Biotech founder and an instructor
Biotech Founder George Cachianes and fellow instructor Julie Reis

The Abraham Lincoln High School Biotechnology program was founded by former Genentech researcher George Cachianes in 1995. Over the years it has grown from one section of 30 students to 5 sections of students, or about 150 each year. Our program emphasizes the applications, implications, and limitations of current sciences that are the basis of the biotechnology industry.

Our courses train students in several laboratory techniques currently used in biotech labs throughout the world. We offer two years of biotechnology courses: Principles of Biotechnology 1 for juniors and seniors, and Principles of Biotechnology 2 for seniors who have completed the first year of our program. Biotechnology 2 expands upon the concepts taught in the first year course in a project-based format that involves laboratory work at the graduate school level of difficulty. The grading for Biotech 2 also reflects graduate school practices, as assessment involves experimentation, demonstrating a list of competencies required in the biotechnology industry, and extensive writing. Some of the projects students do include gene cloning, protein purification, and DNA sequencing. In addition to Principles of Biotechnology 1 and 2, we have an articulation agreement with City College of San Francisco that enables ALHS Biotechnology students to concurrently enroll in Biotechnology classes at CCSF.

Students working on lab experiment
Students breeding Drosophila (Fruit Flies)

Our Biotechnology program provides ALHS students with laboratory training that could lead directly to employment with a high school diploma. The great majority of ALHS graduates go on to a two-year or four-year undergraduate degree program. Many local companies will partially pay their employees' tuition if they go to night school to finish their four year degree. With the rising costs of a college education, this alternative is very attractive to many students.

Many of our graduates are now employed by one of the 2000 Biotech companies within commuting distance of San Francisco. Stop by room 22 to find out what it's all about!



The international Genetically Engineered Competition takes place annually at MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston MA). This undergraduate competition features some of the top research universities in the world. From 2007 to 2015, when the funding cycle came to an end,  UCSF fielded a team comprised of advanced biotech students from ALHS.

Photo of Bio Tech classroom
Room 22 (1 of 2 Biotech rooms at ALHS)


Read more: Articles from The New York Times and the SF Chronicle

This page was last updated on December 9, 2019