DNA Science: Advanced Practicum

Cost: $3,400
Age: Rising 9th graders and older
Dates: July 12-26, 2020

The DNA Science Advanced Practicum Program is intended for students who have a passion for hands on modern molecular biology, and perhaps intend to pursue future research level opportunities at the high school or college level. In the world of DNA science it is said that “DNA is the flash, but proteins are the cash.” Students will spend nearly all their time in the Portal at the lab bench using the most up to date techniques of molecular biology to first clone a gene (flash); and then purify the encoded protein (cash). We will use PCR to amplify the amylase gene from Geobacillus stearothermophilus and clone that gene into a DNA expression plasmid. Inserting that plasmid DNA into E. coli bacteria will allow the genetically engineered bacterium to make a new, and commercially viable protein product. This series of techniques lies at the heart of DNA Science and the biotechnology industry.

Some prior experience with the tools and techniques of DNA science, such as electrophoresis, micropipetting, chromatography, centrifugation and sterile technique is required in advance. Completion of a previous summer of DNA Science, high school biology and/or high school chemistry a significant advantage.


Simon Holdaway

DNA Science Program Director

Professor Simon Holdaway teaches graduate (Molecular & Cell Biology) and undergraduate (Biology 101) biology at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. He is a former neuroscience researcher with a passion for DNA education. For 22 years he taught the advanced biology electives at The Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. He also created and subsequently mentored the Guided Research Program at Loomis. Simon loves being in the lab and playing with the cool toys that make up the modern research laboratory setting.