Summer Biotech Institute (SBI)

Summer Biotechnology Institute

The Summer Biotechnology Institute (SBI) is an educational jobs training program, conducted by Xomix Ltd, which began in 2003, and has enrolled over 140 school juniors and seniors from over 40 Chicago high schools.

The SBI is academic – industry collaboration. Xomix’s partners for SBI have included Roosevelt University, City Collegees of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Illinois Institute for Technology, Northwestern University, The Hektoen Institute of Medicine, and the Illinois Medical District/Chicago Technology Park, local hospitals, and biotechnology companies. As well, the SBI has received support from a number of national and local organizations including The Biotech Institute, BIO-Link, iBIO-The Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization, and The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

The SBI, funded by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, is intended to:

•Introduce high school students to the field of biotechnology while they are still considering career choices,
•Allow them to earn college credit in biotechnology,
•Give them initial work experiences in the field,
•Enable them to develop basic employability skills
•Link them to educational and employment opportunities in biotechnology.


The SBI program is open to all junior and senior level high school students for whom such an experience would make a critical difference in their education. Minority and women students, in particular, are encouraged to participate. Students’ acceptance to the program will be based on their applications, transcripts, and recommendations by a teacher. Students accepted into this program will receive full tuition, all textbooks and course materials.


The SBI program consists of an intensive four week, 60 contact hour lecture/laboratory experience that focuses upon DNA, RNA, proteins, enzymes and selected elements of microbiology, followed by a two-week internship with a biotechnology company or academic university. The students receive performance, educational and career advising and counseling throughout this six-week period. The curriculum, which is comparable to that of a one-semester college level introductory course in molecular biology, will be taught by a Ph.D.-level instructor and supplemented by seminars presented by guest lecturers from industry. Students who complete the final post test with a grade of “C” or better will upon request receive 2-semester house of college credit for Biology 120 “Introduction to Biotechnology and Molecular Biology.”


Internships will be provided by the generosity of individuals from biotechnology companies and academic institutes. After learning molecular biology techniques in class, students will have the opportunity to use these skills in a research laboratory. Internships will be scheduled from August 3rd through August 13th, 2009 and can range from 15 to 20 hours.
(Does your company have an internship opportunity to offer?)