Biotech & Pharma
Three-Week Summer Science Program
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This program follows the process of drug discovery, from the initial idea to pre-clinical trials. Drug discovery techniques range from the testing of medical plants to the use of cutting-edge computational chemistry. Students will gain hands-on experience with gel electrophoreses, develop DNA chains, perform virtual polymerase chain reaction (PCR), study bioinformatics, and much more. Sue Piraino, a former research scientist with Pfizer and Sanofi Genzyme, is returning for her second year with BLI. Sue and her students visited the prestigious Broad Institute last year, and we have many more plans for 2019.
Biotech & Pharma takes place at our Longwood Medical Area campus and is open to rising eighth graders and above. Residential students at the Longwood Medical area must be rising tenth graders or above.
This is a competitive admissions summer research program designed for teens.
Date: July 15th – August 2nd
Longwood Medical – Boston, MA
Drug Discovery techniques range from testing of medicinal plants and herbs to use of cutting edge computational chemistry to examine new drug candidates using advanced computer technology. This program will follow the process of drug discovery from selection of targets to identification of a lead compound and onward through lead optimization and pre-clinical trials. Pre-college students will learn, through case studies and guest lectures, examples of how companies take a new drug from idea, to discovery, and then to clinical trial. Students will learn basic principles of computational chemistry and use computer models to identify and test characteristics of new drug candidates.
The Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard where they learned about biological circuits and how the advanced CRISPER genome-editing & single-cell sequencing technology.
Lab Central, a prestigious biotech innovation hub in the heart of Cambridge.
Ms. Piraino is currently a science teacher at Foxborough Charter High School where she teaches AP Environmental Science, Biotechnology, and Biology for grades 9-12. In addition to teaching science, Ms. Piraino serves as a faculty advisor for Model United Nations, Science Fair, and Art Club at Foxborough Charter High School. She received her BS in Biology from Stonehill College where she was president of Lambda Epsilon Sigma and vice president of Sigma Zeta as well as a part of the Honor Society and Science and Mathematics Honor Society. Later, she received her MS in Biology from Boston College and she worked as a TA as well at BC. Ms. Piraino has extensive work experience as a research scientist at Pfizer and Sanofi Genzyme. She has research and development experience in may therapeutic areas including hemophilia, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, renal fibrosis, oncology, hematopoiesis, and other rare diseases. She has expertise in molecular and cellular biology specializing in gene therapy. When outside the lab and the classroom, Ms. Piraino volunteers as the farmers’ market manager in Ashland, MA.
“I really liked the hands-on activities and the heavy content that we learned. I really liked Mrs. Piraino because she was someone who had a lot of knowledge and experience and genuinely cared for us and our growth.”
“The program was amazing and very informative. The labs we did were things my school can’t afford and just doesn’t want to do and it just gave me so much lab experience. The environment wasn’t stressful and Mrs. Piraino was an amazing teacher.”
“The program was great! I loved our teacher an she gave us really good insight into what the biotech industry actually looks like. She also gave us hands-on experience in molecular biology.”
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