I-Cultiver is a company that brings scientific innovation and analysis to agriculture. Through an agreement with iCultiver, CCC students in the BEST internship program work part-time as biotech interns and gain professional experience at the same time.
BEST was started by Dr. Rajnish Khanna (i-Cultiver, Inc.) and Dr. Katherine Krolikowski (Contra Costa College). BEST stands for Biotechnology, Education, and Specialized Training. BEST interns work with Dr. Khanna on real-world projects doing research on food and agricultural products, which include sample preparation, tissue dissection, DNA sequence preparation, seedling assays, production of proprietary microbial amendment using bioreactors, and metabolic assays.
The first cohort of BEST interns began in summer 2022. This last summer, students assisted on research and development on eight different projects ranging from the method-of-activity of some leading commercial fertilizers on crop production to developing new technologies for use in agriculture. The interns worked at multiple locations, including, Contra Costa College and The Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford.
Robert Reed, one of the BEST interns was selected for a prestigious program at the Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, in Stanford, California. The program will run for 10 weeks and is funded through an NIH award.
Furthermore, recently two manuscripts were submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals with Robert Reed as a co-author with other i-Cultiver collaborators from the industry and academia, including the USDA and UC Berkeley.