Symposium is a Component of a Rigorous Research Program Providing Hands-On Science Experience
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Aug. 7, 2007 - The Amgen Foundation in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently hosted the first Amgen Scholars Program National Symposium in Lake Tahoe, Calif. The Amgen Scholars program, a $25 million, eight-year initiative, provides undergraduates from across the country the opportunity for hands-on research at 10 of the nation´s premier universities to explore an area of research under a faculty mentor beyond what they may be able to do as part of their regular undergraduate education.
All 238 Amgen Scholars were invited to attend the symposium to discuss their summer research projects and hear firsthand from leading scientists in academia and industry, including faculty and staff from MIT, University of California, San Francisco and University of Washington, as well as scientists and researchers from Amgen. Presentations during the symposium included an inspiring talk from a postdoctoral scholar at California Institute of Technology about her educational and career path after doing research as an undergraduate and practical advice to students on effective oral and poster presentations - critical elements to students´ presentations at the end of the summer and their overall career development. Students also received overviews of the impact of biotechnology on drug discovery and development, the overall drug development process, discovery research, clinical trials and the drug manufacture of therapeutic proteins.
"The symposium provides students a unique opportunity to engage with highly regarded scientists to learn about how science research translates into drug development," said Susan Hockfield, president of MIT, which also serves as the Amgen Scholars national program office. "The creativity, depth of knowledge and collaboration demonstrated by this summer´s Amgen Scholars is inspiring and I am confident that they are each poised to go on to do great things."
The 238 undergraduate students were selected from approximately 1,700 applicants from accredited four-year colleges and universities to participate in the Amgen Scholars Program and attend a mid-summer symposium. Some facts about this first class of Amgen Scholars include:
They represent nearly 100 colleges and universities
They are from 36 states as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
The majority (58 percent) of them are female
Their majors are diverse and range from biology to neuroscience to psychology to chemistry
Throughout the summer, the selected Amgen Scholars were given the opportunity to participate in a variety of university-based research projects, gain hands-on lab experience and contribute to the advancement of science while working under some of the nation´s top academic scientists. Examples of students´ projects include "The Role of MicroRNA in the DNA Damage Response", "Stimulus Characteristics Modulate Recognition of Emotional Words in Young Adults", "Restoration of p53 Function in Mice and Tumors Derived Cell Lines", and "Characterization of Drug Delivery Using a Needle Free Injector".
"The Amgen Foundation launched the Amgen Scholars program to inspire and prepare the next generation of scientists," said Jean J. Lim, president of the Amgen Foundation. "Our first class of Amgen Scholars includes some of the best and brightest undergraduates who are committed to making the most of their summer research experience."
Financial support for students is a critical component of the program which ensures that eligible students, regardless of their financial status, are able to participate. Students received financial support at each respective university in addition to travel and accommodations at the symposium.
Amgen Foundation´s 10 partner universities for the Amgen Scholars program are California Institute of Technology; Columbia University/Barnard College; Howard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, San Diego; University of California, San Francisco; and University of Washington. Each institution was charged with selecting participants from both their own student body as well as from other accredited four-year colleges and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has long been at the forefront of undergraduate research programming, serves as the national program office and played a leading role in the coordination, technical oversight and student outreach for the program.
About the Amgen Foundation
The Amgen Foundation (www.amgen.com/citizenship/overview.html) seeks to advance science education; improve patient access to quality care; and strengthen the communities where Amgen staff members live and work. Since 1991, the Foundation has made more than $85 million in grants to local, regional, and national nonprofit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. It has also supported disaster relief efforts both domestically and internationally.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- a coeducational, privately endowed research university -- is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. The Institute has more than 900 faculty and 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is organized into five schools: Architecture and Urban Planning; Engineering; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Sloan School of Management; and Science.
For more information about Amgen Scholars, please visit www.amgenscholars.com.
Kristen Davis, (805) 447-3008 (media)
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