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JHUMCC Offers Summer Lab Research Course for Teens

Budding scientists will have an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of lab research in a new summer course offered at the Johns Hopkins Montgomery County Campus. The goal is to get teens interested in biotechnology early.

They’ll learn their way around a lab, exploring how to use electrophoresis equipment, imaging equipment, a microfuge, micropipettors, electroporation equipment, nanodrops for DNA quantification and more.

The pilot course at JHUMCC, called Introduction to Lab Research, runs from July 22 to Aug. 2. It is geared toward high-achieving rising high school seniors as well as college undergraduates looking for laboratory enrichment.

It’ll be taught by Dr. Patrick Cummings, program director for the master’s in biotechnology, and by Dr. Kristina Obom, director of the Center for Biotechnology Education and program director for the master’s in bioinformatics and biotechnology.

Students who successfully complete the course will earn two Johns Hopkins credits.

The course is also offered at the Homewood campus, but expanding to JHUMCC makes sense, Obom said.

 “We have a great lab facility here that is state-of-the-art for these kids,” Obom said.

Cummings said students will learn how to think in a lab and how to design experiments. They will be introduced to different types of careers in the sciences. They’ll learn how to isolate DNA and identify a gene from a plant.

Learning molecular biology skills is “good for both their college laboratory classes and for research,” Cummings said. “This will give them the skill set.”

The ideal candidate for the program is “someone who is excited about science,” Obom said. “They have to be willing to try things.”


Course description: Course runs July 22nd-August 2nd. This is an exciting time to work in biotechnology research. The Human Genome Project is generating fundamental genetic information at a breathtaking rate. Basic research findings are being applied to medicine, agriculture, and the environment; and a variety of new biotechnology products are moving into production. Behind each of these accomplishments lies extensive laboratory research. In this class, students will explore a variety of experimental techniques and evaluate their roles in modern biotechnology research. Course meets Monday through Fridays, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Instructors are Patrick Cummings and Kristina Obom. Course Number: AS.020.120.30. Credits: 2. Term: II.   


CATEGORY: Academics, K-12 Outreach