Latest Event Updates

High School Students Present their Summer Research Work

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A total of 320 high school students applied to be a part of this summer 10th cohort of the Life Sciences Summer Institute (LSSI).  Forty-two were selected to take part in this summer research opportunity working alongside a research scientist at world renowned research institutes including long time partners, Salk Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, and University of California, San Diego.

As part of LSSI, participants were required to complete a one-week full-time pre-internship Intro to Biotechnology “boot camp” training at either Miramar or Grossmont College that focused on hands-on laboratory training as well as soft skills.  The course covered PCR techniques, ELISA, Protein Assay, pH meters, lab safety, and other techniques used in the laboratory. Upon completion of the course, students earned 1-2 transferable college credits and were ready to partake in their 7-week internship.

During the internship, students from all the sites gathered regularly to talk about their experience, participate in career seminars, and scientific poster sessions.

Yesterday, students presented their summer work in front of their peers, mentors, faculty staff, donors, and family members.  It was an exiting moment as it reflected on their contributions to the lab, their experience, and their summer projects.  Students worked in various labs including molecular biology, chemistry, stem, plant, computational biology, and others.  Project topics included: increasing transformation efficiency of human pluripotent stem cells, tracing neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus, shRNA knockdown of Sox9 in fMaSCs and Breast Cancer, and understanding the Internal State and Behavior in C. elegant.

Upon completion of the LSSI internship program, students earn UCSD Extension college prep units, complete a scientific poster, and valuable science research experience.

We hope to continue to expand LSSI by providing more internship opportunities for the 300+ applicants we receive each year. For more information on the program and funding opportunities, please contact Erika Arangure,

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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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Alumni teachers receive training on Amgen Biotech Experience through the LSSI 2.0 program

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On Monday, thirty-one alumni teachers began the first Life Sciences Summer Institute (LSSI) 2.0 training.  Participating teachers from the 2005 cohort to last summer’s 2013 group are participating in this 3-day program for the purpose of ensuring a smooth transition from the previous Amgen Bruce Wallace Biotechnology Lab curriculum to the newly revised Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE).

Since 2005, over 180 teachers have taken part in the Life Sciences Summer Institute Teacher Program, a professional development program for science teachers in San Diego. In order to receive loaner support and equipment needed to implement the ABE curriculum, teachers must complete the 12-day summer program. Currently, 68 teachers actively implement the curriculum. All 68 teachers were invited to participate in LSSI 2.0.

The new ABE includes a new story line about the role of gene cloning in treating diabetes including an alignment with the Common Core Science Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  ABE now includes only 6 labs from the previous 8 and a newly revised Lab 1.

The program is taking place at the southern California Biotechnology Center at San Diego Miramar College. Teachers will conclude their training on Wednesday, July 9, 2014.

LSSI Summer 2013
LSSI Winter 2013
LSSI Summer 2012
LSSI Summer 2011
LSSI Summer 2010
LSSI Summer 2009
LSSI Summer 2007
Summer LSSI Summer 2006
LSSI Summer 2006 and 2005


Statewide Biotech Career Site Launches!

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Calbiotechcareers supports industry responsive regional training by CA Community Colleges.  College programs provide hands-on training to prepare entry-level, work-ready trainees with in-demand skills. Besides this ‘know-how,’ training provides the ‘know-why’ so that trained individuals can adapt to a dynamic industry. 

Visit: to discover resources for job seekers and employers in need of a trained workforce. 


Life Sciences Summer Institute Teacher hosts Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA)

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On Monday, February 24th, Mira Mesa High School Teacher Lisa Yoneda hosted Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA) to demonstrate the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE).

The ABE, designed by Amgen scientists and educators provides a hands-on real world experience for students using research-grade equipment to run the labs that incorporate core technologies used by the biotech industry in the discovery of human therapeutics.  ABE is the curriculum used during the 12-day Life Sciences Summer Institute for teachers.

Mrs. Yoneda’s classroom provided Representative Peters with the unique opportunity to shadow students as they ran through the ABE lab series.

The equipment and supplies are made possible by support of the Amgen Foundation.  Science teachers go through the 12-day summer institute and are then eligible to receive equipment and supplies to support the implementation of ABE in their science classrooms.Image


For more information, please contact Erika Arangure, BIOTECH@WORKFORCE.ORG

12-day Teacher Program Applications now being accepted!

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To apply to the program, please request an application using the form below.  You can also email Erika Arangure at

Program Dates: July 10-July 25, 2014

Application Deadline: March 29, 2014


First Forensic Workshop of the year-Success!

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On Saturday, January 11th the Life Sciences Summer Institute (LSSI) team held their 1st Forensic workshop on the year.  Twelve teachers attended the training at San Diego Miramar College and received hands-on training on the “Who Done It” lab and introduction to the Amgen Biotech Experience.

If you haven’t had a chance to attend, the next training is: Saturday, February 22, 2014 9-12pm.

To reserve a spot, email Erika,

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Quotes from Teacher Participants:

“Excellent job. Loved being able to “do” the lab and appreciate the food and relaxed atmosphere! Thank you!”

-Teacher at The Rock Academy

“I am a chemistry teacher usually now teaching a Forensic class with limited bio gel running experience so this was great!  Thank you for letting us make the gel. I know I can do this in my class.”

-Teacher at Eastlake High School