For Immediate Release

Contact: Andrea E. Garcia, Touro University California
Associate Vice President, University Advancement

W: (707) 638-5272
C: (707) 704-6101

High School Students Flock to Touro University for Expert Knowledge on Medical Careers

Vallejo, CA (June 29, 2018): Twenty-one students from high schools across Contra Costa, Napa and Solano Counties received a unique hands-on experience at Touro University California’s (TUC’s) 7th annual Biotech Academy Summer Internship Program. From June 18 to 28, students participated in several intensive sessions on a variety of topics including osteopathic medicine, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, anatomy, diversity and inclusion in medicine, and nursing. For example, students got a chance to use an ultrasound during a lab exercise by TUC’s Imaging Club and a first-hand look at how TUC conducts outreach by providing free diabetes screenings to community members through its Mobile Diabetes Education Center (MOBEC).

“There’ve been so many people and instructors helping out this year,” said Nanki Sekhon, a Benicia High School Senior who is in her second year of attendance in the program. “The professors have been very friendly and getting to talk and interact with medical students makes the experience very personal.”

Working with the Alzheimer’s Association, Gerontology Society of America and many others, TUC Associate Professor Dr. Shin Murakami organized the program, which exposes students to aspects of health and medical education that are not found in traditional high school classes. “With the help of some of my colleagues, we began the Biotech Academy in 2012 when the City of Vallejo requested greater resources to help the community. The program gives students access to the facilities that you can only get at a graduate level institution so that they can go on to start careers in medicine, public health, or other STEM subjects,” said Dr. Murakami.

In addition, an Alzheimer’s four-hour online certification program was opened up to all campus members. Participants were certified in providing basic dementia care as outlined in the nationally recognized Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Practice Recommendations. These focus on the importance of person-centered care where care givers build meaningful relationships with each patient.

Since starting in 2012, over 100 students have gone through the Biotech Academy and this year over 150 students competed for just 20 spots, a testament to the program’s value in this community. TUC is in a unique location to provide this experience to these students who otherwise live too far away from other medical institutions such as Stanford, Berkeley and UCSF. Shin is proud to report that “About half of the students who go through the Biotech Academy go on to Universities of California and half continue to California State Universities.”

“It’s been so exciting to encourage and empower these students to see a place for themselves in the worlds of healthcare and the biological sciences. We hope that through this experience students will go into STEM and biological sciences majors after high school,” said incoming College of Osteopathic Medicine student Jeremy Yenpasook.

About the Touro College and University System:

Touro University California is a Jewish nonprofit, independent graduate institution of higher learning founded in 1997 on three Judaic values: social justice, the pursuit of knowledge and service to humanity. The university, home to 1,400 students, has professional programs in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, public health, nursing, and education. Faculty, staff and students have a powerful commitment to academic excellence, evidence-based professional practice, inter-professional collaboration, and active engagement with a global community. To learn more, visit or call 707-638-5200.