Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

SummerScience@Jefferson

June 26, 2017-July 21, 2017

The application process for this year is now closed.

SummerScience students hard at work.

SummerScience@Jefferson is a 4-week program which aims to foster an appreciation of the role of science in everyday life, to promote an informed understanding of scientific issues that appear in headlines in the news, and to familiarize students with the vital and expanding field of biomedical sciences. The instructors for SummerScience@Jefferson are faculty members of the various Colleges at Thomas Jefferson University who are passionate about sharing their knowledge with high school students through lectures, discussion, and hands-on laboratory experiences. The culmination of the program is a student presentation day, during which the students present formal presentations on a topic of their choice, which may be based on theoretical knowledge, laboratory experiences, and possibly interactions and observations with Jefferson researchers. Topic areas include: 

Molecular Biology: Students are introduced to the basics of molecular biology, with an emphasis on the exciting field of Biotechnology. Topics of study include the human genome and genomics, recombinant DNA technology and cloning, gene expression, and an introduction to gene editing techniques, such as RNA interference and CRISPR/Cas9. Students’ laboratory experiences include: isolation of genomic DNA, bacterial transformation and gene expression, DNA fingerprinting and forensics. They discover how these techniques are applied to such diverse purposes as criminal investigations, testing foods for genetic modification, disease diagnosis and the development of new therapies and pharmaceutical products.

Cell Biology: Students are introduced to the basic facts of cell biology, including cell morphology and physiology, and learn about the macroscopic and microscopic aspects of reversible and irreversible cell injury. Students also study the morphology of cancer cells in comparison to normal healthy cells and learn about apoptosis (programmed cell death) and how cancer cells evade this phenomenon. Laboratory experiences include culturing of bacterial, insect or animal cells, staining of cancer and healthy cells, and learning how to count cells and determine cell viability. They are also introduced to the unique story of HeLa cells and how these immortal cells have contributed to many scientific advances all over the world, from the development of the polio vaccine to testing the effects of zero gravity on humans in space!

Anatomy & Molecular Mechanisms of Disease: Students are introduced to the etiology and pathogenesis of various diseases such as cancer, AIDS, Diabetes, and infectious diseases, including the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, while focusing primarily on genetics, environmental factors, and an introduction to epigenetics. Laboratory experiences include an introduction to immunohistochemistry and ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) to diagnose infections such as HIV. Students may also have the option to perform and/or observe the dissection of animals and human cadavers.

Medical Laboratory Science: Students are introduced to the process of disease diagnosis through the understanding, application, and performance of clinical laboratory analyses.  Combining medicine, the basic science of biology and chemistry, and the clinical sciences to function as detectives, students will learn how to investigate the causes of diseases.  Laboratory experiences include bacterial identification, epidemiological studies using ELISA assays, and hematological studies.