- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Destination: United States
- Program Delivery: Residential
- Provided By: College, Independent Provider
- Session Start: June
- Session Length: Six Weeks
- Entering Grade: 11th, 12th
- Gender: Coed
- Category: Enrichment
- Sub-Categories: Bio Technology, Biology, Chemistry
- Selective: No
- Ages: 16, 17
- Career Clusters: Health Science, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
- Credit Awarded: No
The Summer Science Program (SSP) is not a “camp.” It is a unique immersion experience with a strong culture that has evolved over more than half a century. It is talented young people discovering their limits, then overcoming them through collaboration. It is the shock of not being the smartest person in the room, followed by the joy of realizing that’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity.
Participants will learn the fundamentals of enzyme structure, function, and evolution. Each team of three will combine bench experiments and computer tools to characterize a member of an enzyme family that is implicated in crop infection by fungal pathogens – one which has never been modeled by anyone before. They will submit their enzyme model to a database available to other scientists. Then, they will design a molecule that might safely protect crops from that specific fungus, by binding to the enzyme and inhibiting its activity.
The project goes beyond even what is asked of undergraduates in an analytical lab course for biochem majors. It demands hypothesis-building based on integration of existing information, critical analysis and interpretation of novel experimental results, and application of the novel information to portions of the drug design pipeline. These highly practical aspects of modern biochemical research will train students how to intellectually approach a biochemical research problem.