Del Mar College was one of the few and first 2-year schools accepted into the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institutes Science Education Alliance (SEA) program. The SEA program allows undergraduate students to participate in actual research in multiple disciplines across biology such as molecular biology, microbiology and finally the emerging field of bioinformatics.
Our SEA-Phage Team (Drs. Daisy Zhang, R. Deborah Overath and J. Robert Hatherill) recently sponsored five DMC students to present at the student poster competition at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting held in Washington DC, February 11-15, 2016. AAAS is the largest general scientific society in the world and is international in scope.
At the AAAS student poster competition SEA-Phage student Mr. John Ramirez competed against 4-year university and graduate students from Tier I research universities such as MIT and the University of California, Berkeley. It is noteworthy that he was not competing against any 2-year college students. John was the winner of the 2016 Student Poster Competition in Cell and Molecular Biology. His ability to conduct independent research is unprecedented for a two-year college student at such an early stage in his career.
The SEA-Phage undergraduate research is creating extraordinary DMC student outcomes from implementing research in the undergraduate classrooms of two-year campuses. A benefit of undergraduate research is that it enables two-year students to successfully compete with students from four-year schools at regional and national meetings. Mr. John Ramirez is currently working on an AAS in biotechnology.