Forum: La Jolla High School's new biosciences facility

Forum to share details on La Jolla High’s planned biosciences education complex

La Jolla High School is offering parents and community members a glimpse of its plans to develop a Biological Science and Technology Center at its campus at 750 Nautilus St. — and to forge enduring partnerships with the local biotech industry.

The forum will include remarks by guest speaker J. Craig Venter, founder and CEO of La Jolla’s Venter Institute for genomics research, as well as La Jolla High parent Tim Scott, president of Pharmatek Laboratories.

The forum, 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18 in the school’s Parker Auditorium, will include hors d’oeuvres, refreshments and a demonstration of Venter Institute’s DiscoverGenomics! mobile laboratory, where up to 26 students and their teacher can learn bioscience concepts using advanced laboratory equipment.

The La Jolla Community Foundation has established a donor-advised fund to manage financial contributions to the center, estimated to cost between $6 million and $10 million.

La Jolla High Principal Chuck Podhorsky said the forum will stress the importance of forging relationships between industry and public education.

“One of the great things we have in La Jolla is just an amazing caliber of students that are going to change the world,” Podhorsky said. “To be able to expose them to the powerhouse biotech industry people is great for the companies, great for students, great for us and great for the community.

“If you want to know what the biotech companies need, partner with them, talk to them, get kids doing internships … and build a really good working relationship with them,” Podhorsky added, noting that some of the people serving on the project’s planning committee also work in the local biotech industry. “When they’re speaking to jobs for the future, they know exactly what they’re talking about.”

La Jolla High School Foundation board trustee Linden Blue said he has spoken preliminarily with Venter about partnering with the school, possibly providing guest lecturers or internship opportunities.

Those wishing to attend the forum should RSVP to info@ljhs-biosciencecenter.com by Nov. 14 or for more information, visit ljhs-biosciencecenter.com

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