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The 2017 Waksman Institute Summer Experience (WISE) is a two week Program 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 10 day experience. The 2017 August WISE (7/31/17-8/11/17) has stopped accepting applications and is closed.  

A second WISE program is now accepting applications.  The second WISE program begins on Monday June 19, 2017 and will run weekdays, ending on Friday June 30, 2017.  Both WISE programs will be offered at the Waksman Institute, Rutgers University.  High school students who are accepted in to the 2017 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.  Cllick here for a list of the sequences that were published by students in the 2016 WISE.

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.