CAMM Junior Fellows

camm junior fellows 2019


The Center for Applied Molecular Medicine (CAMM) and the Westside Cancer Center (WCC) have developed a unique program to foster scientific achievement for rising high school seniors interested in clinical or research oncology. We believe that passion, coupled to outstanding aptitude, are the hallmarks for success. This program attempts to foster scientific education by incorporating hands-on experimentation in a collaborative environment.

The application consists of an essay, a letter of recommendation, and a copy of the student’s transcripts. The essay should be used as a forum to convey the student’s passion for science/medicine. We will be accepting applications from January 18th through April 5th 2019. Decision letters are sent by April 19th. The program will begin on June 11th and requires the students to commit 6 hours each weekday until June 28th at the Health Science Campus of USC. A strong preference will be given to students in the 11th grade. Please contact Dr. Kian Kani ( for more information. Download Application PDF or complete the application online here.

Program Details

The CAMM Jr. Fellows are presented with one challenge – how to determine which drug is bested suited (most effective) for their mock patient. During this process, the Fellows will become familiar with one of the most important aspects of medicine which currently confronts clinical and research oncologists. Resolution of this challenge will require integration of science, mathematics, and technology. The endpoint is discussion of their findings with Dr. David Agus at the WCC. The unique aspects of this program are listed below:

  • Hands-on learning with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment on a University Campus
  • Integrates students from various socio-economic groups within S. California
  • Mentored by USC faculty and staff
  • Team based problem solving
  • Access to medical clinic
  • Required writing component
  • Guidance with college applications
  • Guidance during college/transition to graduate school


Download Application


USC Center for Applied Molecular Medicine
2250 Alcazar Street, CSC 240
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Clinic Day
Norris Westside Cancer Center
9033 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 300
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Course Dates:
June 11–28, 2019

Application Dates:
Jan. 18–April 5, 2019

Free to all students

USC Health Sciences Campus
USC Center for Applied
Molecular Medicine
2250 Alcazar St., CSC 240
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Kian Kani, PhD
Professor of Research Medicine

Laura Ng, Administrative Assistant
Phone: (323) 442-3849

Course Outline (June 11th – June 28th):

Week 1:
Homework (prior to start of week): Read Weinberg’s Hallmarks of Cancer: The next generation. Cell, March 2011.

  • Discuss Hallmarks of Cancer paper
  • Einstein’s challenge
  • Lab safety (what to touch and what not to)
  • Lab equipment (learn the tools of research)
  • USC biological safety class
  • Seminar with Dr. Agus
  • Pipetting challenge (accuracy vs. precision)

Homework: Describe personalized therapy options in colon, breast, lung, or leukemia patients. Why is this important? How is it different from systemic chemotherapy?

Week 2:
Work individually and in groups to solve the following case study. The CAMM has obtained samples from six colon cancer patients. The goal is to determine which patient would be treated with targeted therapeutics.

  • Scientific method
  • How to identify which assay to use
  • Pick a technique to determine the concentration of the six unknowns
    • Bradford assay
    • Lowery’s assay
  • Implement that assay
  • Determine controls
  • Data analysis (error, confidence, plot results in Excel)
  • Troubleshoot
  • Kian’s challenge


Homework: Writing a scientific manuscript. Begin working on Introduction, Methods, and Data.

Week 3:
The students will integrate their results from week 2 and learn two new analytical methods in order to determine which patient should be given targeted vs. systemic therapies. Once they identified the correct sample (protein) they will have to recommend a therapeutic and convey their results in a scientific report.

  • Gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE)
  • Immunoblot/Western blot
  • Proteomics (theory)
  • Clinic day – Dr. Agus, Dr. Gross, Nurses.
  • Submit results in a formal scientific report
  • Feedback and career discussion.

Junior Fellows

CAMM Jr. Fellows is a program open to all high school students interested in pursuing clinical or research oncology. Made possible by the generous donors of the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute of USC, this program is entirely free of charge. We embrace applications from students of all backgrounds and all high schools. Under the direction of Dr. Kian Kani and Dr. David Agus, the Jr. Fellows launched in 2010, fostering scientific achievement in more than 40 high school students to date. Since that time, 95 percent of our students have gone on to attend college, including:

Brown University

Carnegie Mellon University

Claremont McKenna College

Dartmouth College

Loyola Marymount University

Miami University (Ohio)

Rochester Institute of Technology

Santa Monica College

Santa Clara University

Stanford University

Tufts University

Tulane University

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, Merced

University of Michigan

University of Notre Dame

University of Pennsylvania

University of California, Santa Cruz

University of Scotland

University of Southern California

Washington University in St. Louis

Wesleyan University

Yale University

Interested students with further questions are encouraged to contact Kian Kani, PhD, professor of research medicine, at or Laura Ng, administrative assistant, at or (323) 442-3849.