Pack a Little Science into Your Summer with Advanced Courses from BTCI

This new cGMP facility was built to have the least effect on the natural environment as possible--surrounded by rain gardens and native plantings, using grey water for flushing toilets--sustainable growth was the goal.
Summer on the Prairie at Promega–Study science surrounded by birds, bees, flowers and amazing prairie.

Summer, a much-looked forward to season. We typically pack in the activities and make the most of the daylight. We work hard and we play hard.  This summer will be no exception, and at the BTC Institute, we are already getting set to host as many students as we can. We will see middle and high schoolers, K-12 teachers, college students, graduate students, college and university faculty and staff, and professionals in the biotech community under our roof at some point. You may want to join us too!

Our programs for advanced learners, geared toward the graduate student or biotech professional, offer much more than just a rigorous immersion in molecular biology theory and practice. Held at the BTC Institute at Promega Headquarters, they are taught by highly knowledgeable scientists, coming from both industry and academia. These instructors offer a wealth of information and share their expertise as well as life experiences with students. Informal discussions about career trajectories and access to industry are important added benefits to attending these off-campus workshops.

In addition, the breadth of experiences of other students benefits all attendees and widens everyone’s perspective. Course participants will work side-by-side with attendees from diverse departments on campus and those working in industry. Past participants have come from animal sciences, bacteriology, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, comparative biomedical sciences, dairy science, endocrinology and reproductive physiology, pharmaceutical sciences, and veterinary medicine in addition to industry science settings.

Finally, learning takes place in a safe, fun and low-risk learning environment. The instructors have high expectations for students, but there is room in the agenda for a little play in the lab. Our reagents are not precious samples, and we use tested protocols to illustrate technologies and allow students to gain hands-on experience performing techniques.

Photocredit: BTC Institute
Photocredit: BTC Institute

Here is a brief list of what we are offering this summer –

Neuroscience 675 : Molecular Approaches to Neuroscience (June 13-17; 9a – 5:30p):
An immersion in established molecular biology techniques and introduction to new techniques that are gaining traction quickly;  in the lab, students will perform microRNA isolation and analysis, bacterial cloning, RT-qPCR, and Western blot. Students will monitor cell health and connect drug treatments to mechanism of cell death. Guest lecturers will cover RNA-Seq, CRISPR/Cas9 and Epigenetics. Discussion will focus on experimental design and troubleshooting.

Oncology 675 – 001: Core Techniques in Protein and Genetic Engineering (July 11-15;  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, transfection, protein purification techniques and protein charactarization, 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 18-22; 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 testing HDAC inhibitor potencies and analyzing cellular consequences of HDAC inhibition, cell health assessment and kinase inhibitor assays for drug profiling, studying protein-protein interactions in live cells, and investigating how biologics impact live cells. Lectures will include discussion of deep sequencing and next-gen sequencing, mass spectrometry for discovery, investigating circulating cell-free DNA, among others.

Please direct inquiries about the courses to Dr. Amy Prevost ( – we hope to see some of you this summer!

More information on all of our course offerings at .

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Amy Prevost

Amy Prevost

Director, Scientific Courses at BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute
Amy Prevost received her doctorate from UW-Madison in 2012 in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Amy is a program director at the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute (BTC Institute), a non-profit located on the Promega campus in Fitchburg, Wis., where she coordinates scientific programs for adult learners. She is also a project manager on a grant aimed at understanding student success in advanced manufacturing programs at two-year colleges with the Center on Education Research at UW Madison. Amy’s primary areas of interest in educational research include understanding educational pathways in STEM programs, improving student outcomes at the post-secondary and graduate levels – including access to careers, and trying to map elements of doctoral programs that contribute to students’ abilities to transfer knowledge.

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