Progam Information

Summer 2018 Update

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Biotechnology Certificate programs teach the specific theory and ‘hands-on’ techniques used in biotech companies throughout the region.  Many of our students are hired as laboratory technicians after completing a certificate program.  Two-year Associate Degrees in Science can provide the general biology, chemistry and math background needed for careers in biotechnology.

Additionally, MiraCosta College is now offering a Biomanufacturing Bachelor’s Degree Program. The degree program will prepare students for work within the biotechnology industry in the unique environment of biological production where science thrives in partnership with quality and compliance. For more information about this new program, please visit

We welcome industry involvement to enhance our educational programs to meet your workforce needs.  We can also provide customized training for your employees, contact us at 619.388.7541.


The San Diego- Imperial Region Life Sciences/Biotech Initiative funded through the Doing What Matters for Jobs and Economy continues to provide a comprehensive suite of summer programs for K-12 teachers and students, community college faculty and students, as well as job-seekers.  Through the Southern California Biotech Center (SCBC) at San Diego Miramar College, we continue to Provide In-Demand STEM Education and Work Readiness to Prepare the Future Middle-Skills Workforce.

This coming summer 2018, we continue our flagship programs to be offered at the SCBC, which has robust industry partnerships to deliver STEM education to all age groups.

San Diego Amgen Biotech Experience for Teachers (ABE)

Educating Secondary School Teachers and Students for over a decade! With continued funding from the Amgen Foundation and in partnership with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, 11 new secondary school teachers were trained on the Amgen Biotechnology Experience during the Summer 2017, and 3 were trained in January 2018. These teachers had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about the biotechnology industry and related biotechnology applications. The next mini- training is scheduled for Fall 2018 and a full training for Summer 2019.

This experience provides educators with the training and supplies they need to bring real-world biotech education into their classrooms. In the 2016-2017 academic year, over 20,000 K-12 students, 90 teachers and 60 schools in the San Diego Region benefited from the Amgen Biotech Experience.

Life Science Summer Institute (LSSI)

A one-week intensive hands-on biotechnology course will be offered at San Diego Miramar College and Grossmont College for high school students. In partnership with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, about 35 high school students will be placed in eight-week life science internships at the Salk Institute, Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and University of California, San Diego. LSSI starts on June 18, 2018.

Summer 2018 Regional Supply Chain Experience

A San Diego Workforce Partnership (WIB) study surveyed employers about the difficulty in filling nine life sciences/biotechnology non-Ph.D. occupations. The study revealed that quality and regulatory are high growth occupations: Quality Associates (12%) and Regulatory Affairs Specialists (25%) that employers reported the most difficulty in finding. A regional “Supply Chain Experience” will occur this summer where all community colleges in the region will be reached and students will be given the opportunity to be exposed and to learn about Quality and Regulatory Practices.

July 2018_At least 3, 1-day workshops will be conducted through SCBC and at least 75 STEM community college students will be engaged in this career awareness activity.

July 30_ Aug. 3, 2018_ a 3-week “Regional Supply Chain Experience” series of classes covering Quality/Good Manufacturing Practices and Supply Chain Management will be available to STEM students.

Biotechnology Employment Skills Training (B.E.S.T) Workshops

Job seekers and college students will have plenty of opportunities to acquire hours of hands-on training in high demand biotechnology techniques to round out their skills and increase employability. Topics covered include a basic laboratory skills refresher, mammalian cell culture techniques, ELISA, PCR, Quality/GMP Primer, and Fundamentals of Flow Cytometry. Workshops occur several times each year. The next series of workshops will occur

June 11- June 14, 2018

July 24- July 27, 2018

S2 Science Enrichment Programs

We will be offering one session of summer STEM program for students entering grades 5th to 8th, which provides hands-on life science experiences in fully equipped state-of-the-art labs at San Diego Miramar College. The program will occur July 30-Aug. 3, 2018.



2015 LSSI 6-Day Program Overview

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From July 9th to July 16th biology and chemistry teachers from all over San Diego county attended this 6-day program, their challenge – to learn the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) curriculum.  The class was taught at San Diego Miramar College by Sharon Price, Dr. Gloria Bañuelos, Dr. Sandra Slivka and past LSSI ABE teacher alumni.  The program certifies and gives teachers the necessary tools in order to facilitate the implementation of the curriculum into their classrooms.  By introducing students to ABE with the relevant biotech lab techniques, curricula and tools, high school and middle school students are more likely to be interested in careers in scientific discovery.

Lab 6 results: success!
Lab 6 results: success!

Besides completing labs and interactive activities, teachers heard from Octavio Espinosa from BioSurplus, Inc. speak about his path through a biotechnology career. Teachers also participated in industry site visits to Pharmatek, Ballast Point and Pfizer in order to be informed on what working in a biotechnology lab is like as well as the interconnected career paths many scientists can take.     

Hands-on activity at Pharmatek
Hands-on activity at Pharmatek with teachers and James Keegan.

Pharmatek speakers included: Lisa Caralli, Amy Fager, Collin Burger, Jon Hendricks, Scott Stirn, Christine Obana, Jenn Samore, Roger Parks and Vivian Hansen.

Pfizer speakers included: Oleg Sten and Mike Greig.

To learn more about the ABE or register for next summer, please visit or contact: Erika Arangure,

LSSI Teacher Program trains its 10th cohort!

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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 (, 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 ( which provides additional information on ABE and connections with other program sites around the world.

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