Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson School of Health Professions

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Summer Science
@Jefferson 2015
Biomedical Sciences for High School Students

June 22 to July 17  (except July 3rd)

Program Summary:

Through discussions with leading biomedical researchers and hands-on laboratory experimentation, SummerScience@Jefferson aims to foster an appreciation of the role of science in everyday life, to promote an informed understanding of scientific issues that appear in daily headlines, and to familiarize young people of all backgrounds with the vital and expanding field of biomedical sciences .

Areas of study include cell biology, molecular biology, cellular pathology, and the biology of disease. Students learn laboratory techniques such as cell culture, DNA sequencing, and PCR (polymerase chain reaction, a technique used to amplify DNA).

Summer Science

They discover how these techniques are applied to such diverse areas as criminal investigations, paternity testing, disease diagnosis and the development of new pharmaceutical products. SummerScience@Jefferson instructors are members of the faculty of Sidney Kimmel Medical College (Institute for Human Virology and Biodefense; Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology) and Jefferson School of Health Professions (Departments of Bioscience Technologies, Radiologic Sciences, and Physical Therapy).

Week 1:  Molecular Biology

Students are introduced to the basics of molecular biology, including human genome and comparative genomics.  The curriculum provides hands on experience with various molecular biology techniques such as determination of bacterial antibiotic resistance, gene cloning, DNA sequencing, PCR, and DNA fingerprinting. The laboratory component includes examination of the structure and function of DNA, RNA, gene expression and protein synthesis. Students learn how to induce mutations and analyze DNA, RNA and proteins.

Week 2:  Cell Biology & Protein Chemistry

Students are introduced to the basic facts of cell biology, including cell morphology and physiology.  They study the role of antibodies in disease screening and prevention. Laboratory experience includes culturing of bacterial, animal and plant cells, as well as purification of proteins from cultured cells and their identification via various proteomic techniques such as Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA).

Week 3:  Pathology & Anatomy

Students are introduced to cell dysfunction and pathology as the basis for scientific medicine. They investigate the microscopic and macroscopic aspects of reversible and irreversible cell injury and learn about apoptosis (programmed cell death). Laboratory experience includes cellular morphology, cell viability, and cell counting. Students have the option to perform hands-on dissection of animals as well as human cadavers.

Week 4:  Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

In the final week, students apply their knowledge and experience to understanding the pathogenesis of various diseases such as cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and obesity while focusing primarily on genetics and environmental factors. They examine microscopic and macroscopic features and learn how cellular morphologies are affected in diseased tissues. Working with oncologists and research professionals, students design experiments that examine some of the challenges of cancer and other diseases and prepare formal presentations based on their theoretical and laboratory experiences.

Sample Schedule:

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Lecture
10:00 AM – 11:40 AM: Lab overview and preparation
11:40 AM – 12:50 PM.: Lunch
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Guided laboratory work and/or field work experience
(some classes may be extended until 4 pm)

Location: Thomas Jefferson University campus (TJU does NOT provide housing).

Program Information

SummerScience @Jefferson

Department of Professional & Continuing Studies

Thomas Jefferson University

130 South 9th Street
Edison Building,
Suite 530
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-8414
(215) 503-0564 fax

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