Hampshire College Students Working in a Science Lab

Inside the Cell: Immersion into the Biology Laboratory

July 16-27, 2018

In order to generate knowledge in biology, we need to understand the techniques that create information in addition to comprehending the work that has been done previously. Therefore, in addition to learning laboratory techniques, we will learn to review primary scientific literature. Every day will be a combination of multiple laboratory and classroom sessions that will help develop students’ overall scientific abilities.

Returning for its second year as a pre-college program, this course in its first week will predominantly be spent introducing students to a wide array of techniques. During the second week, students will utilize these techniques to pursue scientific questions of their own design. The program will end with students presenting their work at a research symposium open to friends and family. Check out the 2018 program syllabus draft here.


John Castorino, assistant professor of molecular biology in the School of Natural Science at Hampshire College.

I originally thought that I was going to be an engineer. I was good at building things and my mind appreciated the strict rules of math. My interests changed quickly when I took my first biology course and failed the first test. There is something about biology that made my brain think differently. There are general rules to biology, but there are often more exceptions to the rules that are more important in determining how life really works. I fell in love with the field of molecular biology, which is (as I like to describe it) taking life apart and putting it back together in new and interesting ways.

In college and graduate school, I pursued a combination of genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology and ultimately focused on how the c-myc oncogene is over-expressed in cancer for my Ph.D. thesis work. For my postdoctoral work, I utilized my molecular experience to attack questions about mammalian physiology, specifically in research on eye physiology and disease.  

Throughout my education, I was fortunate to have amazing teachers and advisors that helped me pursue my interests, so this is something that I’m passionate about facilitating for the next generation of scientists. At Hampshire, I like to utilize my interdisciplinary experience in order to help students design laboratory research projects related to their interests. With the assistance of incredible students, I am also continuing to perform research on the molecular basis of cancer. With this summer program, I hope to excite a younger generation of students so that they can begin to tackle the myriad of biological questions that continue to perplex us.

2018 Important Deadlines

April 13: Priority Deadline for all completed and submitted applications to receive a 10% tuition discount

May 4: Deposit Deadline ($450 deposit must be received in order to secure your spot in the program)

May 18: Application Deadline (all application materials must be submitted)

June 1: Payment Deadline (all payments must be submitted)

2018 Payment and Fees

Tuition: $2,050
Housing: $450
Meals: $420

The program allowed me to think more like a scientist in designing experiments and thinking outside the box to solve a problem.

2017 Inside the Cell Participant

Stay In Touch
With Summer Programs
Snail Mail
Summer Academic Programs
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002