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The Waksman Institute Summer Experience (WISE) is a two week Programs that engages high school students in an authentic research project in molecular biology and bioinformatics. It focuses on the isolation, characterization, and DNA sequence analyses of genes from the duckweed Landoltia punctata, and how these compare to those found in other species. Duckweed is a fresh-water aquatic plant that is of interest to the scientific community. A video of an overview of the research project can be found here

This is an intense 2 week experience.  WISE programs are offered at the Waksman Institute, Rutgers University.  WISE-June will be 6/22/20-7/2/20 (9:00 AM-4:45 PM) and WISE-August will be 7/27/20-8/7/20 (9:00 AM-3:45 PM).  

High school students who were accepted in to the WISE Program will:

  • attend seminars conducted by Rutgers faculty.
  • work in a college laboratory with instruction from researchers.
  • isolate unique fragments of DNA by conducting laboratory experiments including plasmid DNA purification, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction digests, and gel electrophoresis.
  • analyze gene sequences from these DNA fragments using the same bioinformatic tools used by practicing scientists worldwide.
  • submit their vetted DNA sequence analyses for publication on GenBank, the international repository of DNA sequences, that is maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Education (NCBI).

Each sequence that is published in the GenBank database acknowledged the student by name. For example, see List of 2016 WISE publications,  List of 2017 WISE publications or List of 2018 WISE publications.

Program fee:

  • The total non-refundable fee for the 2 week WISE program is $1,500.00. This fee covers costs for seminar and laboratory instruction; copies of the seminar and laboratory manuals; all laboratory reagents and supplies; and use of the computer laboratory during the program.
  • The application for the 2020 WISE Programs is linked here.