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The Covid19 pandemic restrictions in place at Rutgers University do not allow in-person laboratory-based WISE programs at the Waksman Institute for the 2021 Spring Semester. However, the online WISE can provide high school students with authentic research experiences in bioinformatics and molecular biology. Based on our work this past summer with the 2020 vWISE, we will be offering an academic year vWISE Program - the January 2021 Virtual Waksman Institute Summer Experience (Jan 2021 vWISE).

The January 2021 Virtual Waksman Institute Summer Experience (vWISE) is an academic year experience that engages high school students in an authentic research project in molecular biology and bioinformatics. It focuses on the 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 conducted during the summer can be found here. Note: No laboratory experiments will be performed in this program.

This is an intense 9-week experience that begins on Monday, January 25, 2021, meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:00PM - 8:30PM EST, and ends on Wednesday, March 25, 2021. vWISE programs are offered through the Waksman Institute, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ.

High school students who are accepted for the Jan 2021 vWISE Program will:

  • participate in on-line seminars conducted by Rutgers faculty.
  • 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 acknowledges the student by name. For example, see List of vWISE June 2020 Published Sequencesand List of vWISE August 2020 Published Sequences.

Program fee:

  • The total&non-refundable fee for the Jan 2021 vWISE is $400.00. This fee covers costs for seminars, DNA sequences and on-line review of students' work.
  • The application for the January 2021 Virtual WISE Program is here.
Information about the Summer 2021 WISE offerings will be posted here soon.