SURE Program 2022

"It's a wrap!" - Scintillon's summer high school student research program excites young minds and comes to an end for 2022.

Every year, Scintillon’s research faculty perform exciting biomedical research pushing for a cure of many major disease conditions, including neuroscience, immunology, virology, and aging-associated diseases. Towards these ends, the faculty has to secure new grants and new philanthropy to resource these efforts. In addition to these difficult challenges, every summer the faculty also joins together and donates a significant amount of their time and effort to teach and host a growing number of very highly motivated local San Diego high school students in Scintillon’s research laboratories for an intensive 4-week training program. The small number of high school students accepted into the highly-competitive program are some of the highest performing students in the entire county, and past alumni of the program have, not surprisingly, gone on to attend elite universities, including Dartmouth, Johns-Hopkins, Stanford, and Yale. This year’s SUmmer REsearch (SURE) program had its highest number of applicants to date—twice as many as last year. While that is great news for the program, we at Scintillon had to use every possible resource at our young Institute to accept and serve this class of 2022, the largest class in our 5-year program’s history. It wasn’t easy!

The daily program started with morning lectures given by the Institute’s faculty. These thought-provoking seminars introduced the students to a wide range of biomedical disciplines allowing students to appreciate the breadth of biomedical research and, perhaps, how they can one day contribute towards potential cures. Students were then released to their mentor’s laboratories for hands-on laboratory experience for the rest of the day. Once a week, mentor labs hosted a student-run journal club to teach students how to critically and analytically evaluate primary research papers from the scientific literature, a skill essential to a scientist. Former SURE participants returned and donated their time as well by speaking to the current students and answering their many and pointed questions regarding the ins-n-outs of college admissions. It was most pleasing to see the former students giving back!

Yet, we still had to turn away many very qualified applicants this year. Honestly, we need your help and commitment to continue to grow the program and make it a meaningful platform for San Diego high school students to be admitted to top-tier universities as they pursue their academic dreams. One former alumnus remarked that the SURE program gave him an exciting topic to write and talk about during the college application process.

Scintillon has been able to conduct all these student-oriented activities on its own budget and through a lot of faculty volunteering, with no charge to the students or their families. All the participants have academic records that are truly extraordinary. The students remain the primary reason the faculty feel so strongly in continuing this program. To help sustain and continue to grow the SURE program, we kindly ask for your generous support through a tax-deductible donation.

In closing, we would like to leave you with a few comments from the students themselves and their parents.

"The program was incredibly helpful. I was able to help out with the projects and learned techniques that I would not be able to elsewhere. "

"The SURE program was awesome! I had a wonderful time, and I learned so much. The morning lectures were always so informative and introduced me to a lot of new vocab words and concepts."

"Working with Dr. Cracan was an amazing experience. I learned a lot about techniques and science from him. He was great at explaining steps and answering questions."

"The presentation at the end was super helpful for me to fully understand how much we did in four weeks."

"Thank you for such an amazing opportunity this summer. Our son has been so excited to share with us his daily labs. It has been very eye opening for him and is definitely giving him guidance for his future academic opportunities."

"Hello, Thank you for giving my daughter an opportunity for this excellent program. She is enjoying and learning a lot."

"Thank you for a fantastic summer. As someone who has worked in the lab, it was very rewarding to hear of our daughter’s experiences. An excellent program for high school students!"

“ It was an enriching experience, filled with learning opportunities. My time at SURE was incredibly eye opening, and offered unmatched biology exposure that went further than anything I could've ever learned from a textbook. Through this program I found my passion for cell biology, allowing for me to make the decision to apply for Molecular and Cell Biology majors in various universities. “


Scintillon is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit institute. Donation can be sent as a check to:

Scintillon Institute

6868 Nancy Ridge Drive,

San Diego, CA 92121

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