iCLEM Celebrates 10th Anniversary

August 11, 2017

JBEI’s microbiology program provides hands-on experience for high potential, low-income high school students

-By Irina Silva

The Introductory College Level Experience in Microbiology (iCLEM) is an eight-week paid summer science intensive which provides Bay Area youth from communities traditionally underrepresented in the sciences with paid research internships at the Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI).

Created ten years ago by Clem Fortman and James Carothers who were then post-doctoral researchers at JBEI and the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc), iCLEM targets high potential, low-income high school students who have a deep interest in science or engineering and for whom this program would provide the critical difference in pursuing a higher education degree and a career in science. iCLEM is a multi-layered program that connects students with high school teachers, undergraduate students who are majoring in science at a UC institution, rotating science advisors that conduct research at JBEI, and the JBEI education and outreach team.

The iCLEM 2017 team included the following students: Christopher Pole, Diego Acevedo, James Hoang, Jocelyne Moreno, Mary Tran, Miya Wandera, PeiWen Xiao and Simon Ceja. Virginia Ling and Ron Yadin were the Teaching Assistants and Annie Nguyen and Frankie Garcia were the iCLEM teachers. JBEI science advisors were Constance Bailey, Jesus Barajas, Laure Leynaud-Kieffer, Maren Wehrs and Raphael Gabriel. Steve Singer was the Scientific Director.

This year’s sponsors were the Department of Energy, Amgen Foundation and Heising-Simons Foundation.

To learn more about the program:

  • visit this page
  • read this year’s blogs written by the iCLEM students

Below are a few photos from this year’s iCLEM final celebration.

iCLEM 2017 students, teaching assistants and teachers
Teaching assistant Virginia Ling presenting her poster to JBEI’s Steve Singer, iCLEM Scientific Director
iCLEM 2017 students at the start of their presentations





JBEI’s science advisors being recognized for their work
Teaching Assistants Ron Yadin and Virginia Ling


Teaching Assistant Virginia Ling speaking to JBEI Science Advisor Maren Wehrs

Teacher Annie Nguyen presenting her poster
Teachers Annie Nguyen and Frankie Garcia