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June 30, 2016

Congressman Scott Peters with LSSI participants

From June 22–29, 43 participants of the Life Sciences Summer Institute (LSSI) completed their Introduction to Biotechnology “boot camp” course, a pre-internship requirement that prepares participants for their internship in the life sciences industry. The pre-internship boot camp, held concurrently at Miramar and Grossmont Colleges, provided training on lab techniques commonly used in research such as pipetting, polymerase chain reactions, preparing solutions and dilutions, gel electrophoresis, ELISA testing, pH meters and lab safety. Participants also learned the importance of communication and teamwork. Upon completion of the boot camp, participants receive transferable college credit for the course.

During the Miramar boot camp, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52), stopped by to observe the students during their hands-on training. He answered questions, and briefly spoke on the importance of STEM and STEAM education and funding scientific initiatives. Congressman Scott Peters represents the 52nd Congressional District of California, which serves the northern portion of the City of San Diego, City of Poway, and City of Coronado. He was impressed with the students’ knowledge and the efforts being made by LSSI to expose more students to experiences in life sciences.

The LSSI program is in its 12th summer of providing high school students with work experience and training in the life sciences field. After the boot camp completion, students take part in a 7-week paid internship opportunity. Students are mentored and work alongside research scientists at the following partner sites: Salk Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, UC San Diego-Research Scholars Program and Biolabs San Diego.

The McCarthy Family Foundation recently awarded LSSI with $10,000 in project support to continue to provide high school students in San Diego County with these experiences. The internship provides students with a deeper understanding of the research industry by working directly in a laboratory setting. This approach has demonstrated success in preparing students for well-paid skilled positions in the life sciences industry and providing students with valuable work and life skills.

Funding will partially support the cost of LSSI program activities, including paid internships and scientific poster development. The LSSI program further advances one of the McCarthy Family Foundation’s program areas, K–12 science education and their commitment to foster increased study of science and promote further scientific study and careers by qualified students.

To learn more about LSSI or host a student intern, please contact Erika Aranguré, Project Coordinator at

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