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 http://www.miracosta.edu/instruction/biotech/biomanufacturingFAQ.html

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.



Announcing Biotech Day 2018

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Tuesday, February 13, hosted at San Diego Miramar College.  For registration information, please email Kim Teston kteston@sdccd.edu

Fall 2017 Upcoming Workshops

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The Southern California Biotechnology Center, hosted by San Diego Miramar College, offers the Biotechnology Employment Skills Training (B.E.S.T) workshops several times each year. Each workshop offers a crash course to job seekers and incumbent workers. Participants are expected to have completed college level Chemistry and Biology courses.

The following Workshops are scheduled for the Fall 2017 at San Diego Miramar College. Contact Dr. Sandra Slivka for more information  sslivka@sdccd.edu

The B.E.S.T. workshops will occur on the following dates:

September 21 : Fundamentals of Flow Cytometry

October 3 and 5: PCR/ELISA

October 8: Quality Control

October 10 and 12: Cell Culture

October 20: Fundamentals of Flow Cytometry

December 4-8: Lab Skills


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December 6th-Counselors Conference

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ChemExpo 2016

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HASPI Conference-October 20th

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ABE Implementation Assistance

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ABE Volunteers are available to assist you in the classroom during the school year. They are all fully ABE trained and have completed background checks through the San Diego County Office of Education. In addition, they love to share their research experience and career path with your students. Please contact me at: biotech@workforce.org to contact a volunteer and schedule a visit.

Here is an example of Sam’s experience in the classroom:

“Working with Trudy (LSSI ABE Teacher), it was obvious that the students were really enthusiastic about the labs. ABE provides amazing materials that are accessible to both students and teachers– the toughest aspect of the labs is making sure you’re efficient enough to get things done in time. 

It would take forever to go through each lab and nitpick how every minute of time is spent, but here’s an example:

In laboratory 5, they provide a flowchart (page 137 in the Teacher Guide). About half way down, they say to keep P- and P+ tubes on ice for 15 minutes and then label LB, LB/Amp, and LB/amp/ara plates. First, the P- and P+ tubes would be fine if they were kept on ice for just 5 minutes. Second, plates can be labeled by students while they are waiting for their tubes to sit. There is another incubation period later in the protocol, and the same rules apply. 

In addition, the plates don’t need to be placed at 37 degrees for 24 hours if a teacher does not have an incubator. They can actually be placed at room temp for ~3-4 days and it should yield the same results. Plates with colonies can always be left at 4 degrees. They’re good for months. 

I’m more than happy to nitpick labs 1 on 1 with teachers. As I mentioned, they are always welcome to email me and we can set up a time to talk about how they can cut down on wait time for whatever lab they plan to do, and make small changes that will allow them to complete the labs even if their classroom setup or resources are less than ideal. This may allow them to do a lab they thought they couldn’t do otherwise.”

MiniOne System-Free PD Training

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Southern California Biotechnology Center (SCBC) and the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) will be hosting a free PCR workshop (morning session) and a Foodborne Outbreak Investigation training (afternoon session) on Saturday, September 24th 9-4 p.m.  Both workshops will use the MiniOne System. Come for one or both sessions for more labs that complement the Amgen Biotech Experience. For example, you may want to implement Amgen Lab 1 with the MiniOne System- attending one of the sessions would be a great way to familiarize yourself with the equipment.

Sign-up at: biotech@workforce.org and let us know which training session you would like to attend.

Additional Information:


San Diego Miramar College, Science Building S5-102

10440 Black Mountain Road

San Diego, CA



Morning Session (9am start time)

1) PCR featuring MiniOne System*

2) SCBC/Amgen Biotech Experience Updates

Lunch 12-1pm

Afternoon Session (1pm start time)

1) Foodborne Outbreak Investigation: Bad Food at a Good Party*

2) Analyzing PCR Results

Please note while free training will be provided there is a fee for implementing the PCR and Foodborne Outbreak Labs with your students.

$50 per class of 40 students for the PCR consumables

$120 fee per class (10 groups of students) for the Foodborne Outbreak Investigation