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Nanoscale Microscopy Lab Summer Institute

Build your foundational knowledge of microscopy techniques in nanoscience research

Professor speaking with a student in a laboratory.

Develop skills in hands-on nanoscience experimentation and scientific communication

Nanoscale Microscopy Lab is a one-week, hands-on, science learning opportunity for high school students on scientific imaging, a topic that is typically only accessible in an advanced college level course. Specifically, students will be able to explore three key microscopy techniques for nanoscience research: fluorescence microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, and electron microscopy. This one-week summer course offers an exploratory introduction to this important scientific skill for students as early as 10th grade at the high school level.

For participating students who intend to become science majors in college, this course will provide a foundational knowledge to a key element in the scientific method of observation. For participating students who might not pursue a science career, the course offers a glimpse on how scientists study the invisible world of atoms and molecules, which enable the water repelling clothes they wear to the smart phones they use.

Fees and Payment Info

The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.

Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.


Students living in on-campus housing will be charged an additional housing fee.


Program Fee $1,160
Registration Fee $350
IEI Fee $61
Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students) $50

Meet Your Instructors

Hong Zhou


Professor Hong Zhou is a faculty at the Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics Department of UCLA. Dr. Zhou is also the Director of the Electron Imaging Center for NanoMachines. Professor Zhou’s lab focuses on 3D structural studies of biological complexes using cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) and cryo-electron tomography (cryoET). These emerging methods are particularly suitable for structure determination of large molecular complexes, viruses, cellular machineries and bacterial cells. Recent efforts have focuses on developing and applying advanced cryoEM and cryoET techniques to visualize the dynamic processes of microbial infections and to decipher the mechanisms of fundamental biological processes. Dr. Zhou’s group is at the forefront in pushing the envelope of cryoEM reconstruction to atomic resolution. Dr. Zhou was a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, received numerous awards, including the Basil O’Connor Scholar Award, the Established Investigator Award of American Heart Association, the Burton award, and the KH Kuo Award of Distinguished Scientist.

Laurent A. Bentolila

Dr. Laurent A. Bentolila is a biochemist and a molecular geneticist who joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2002. He currently serves as the Scientific Director of both the Advanced Light Microscopy/Spectroscopy Laboratory and the Macro-Scale Imaging Laboratory at CNSI. Dr. Bentolila earned his B.S. in Biochemistry and M.S. in Genetics from Paris-XI University, Orsay and Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Immunology from the Pasteur Institute, Paris. He was a European Molecular Biology Organization Postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley where he worked on the recombination and expression of antigen receptor genes in lymphocytes. Dr. Bentolila is an elected member of the CNSI Executive Committee and Education Committee. He is actively teaching in Biological Microscopy (MIMG 105) and Introduction to Molecular Imaging (M248). Since becoming Scientific Director of the Advanced Light Microscopy/Spectroscopy Laboratory at CNSI, Dr. Bentolila has developed and assembled a unique collection of custom-made and commercial light microscopy tools for the application of novel spectroscopic methods and advanced microscopy techniques used for the study of macromolecules, cellular dynamics and nano-scale characterization of biomaterials.

Adam Z. Stieg

Dr. Adam Z. Stieg currently serves as the Scientific Director of the Nano and Pico Characterization Core Facility at CNSI as well Director of the Sci|Art NanoLab Institute. Dr. Stieg earned his B.S. with honors in Chemistry from Drew University and both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Inorganic and Physical Chemistry from UCLA. He is a member of the CNSI Executive and Education Committees. As a scientist and educator, Dr. Stieg continues to focus on the development of integrated approaches to study material systems at the interface of traditional boundaries. Through the implementation of original experimental techniques, with a specialized focus in multi-environment, high-performance scanning probe microscopes, his research seeks to bridge the gap between our current understanding of nanomaterials and their fundamental properties with how these systems tend toward complexity at increased scales of space and time. Numerous ongoing, collaborative efforts involve the study of molecular machines, nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery, inorganic carbon-based materials, directed stem cell differentiation and the pursuit of physically intelligent systems through neuromorphic computation. His research activities are augmented by active collaboration with artists and designers on various projects, installations, and public exhibitions that directly inform the scientific process and provide motivation to develop new educational content that conveys the need for creativity in innovation.