Biotechnology at UC San Diego

Learn how to design a molecule that will hopefully become a life saving drug

Located on the campus of UC San Diego

Program Highlights

In partnership with NovoMedix, work alongside scientists doing early stage drug discovery for cancer treatment.
Start with molecule design and compound creation, and follow the process to the point of in vitro biological activity.
Learn how to isolate a protein, and see how it reacts to various compounds in an advanced research laboratory.
Create a molecule, and test its biological results practicing the scientific method from hypothesis to conclusion.

Residential Price: $4,498 USD (+ supplemental fees)

Extended Commuter Price: $3,398 USD (+ supplemental fees)

Commuter Price: $2,798 USD (+ supplemental fees)


Late July: July 25-August 6, 2021


University of California at San Diego
San Diego, CA

Course Overview

Are you interested in medicine, science, and technology? Is you goal to create a life-saving drug? This is a unique opportunity for high school students to gain real exposure and work in a biotechnology lab utilizing state-of-the-art equipment.

Unlike other courses, the academic portion takes place in the lab of NovoMedix, 15 minutes from campus. NovoMedix has developed novel orally available small molecules with wide therapeutic windows to treat fibrotic disorders. These first-in-class small molecules co-target pathways that provide cardioprotective and synergistic anti-tumor effects with standard-of-care chemotherapies for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer.

Meet your instructor

Instructor and Curriculum Developer

Dr. Cathy Swindlehurst, Ph.D.

Dr. Cathy Swindlehurst
Dr. Swindlehurst is a founder and CEO of NovoMedix. She has over 25 years of experience in biotech and has a broad background in assay and biomarker development; drug discovery and development; as well as in project management, business development, and fund raising. Dr. Swindlehurst has held V.P. positions at several companies, including PanCel , MagneSensors, and NovaDx. She has led key collaborations with academic researchers and corporate partners and has been directly involved in raising over $10M in financing. Dr. Swindlehurst is an inventor on NovoMedix’s key issued patents. In her role as CEO of NovoMedix, Dr. Swindlehurst has also raised $5M in non-dilutive funding. Dr. Swindlehurst received a certificate in Business Management from UC San Diego; Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and Postdoctoral fellowship in Immunology from University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana; and her B.S. in Chemistry from University of California, Irvine.

Topics you'll explore

Hands-On Learning

Biotechnology is all about harnessing the power of living cells and materials for use in environmental, diagnostic, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. In this course, students have the ability to actually create something in chemistry lab and test it its biological state. In small groups, students will spend time learning from experts and practicing applied methods from the very beginning of drug discovery (stage zero) to the point right before animal testing.


Career Exploration

The biotechnology industry draws from a variety of different specialties, with microbiology, genetics, biochemistry,  and I.T. all having a significant impact. Students are guided by Dr. Cathy Swindlehurst, CEO of NovoMedix, who has over 25 years of experience with a background in assay and biomarker development. They will also work alongside Leah Fung, Vice President, Drug Discovery, and Laura Corral, Director, Discovery Biology.

Get started today

Summer Springboard pre-college Summer Program