2017 BioSTEM Leader Awardee

Life Sciences Summer Institute
San Diego, CA
(accepted by Peter Callstrom )

We would not have the quality of national excellence at the BioGENEius Challenge or the talent to feed our future biotechnology workforce were it not for the critical bridging programs offered by this year’s BioSTEM Leader Awardee, the Life Sciences Summer Institute (LSSI) in San Diego, California.  LSSI is a non-profit educational institute and unique amongst our past Awardees, typically outstanding STEM high schools. LSSI provides that “next step”, bridging talented students and teachers to industry experiences.

Created in 2005, LSSI strengthens science and math education in San Diego County and develops a future workforce for the regional life sciences industry by nourishing a passion for science and math in San Diego’s next generation of scientists. This is accomplished by connecting students and teachers with leading San Diego life sciences companies through internships, hands-on laboratory training, mentorship, work-readiness skills preparation and college credit. LSSI has a focus on connecting students from underrepresented backgrounds to San Diego life science companies, including woman and minorities, increasing the diversity and talent that will support inclusive growth and prosperity in regional companies.

LSSI has gathered an impressive list of partners including the Amgen Foundation, Buster Biofuels, Regional Pathways San Diego and Imperial Counties, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the San Diego Blood Bank, Scripps Research Institute, Southern California Biotechnology at Center at Miramar College, UCSD Extension Research Scholars and Verdant Therapeutics. Today, more than 500 students have participated in industry internships since LSSI’s inception with a significant percentage staying on to work for their internship company.  Similarly, more than 220 teachers have benefitted from LSSI’s professional development program supported and designed by Amgen including access to equipment and supplies.

All-in-all, LSSI programs have impacted an impressive 10,986 students over the past 11 years.   Congratulations, LSSI as our 2017 BioSTEM Leader Awardee!