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June 22, 2017

MDI Biological Lab offers 'biomedical boot camp' for high schoolers

Courtesy / MDI Biological Laboratory
Courtesy / MDI Biological Laboratory
High school students will be able to get hands-on experience at MDI Biological Laboratory's new biomedical bootcamp in August to see if they want to pursue a career in the field either in academia or industry.

A new biomedical bootcamp at the MDI Biological Laboratory will give high school students and recent graduates a chance to immerse themselves in science to explore whether they would like to pursue a career in academia or in industry, finance or other jobs, possibly even start their own company, the Bar Harbor lab said Wednesday.

"Biomedical Bootcamp: Techniques for 21st Century Careers" will be held Aug. 13-18 to help students develop their laboratory skills and explore the range of career opportunities in biomedical science, the lab said.

"The course is being offered through the lens of career options in biomedical science," said Jane E. Disney, PhD., who is director of education at the lab. "The MDI Biological Laboratory is a unique place to do this because of our emphasis on the business of science. Biomedical science offers an abundance of career opportunities, but they aren't always obvious. One of our goals is to make students aware of the alternatives."

The course work in a new state-of-the-art laboratory will include conducting studies with animal models and interacting with scientists who will share their experiences on the path toward biomedical careers. The students will gain cutting-edge biomedical skills that will prepare them for college as well as for advanced learning opportunities such as internships and work-study jobs.

The course at the lab's Bar Harbor campus is open to high school students nationwide who are entering their junior or senior years, or those who graduated in 2017.

The course will also introduce them to careers in related fields such as bioinformatics, bio-entrepreneurship and science communications.

"Our course for undergraduates was so successful that we decided to develop a similar course for high school students," Disney said, referencing a course held in the spring. "Confusion about career tracks isn't limited to undergraduates: high school students face it too. In a competitive and rapidly changing job market, the students who have narrowed their focus will have a leg up on becoming the future leaders in their fields."

According to the lab's most recent annual report in 2015, it had $30 million in net assets and liabilities. Lab Director Kevin Strange and Assistant Professor Voot Yin were 2013 Mainebiz Next award winners. The two co-founded the lab's first spinoff laboratory in its 115-year history in 2013, regenerative medicine company Novo Biosciences Inc.

MDI Biological Laboratory also houses an incubator for several early-stage biomedical companies.

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