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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.

Summer 2021 courses now available. These courses are now online as a result of COVID-19.  


SUMMER 2021 - Introduction to Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Program - ONLINE

Dates: July 6th, 2021 – Aug 12th, 2021 (6 weeks)
Tuition: $2,000 - Scholarship available, click here to apply. 
Grade Level: Students must currently be in 10th - 12th grade
Schedule: 

Tuesdays and Thursdays  (3:00pm – 5:00pm PST)
Synchronous online teaching
4 hours of work required outside of online lecture


Introduction to Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Program

This course utilizes two different case studies/data sets to introduce students to experimental design, biostatistics fundamentals, management of a large gene expression data set, and basics bioinformatics concepts. Data sets include environmental assays performed on developing invertebrate embryos and RNA Sequencing gene expression data from animal physiology/aging project. Concepts covered during the first part of the course cover experimental design, biological and technical replicates and statistical power, central limit theorem and Bayes rules/theorem, 1-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and pairwise comparison t-test. Second part of the course focuses on differential gene expression workflow, data normalization, principal component analysis (PCA), and introduction to Bioinformatics databases (GenBank, UCSC genome browser, David Bioinformatics, STRING) utilizing RNA Seq analysis (sequence alignments, gene finding, and differential gene expression analysis).

SUMMER 2021 - Marine Biology and Estuarine Ecology Program - ONLINE

Dates: July 7th, 2021 – Aug 11th, 2021 (6 weeks)
Tuition: $2,000 - Scholarship available, click here to apply. 
Grade Level: Students must currently be in 10th - 12th grade
Schedule: 

Mondays and Wednesdays  (3:00pm – 5:00pm PST)
Synchronous online teaching
4 hours of work required outside of online lecture


Marine Biology and Estuarine Ecology Program

This course utilizes marine invertebrates - purple sea urchins, bay mussels and salt-tolerant fish (Japanese medaka) to assess ecological health of a local estuary. Students will test the water and sediment quality using microbiology, environmental toxicology, and analytical chemistry to better understand the sensitivity and resistance of marine organisms and laboratory fish to environmental stressors. This immersive research course is part of an ongoing effort to develop both real-time and long-term broad testing/monitoring program resulting in effective mitigation strategies to minimize the human and ecological risk due to pollutants exposures within a delicate local estuary.

SUMMER 2021 - Neurotoxicology Program - ONLINE

Dates: July 6th, 2021 – Aug 12th, 2021 (6 weeks)
Tuition: $2,000 - Scholarship available, click here to apply. 
Grade Level: Students must currently be in 10th - 12th grade
Schedule: 

Tuesdays and Thursdays  (1:00pm – 3:00pm PST)
Synchronous online teaching
4 hours of work required outside of online lecture


Neurotoxicology Program

Toxicants in water supply, food, and common household products bioaccumulate in the food chain, plants, animals, and people. Some of those chemicals are carcinogens, immune stressors, and endocrine disruptors, affecting the delicate hormonal balance critical for sexual differentiation and organogenesis. Do they affect female and male brains differently, and what are the consequences of chronic exposures? We expose female and male adolescent fruit flies, then microdissect their brains and quantify gene activity to better understand effects of pervasive and persistent industrial chemicals on developing brain and physiology of each sex. In this course, students will learn to maintain and differentiate female and male fruit flies, expose them to problematic chemical pollutants, isolate their brains, extract RNA and analyze differential gene expression via RNA sequencing methods. Students will manage and analyze large gene expression sequencing data and present their findings in the formal science seminar at the end of the course.

SPRING 2021 - Marine Biology and Environmental Science Research Immersion Program - ONLINE

This Research Program offers the following research opportunity: Marine Biology and Environmental Science. As a result of COVID-19, this experience is online. 

Dates: March 30th - June 3rd, 2021
Tuition: $2,000
Grade Level: Students must currently be in 10th - 12th grade
Schedule: 

Tuesdays and Thursdays  (3:30pm – 4:50pm PST)
Synchronous online teaching
4 hours of work required outside of online lecture

Marine Biology and Environmental Science

Exposure to chemically complex, polluted sediments and water during early development can be lethal to a variety of species. Contaminated sediments accumulate in food webs or directly affect heath of marine life. In this course, students will utilize California Purple Urchin (Strongylocentrotus  purpuratus) embryo and larval development to conduct toxicity testing in the sediments collected from the Tijuana River Estuary and perform ecological risk assessment. Besides learning how to maintain and culture animals in the lab and perform fertilization tests utilizing microscopy to assess embryo morphology, students will (virtually) tour the estuary, collect sediment and water samples. They will learn to deploy passive sampling devices (PSDs) and perform toxicity testing on developing urchin embryos. Upon collecting data and performing statistical analysis, students will correlate phenotypic changes observed among developing embryo populations with estuarine sediment, water and PSD chemistry data. Students will showcase their work and share their research with fellow scientists, academic, government officials and life-science industry leaders during a formal seminar symposium at the conclusion of the course. 

WINTER 2021 - Molecular Biology Research Immersion Program - ONLINE

 

This Research Program offers the following research opportunity: Aging and Protein Aggregation. As a result of COVID-19, this experience is online. 


Dates: January 5th - March 11th, 2021 
Tuition: $1,800
Grade Level: Students must currently be in 10th - 12th grade
Schedule: 

Tuesdays and Thursdays (3:30pm – 4:50pm PST)
Synchronous online teaching
4 hours of work required outside of online lecture


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 process 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. 

FALL 2020 - Molecular Biology Research Immersion Program - ONLINE

This Research Program offers the following research opportunity: Fruit Fly Sex-Specific Gene Activity in the Brain During Stress. As a result of COVID-19, this experience is online. 


Dates: October 6th - December 10th, 2020 
Tuition: $1,800
Grade Level: Students must currently be in 10th - 12th grade
Schedule: 

Tuesdays and Thursdays (5:00pm – 6:20pm PST)
Synchronous online teaching
4 hours of work required outside of online lecture


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.

Other Program Information

Life Sciences Application

Students can access the application from the "Apply Now" tab here

Life Sciences Acceptance

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

Life Sciences Cancellation/Refund Policies

SUMMER 2021 CANCELLATION POLICY

Cancellation or withdrawal for any reason prior to June 22, 2021 will receive a full refund .

Refunds for cancellation or withdrawal on or after June 22, 2021 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.

SPRING 2021 CANCELLATION POLICY

Cancellation or withdrawal for any reason prior to March 16, 2021 will receive a full refund .

Refunds for cancellation or withdrawal on or after March 16, 2021 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.

 

HOW TO REQUEST A REFUND

All refund requests must be made in writing to Maysoon Dong, Sr. Program Manager, UCSD Pre-College Programs at: precollege@ucsd.edu. 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.