UC San Diego Extension has become the first continuing education institution to lease its very own wet lab. The Boz Institute in Pacific Beach gives students from middle school through university level a platform where they can dip their toes into experimental life sciences research. Partnering with the National Park Service and local organizations such as Biocom Institute, the lab is dedicated to scientific inquiries aimed at solving problems in the community.
Among its ongoing projects are a conservation plan for an endangered species of agave, a study on the mechanisms of aging, and the pursuit of a greater understanding of genetic and environmental factors on developmental diseases.
“We’re looking at building the best farm system for the brightest minds in the world,” says Edward Abeyta, Extension’s associate dean for Education and Community Engagement. “And we’re doing it in a way where they’re not just going into the lab to learn, but soliciting from city leaders and businesspeople what problems we can solve.”