of work required outside of online lecture/lab a week.

Aging and Protein Aggregation:

Premature aging can induce physiological changes and lead to disease. Protein aggregation associated with aging disturbs the cellular environment and may contribute to onset and progression of age-related diseases. Students will explore protein aggregation pathways which could induce or facilitate the decline of cellular functions, and evaluate methods to counteract the damaging effects of the aggregated proteins. Students will learn to utilize the model organism roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans , microscopy, fluorescent tagging, qRT-PCR and Western Blotting to quantify gene activity and protein expression during several stress conditions. Statistical methods and bioinformatics tools will be applied to mine the data to better understand the biology of aging. 

Research Project #2:


  • Tuesday and Thursday (1pm – 3pm)
  • 4 hours of synchronous teaching a week
  • 4 hours of work required outside of online lecture/lab a week.

Fruit Fly Sex-Specific Metabolic Gene Activity in the Brain During Stress

Our study aims to quantify metabolic brain gene activity of female and male fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) under several stressful conditions, including toxicant exposure, heat, and hypoxia. Students will learn to culture and manage fruit flies during critical developmental stages, microdissect fly brains and extract RNA.  Brain gene expression will be quantified using qRT-PCR; statistical and bioinformatics data analyses will be focused on loci involved in metabolic pathways to better understand the sex-specific coping mechanisms during stress and relevance to human health.

In the final phase of this experience, students will be invited back to the lab in Fall 2020 for three hands-on lab sessions and a closing reception. The dates are TBD. 


Other Program Information

Life Science Acceptance

Students will be notified of acceptance within 10 days of submitting their application until the program is full.

Life Sciences Cancellation/Refund Policies

Cancellation or withdrawal for any reason prior to June 29, 2020 will receive a full refund .

Refunds for cancellation or withdrawal after June 30, 2020 will be issued for serious illness (doctor's certificate is required) or extenuating circumstances only. Tuition is not refunded for students who are dismissed from the program.

All refund requests must be made in writing to Maysoon Dong, Sr. Program Manager, UCSD Pre-College Programs at: You will receive a confirmation of your request. Refunds will take approximately 4-6 weeks to process. Refunds are issued in the same method of payment (check or charge) of payment to UC San Diego Academic Connections.