Seventeen science teachers completed this summer’s 12-day teacher professional development program held on July 10-July 25that the Southern California Biotechnology Center at San Diego Miramar College. The teachers came from local school districts: San Diego Unified, Sweetwater Union High School, Grossmont Union High School, Carlsbad Unified and Valley Center Unified High School along with other teachers who commuted each day to the program from Murrieta Unified, Hemet Unified, and Lake Elsinore Schools Districts. These dedicated teachers all received a full hands-on training on the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) curriculum as well as networking opportunities and connections to the life sciences industry through several sites visits and tours across the region.
Along with past industry hosts, this summer, new company hosts opened their doors to LSSI and showcased innovated technologies and research being done in their facilities. Dr. Holmes, President of Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine provided an extensive talk on STEM cell research and the unique collaboration that talks place at the institute. Leica Biosystems, presented an overview of their manufacturing facility as well as a tour of their scanning lab where educational institutions, hospitals, and researchers have the opportunity to submit their tissue samples, have them digitalized, and stored in a server for sharing capabilities. In addition, participants of the program received a tour of AnaBios Corporation, a company designed to provide pharmaceutical companies the service of testing drugs being developed directly on human tissue and cells ex-vivo before it goes to clinical trials. This provides the company with a greater degree of confidence that the drug will do what it is designed to do which in the long run will save time and money and ultimately hope to provide a successful development of the drug.
In addition, teachers visited White Labs, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Pfenex, The Scripps Research Institute, Pfizer, Pharmatek, and The Salk Institute.
The newly trained teachers will now have access to the Miramar Amgen Teacher Support Center (www.matsc.org), this will provide them access to the ABE kit reservation system and additional lab support and equipment for their classrooms. Teachers will also be registered with the Amgen Biotech Experience site (www.amgenbiotechexperience.com) which provides additional information on ABE and connections with other program sites around the world.