2021 Scripps Camp

 Computational Biology Research Camp for High School Students at Scripps Research Institute

Gene Expression Data Analysis and Next Gen Sequencing


Thank you for your interest in our camp.

We have one spot open as of July 27th. The contents will be the same as other dates (first week: any CB camp, 2nd week: BTS camp). Note: previous years, the second week content was the same as for R camp. 

Students with camp certificates will be qualified to become miRcore volunteers. Each school year, high school miRcore volunteers choose a disease of focus of the year, collaborate with similar level students to research the disease throughout the year, and lead a school club GIDAS (pronounce: guide-us; Genes in Diseases and Symptoms). The summer camp is the starting point to build high school student research network in San Diego and other regions (main one in Ann Arbor, Michigan). We are grateful that the Scripps Research Translational Institute is sponsoring the camp.

NOTE: A separate basic genomics session will be given to accommodate students who may not have taken first year high school biology.

DATE: Week 1: Aug 2-6 Week 2: Aug 9-13, 2021 (Mon – Fri)

TIME: 9 am – 4 pm, Pacific time

Week 1: Students will give an end of week presentation of their findings from patient RNA expression data.
Week 2: Students will analyze next generation sequencing data.



INTENDED AUDIENCE: Current (2020-21) high school and incoming 9th grade students interested in computers, math, biology, and medicine.

FEE: $1,140 (includes miRcore premium membershp).

We have a limited number of partial scholarships available for students with a free or reduced price lunch program.  Please contact us if you would like to know more.

A computer with internet connection is required to join the online camp. After reviewing your essay in the registration form, we will inform you regarding acceptance within 7-10 business days. If accepted, you will be sent payment options.


Sponsor – Scripps Research Translational Institute


Thanks to the support of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering (MICDE). They are providing access to the University of Michigan’s Great Lakes Slurm cluster for all campers to run calculations (Slurm = Simple Linux Utility for Resource Management).



  1. Expose high school students to career opportunities in biomedicine through hands-on experience in computational genomics and prepare them for the emerging era of medical genomics, when all doctors must be well-acquainted with genetic discoveries, technologies, and applications.
  2. Give research opportunities to high school students beyond the school setting.
  3. Identify potential GIDAS (Genes In Diseases And Symptoms) club leaders at their schools.


Specific Aims

Week 1 (An overview of this week can be found at the bottom of the CB camp linked here)

  1. Differentiate gene entities (DNA, RNA, and proteins) and understand the mechanisms of gene expression (transcription and translation).
  2. Understand genetic biomarkers in a disease context and the effects of environmental factors such as exercise, food consumption, substance abuse, and medication.
  3. Learn about personalized medicine (precision medicine – President Obama’s 2015 initiative).
  4. Be familiar with career paths related to computational biology.
  5. Become familiar with the National Center for Biotechnology Information database and software package.
  6. Learn tools and concepts, useful for individual research projects.
  7. Week 1 Friday (August 6st) Parents are invited to students’ presentations (afternoon). Each group will suggest a way of preventing the disease based on the week’s research.


Week 2 (An overview of this week can be found at the BTS camp linked here)

  1. Become familiar with Unix commands and run programs using command lines.
  2. Understand nucleotide hybridization and related thermodynamics.
  3. Understand next generation sequencing (NGS) technology.
  4. Analyze partial human DNA sequencing data and SARS-Cov-2 sequencing data.
  5. Understand the progress of the biotechnology and needs for next technology.
  6. Develop collaborative teamwork.
  7. Learn and obtain tools, concepts, and datasets, useful for individual research projects*.


*Student research paper based on the previous Scripps and TCGA camp materials:

  1. H. Kabat, L. Tunkle, and I. Lee. ceRNA Search Method Identified a MET-activated Subgroup Among EGFR DNA Amplified Lung Adenocarcinoma Patients. Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing22, 438-448 (2017).


Databases, tools, and concepts for week 1

1. PubMed Health
3. GEO
4. GEO2R
5. String-db
6. GO
8. GeneCards
9. Microarray
10. T-test
11. Enrichment testing
12. Volcano plot

Databases, tools, and concepts for week 2

1. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
2. Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)
3. Unix commands
4. Variant Call Format (VCF) file
5. Thermodynamnics of Nucleotide Hybridization
6. RNAseq
7. Single Cell RNAseq
8. SARS-CoV-2 sequences
9. Biotechnology business
10. Integrative Genomics Viewer


Typical Daily Activities

9:00 – 10:00 am check out what you know, games
10:00 – 11:00 am lectures covering specific aims, snacks
11:00 – noon hands-on activities in genomics
noon – 1:00 pm lunch
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm computer-based guided investigation in genomics, games
2:00 – 3:00 pm individual research on a disease using computational genomics, snacks
3:00 – 3:30 pm student presentations, games
3:30 – 4:00 pm collabotavie group research to share ideas together


Tentative career focus

Computational and experimental biologist (academic career)
Physician (medical)
Pharmaceutics/biotechnology (careers in industry) 

Refund Policy

The $100 administrative fee will not be refunded once the camp application is accepted.

If a student withdraws, the camp fee paid minus the administrative fee will be refunded if we are notified by May 24, 2021.

If a student withdraws between May 25, 2021 and three weeks before the camp starting date, we will refund 50 percent of the camp fee paid.

No refund will be given after three weeks before the camp starting date.