What Will You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

Promega Connections is delighted to feature this guest post from Amy Prevost, Director Scientific Courses, BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute.

btciSummer time in Madison = a great time and place to get in some lab-based training in molecular biology techniques.  Amp up your skills and connect with other scientists in the lab!

The BTC Institute (www.btci.org) is a nonprofit organization located on the Promega Madison campus and dedicated, in part, to providing educational opportunities and hands-on learning experiences to support the biotechnology community. We have been offering courses since 1993 – that’s 20 years of teaching and training experience in biotechnology.

Our courses attract university students and scientists, but they are also appropriate for industry employees. We aim to help learners make concrete connections between technical content and technique by providing lectures and discussions followed up with laboratory work and invited talks that augment the program by giving students some additional context and application for the techniques.

In the past, the diversity of perspective that is represented when industry scientists work with academics has enhanced the learning environment for everyone.

Here is a brief list of the courses we are offering this summer :

Neuroscience 675 : Molecular Approaches to Neuroscience (June 17-21; 9am-6pm): An introduction to basic molecular biology techniques including cloning, nucleic acid isolation, amplification and analysis; cell-based assays for studying cell death mechanisms and microscopy techniques are presented as well as approaches to studying kinase activity for drug discovery. Guest lectures augment the laboratory-focused, techniques-based curriculum.

Oncology 675 – 001: Core Techniques in Protein and Genetic Engineering (July 15-19;  9am-6pm): An advanced primer on molecular biology techniques; nucleic acid isolation, cloning tools and techniques, PCR technologies (PCR, RT-PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR), plasmid purification, protein purification techniques, and Western blot form the backbone of this course. Additional topics are included as lectures to provide examples of applications.

Oncology 675 – 002: Emerging Techniques in Protein and Genetic Engineering (July 22-26; 9am-6pm): Focusing on transcription, translation and especially epigenetics, this course allows students to explore cutting edge techniques used to study molecular biology. Laboratory exercises include transfection and transfection efficiency, testing HDAC inhibitor potencies and analyzing cellular consequences of HDAC inhibition, cell health assessment and kinase inhibitor assays for drug profiling. Lectures will tentatively include discussion of deep sequencing and next-gen sequencing, pharmaceutical development, mass spectrometry for discovery, systems biology approaches to experimental design and others.

Computational Approaches to Analyzing Microarray Data (Wed, July 24 (start @ 5pm) – Sunday, July 28 (end @ 12pm): The over-arching goal of this program is to raise students’ abilities in applying fundamental statistics and bioinformatics methods to microarray data for efficient data mining. Participants run specific “hands on” examples and build self-sufficient competence using an open source software (R/Bioconductor) and a commercial package (ArrayStar) as “proof of concepts” to understand methods and algorithms presented in class.

Through our Molecular Technology Basics for the Non-Scientist series, we also offer one-day, introductory workshops throughout the year that are designed to help non-scientists understand the work of their scientific colleagues: http://www.btci.org/courses/default.html#introd.

Please direct inquiries about the courses to Amy Prevost (amy.prevost@btci.org) – we hope to see some of you this summer!

Also, visit our web site to see what else we’re doing at the BTC Institute- we have awesome summer programs for upper elementary and middle school students, teacher training courses, nonscientist workshops and other meetings and events – www.btci.org .

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Promega products are used by life scientists who are asking fundamental questions about biological processes and by scientists who are applying scientific knowledge to diagnose and treat diseases, discover new therapeutics, and use genetics and DNA testing for human identification. Originally, founded in 1978 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, Promega has branches in 16 countries and more than global distributors serving 100 countries.

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