Internship Course: Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology

Internship Course Summary:
This internship course is a 4 week intensive program that introduces the methods of synthetic biology and biotechnology, providing interns invaluable industry experience by building a research and development portfolio.

“[Companies] tend to hire candidates who they think will add value [to the company] in addition to research skills.”


The internship course laboratory focuses on the acquisition of professional level data and biological device engineering. The goal of this laboratory is to build a professional quality portfolio of experimental results using cutting edge technologies such as CRISPR and cellular reprogramming. The research and development portfolio highlights a candidate’s acquired skills, facilitating entry into the biotechnology industry or the creation of a startup company.

“2 out of every 3 RSI Biotechnology Internship program graduate secures an industry job”

This is a condensed version of our highly competitive 6-month RSI Biotechnology Internship program. The new program is a 4-week course that is a hybrid of formal lectures, participatory exercises and small projects based on ongoing research, similar to what our interns have worked on in the past.  This new format will allow us to provide a wider range of material and serve more students annually. The focus is on building a professional scientific research and development portfolio. Candidates will participate on collaborative biotechnology research projects with RSI staff and biotech partners, such as Panorama Research Inc.

The course concentrates on how synthetic biology, which is essentially “Biotechnology 2.0”,  reduces complex biological systems to a set of simple modules with defined functionality that can be used to assemble ever more complex functional modules to create new and useful molecules, cells and organisms. Good engineering practice of design, build, test and repeat will be applied to prokaryotic and eukaryotic regulatory and structural components, such as those involved in regulating transcription. The course will cover design and implementation of biological circuits and genome engineering. The concepts behind standardized parts will be introduced as well as potential limitations. Biological parts will be available from the 2015 Biobrick distribution, a large set of Addgene clones, and custom synthesized parts. New parts will be designed and synthesized as needed. New parts and  modules will be deposited with the Biobricks Foundation and Addgene. Course participants will be credited for submitted constructed parts. Laboratory space is fully equipped for synthetic, molecular and cell biology. Gibson, Golden Gate and standard recombinant DNA-based assembly will be explicated and employed as needed.

Who Should Attend This Course:
This course is targeted to biomedical professionals, in particular, those who are in, or wish to enter into the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.  The class will also greatly benefit academics with an interest into the latest advances related to biological, chemical and metabolic engineering, or those who wish to pursue a degree in a biomedicine or bioengineering.


cas9_nature_coverSelected Topics:

  • Molecular and synthetic biology: DNA cloning, DNA assembly (Golden Gate assembly/Gibson assembly), genome engineering (CAS/CRISPR),  biodevice design and construction
  • In silico analysis: basic bioinformatics, simulation/modeling/biocircuit analysis, sequence analysis, and cloning software such as Genome Compiler
  • Cell biology: cell culture including cellular reprogramming (iPS cells) , bioassay development, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry

Course Time and Enrollment
This is a 4 week internship course with 10 hours of lecture and 80 hours of laboratory work. For a calendar of the scheduled sessions, please see the online enrollment form. Internship course tuition is $3500 for instruction and laboratory supplies. A target class size of 6-8 students has been established. The internship course will be held at Regenerative Sciences Institute in Sunnyvale, CA.

Course Reviews

Learning the material in a format that allows you to be hands on at all times and forces you to participate with your 100% attention and focus is an experience that can’t be close to any book I have read in school!


Learning the basics and especially learning material that you can’t find in any institutional teaching, makes this experience a very needed asset to future endeavors.

The amount of skill and performance I picked up has been more efficient and relevant than any academic/research lab that I have participated in through my college or high school.


For other inquiries regarding this course internship, write to [email protected] with the subject “Internship Course: Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology.”

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