BIODIVERSITY AND MOLECULAR GENETICS RESEARCH IMMERSION PROGRAM – HYBRID

Hybrid 6-week program: July 5th, 2022 – August 12th, 2022

Which genetic differences underline awesome diversity of animals? What is genetically shared and what is unique among evolutionary distant animals? How closely related are you to them? In this research-immersion course you will explore and analyze various organisms to better understand and appreciate biodiversity on anatomical, morphological, and genetic levels, tracing back animals’ evolutionary connections. You will apply evolutionary and molecular biology concepts, extract DNA from multiple species (sea urchins, abalone, worms, insects, fish, and yourself …), sequence genes critical for metabolism and adaptation, calculate mutation rates, and infer evolutionary distance between animals. This course is a mix of evolutionary biology, standard and advanced molecular biology / gene sequencing techniques, and bioinformatics analysis. Part of the course complements the ongoing research project in partnership with National Park Service, which utilizes environmental DNA (eDNA) methodology to better understand the adaptive mechanisms and responses to environmental stressors of Southern California endangered black abalone population. During the 6-weeks in-person course meeting twice weekly, students will work in small teams in the lab to discuss concepts and primary scientific literature, design experiments, perform research, analyze the data, and prepare a scientific report. The course will conclude with the formal science seminar during which students will present their research in-person to a selected audience.

Course is available for 3 pre-college units.

Course Delivery: hybrid (online + in-person)

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

Academic Schedule: Monday – Thursday (first class is Tuesday, July 5th)

  • Mondays and Thursdays (2:00pm – 4:00pm PST); Synchronous online teaching
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays (2:00pm – 6:00pm PST); In-person class meeting at the lab
  • 4-6 hours of work required outside of lecture

*Final poster session on Friday, August 12th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Scholarship Opportunities: Click here (Application Deadline: 11:59pm PST on May 20th, 2022. Students will be notified of their status by May 27th.)

NEUROBIOLOGY AND EPIGENETICS RESEARCH IMMERSION PROGRAM – HYBRID

Hybrid 6-week program: July 5th, 2022 – August 12th, 2022

This course aims to provide students with a proper understanding of the epigenetic and gene regulation modifications that biological organisms can exhibit in response to environmental triggers. The combination of environmental stressors due to climate change and pollution can induce physiological changes in organisms which can complicate various processes such as lifespan, immunity, and metabolism. These alterations that shape environmental responses have the potential to last across multiple generations, where the adaptations may last even after the stress is removed. Correspondent gene regulation changes may be heritable and repeatable, or physiological and diminishable. The brain-specific responses of such are of particular interest, as the metabolic load of the organ is heavily prominent. As females and males have notable variations in their sensitivities to certain stressors, the differences between their multigenerational phenotypes will be compared. Mechanisms of gene regulation will be studied as well as the key epigenetic players that can influence how organisms respond to the environment. This course will incorporate multiple biological research applications, such as nucleic acid extractions, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and sequencing techniques. During this 10-week course, meeting twice weekly, students will work in small teams in the lab to discuss concepts and primary scientific literature, study experimental design, perform research, analyze the data, and prepare a scientific report. The course will conclude with a formal science seminar during which students will present their research in person to a selected audience.

Course is available for 4 pre-college units.

Course Delivery: hybrid (online + in-person)

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

Academic Schedule: Monday – Thursday (first class is Tuesday, July 5th)

  • Mondays and Thursdays (10:00am – 12:00pm PST); Synchronous online teaching
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays (9:00am – 1:00pm PST); In-person class meeting at the lab
  • 4-6 hours of work required outside of lecture

*Final poster session on Friday, August 12th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Scholarship Opportunities: Click here (Application Deadline: 11:59pm PST on May 20th, 2022. Students will be notified of their status by May 27th.)

BIOSTATISTICS AND BIOINFORMATICS – ONLINE

Online 6-week program: July 5th, 2022 – August 12th, 2022

This course utilizes several environmental science case studies / data sets to introduce students to experimental design, descriptive statistics, biostatistics fundamentals, management of a large gene expression data set, multivariate analysis, and basics bioinformatics concepts and databases. Data sets are derived from peer-reviewed published literature focused on air pollution. 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, ANOVA and Mixed-model Analysis of Variance (MANOVA), principal component analysis (PCA), and introduction to Bioinformatics databases (GenBank, UCSC genome browser, David Bioinformatics, STRING) utilizing DNA sequence alignments, gene finding, and differential gene expression analysis. Most of the data during the course will be analyzed using “R”.

Course is available for 4 pre-college units.

Course Delivery: Online

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

Academic Schedule: 

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays (9:00am – 11:00am PST)
  • Synchronous online teaching
  • 4 hours of work required outside of online lecture

Scholarship Opportunities: Click here (Application Deadline: 11:59pm PST on May 20th, 2022. Students will be notified of their status by May 27th.)