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Lab Fundamentals Bootcamp


Each spring, QB3 offers a five-day Lab Fundamentals Bootcamp for undergraduates participating in summer research projects. The course is a molecular biology experimental primer, covering the basics of microbiology and molecular biology, research methods, safety and human practices, experimental design, and demonstrations of basic techniques likely to be encountered in a molecular biology lab. It is taught by UC Berkeley graduate students and postdocs. There is no charge or credit offered for the course, but participants who successfully complete the course receive a certificate of completion.

Eligibility: The QB3 Lab Fundamentals Bootcamp is for undergraduates who participate in summer 2016 research projects and have little or no previous research experience. Berkeley and non-Berkeley students are eligible. Note that you must have a faculty mentor who can verify your summer research placement in their lab. Preference is given to those who will be working in a QB3 faculty affiliate's lab. Students must be available for a full five-day session – late starts and early finishes cannot be accommodated.

Course Objectives

• To train students in culturing microbes and using sterile technique, in molecular cloning (including PCR, plasmid preparation, restriction digests, ligation, and agarose gel electrophoresis), in protein expression and purification, and in basic enzyme activity assays.

• To give students an understanding of the importance of good experimental design, appropriate controls and their impact on the interpretation of results.

• To teach students how to use standard software, like VectorNTI or APE, for their molecular cloning experiments (identify restriction sites, plan digests and predict their products, or assemble plasmid maps).


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