Washington University receives new grant to host Amgen Scholars Program

Coming from universities across the country, the 2014 Amgen Scholars at Washington University in St. Louis spent 10 weeks of the summer gaining hands-on experience in laboratory research. Under the mentorship of university faculty, the scholars performed independent research projects in many areas of the life sciences.
(Credit: Jenny Brown)

Washington University in St. Louis has received new funding from the Amgen Foundation to provide hands-on laboratory experiences to undergraduate students through the Amgen Scholars Program.

This marks the fifth year that the university is participating in the program, which aims to inspire the next generation of innovators by providing undergraduates with hands-on summer research opportunities at many of the world’s premier educational institutions.

“Our partnership with the Amgen Foundation provides key opportunities for talented undergraduate students to gain experience in laboratory research,” said Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “Over the years, the Amgen Scholars Program has made a profound impact on students’ interest in pursuing advanced degrees and careers in the life sciences.”

Washington University is one of 17 educational institutions worldwide selected to host Amgen Scholars as part of the program’s latest expansion. The Amgen Foundation also announced additional host sites in the U.S., Europe and, for the first time, Japan, providing greater access and opportunity for young scientists to engage in cutting-edge research across a wide range of scientific fields and deepen their understanding of medical biotechnology.

“We are delighted to be expanding the Amgen Scholars Program in the U.S., Europe, and Asia — and joining with educational institutions that play a critical role in training tomorrow’s scientists,” said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen. “As a society we are entering an exciting new era in biotechnology that will be shaped by new genetic research tools, more sophisticated medicines and advanced manufacturing processes. With this new era comes greater demand for talent, expertise and critical thinking.”

The program is similar to a summer research program already in place at the School of Medicine called the BioMedical Research Apprenticeship Program. That program is specifically for undergraduate students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.

The university’s Amgen Scholars Program will be administered through the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, a university-wide consortium that provides scholars with a choice to work with 450 potential faculty mentors.

“I am very excited that we have again been chosen as an Amgen Scholars Program site,” said Kathryn G. Miller, PhD, Amgen Scholars Program co-director, professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences. “Over the last four years of this program, we have brought many talented students from across the nation to Washington University to join top-notch labs in a broad range of biological and biomedical fields. Those students have repeatedly reported the tremendous impact the experience has had on them and their career paths. Similarly, mentors have said that these students make significant contributions to their research programs and are a pleasure to have as part of their teams. We are all excited that this program will be extended for four more years and are grateful to the Amgen Foundation for its support.”

The Amgen Foundation’s total commitment to the Amgen Scholars Program amounts to more than $50 million, bringing the Foundation’s total commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to over $100 million globally.

Amgen Scholars first launched in the U.S. in 2006 and expanded to Europe in 2008. Over the past eight years, Amgen Scholars has provided cutting-edge research opportunities under world-renowned mentors to nearly 2,500 undergraduate students. More than 90 percent of the program’s alumni who have completed their bachelor’s degrees are pursuing advanced degrees or careers in scientific fields.

Financial support for students is also a critical component of the program, which seeks to ensure that eligible students, regardless of their financial status, are able to participate. Financial support varies by institution.

The 17 host institutions are accepting applications for the 2015 Amgen Scholars Program. For more information about Amgen Scholars, or to complete an application online, visit www.amgenscholars.com and follow the Amgen Foundation at www.twitter.com/amgenfoundation.

2015 Amgen Scholars Host Institutions
*Indicates new host institution for 2015

United States:
• California Institute of Technology
• Columbia University/Barnard College
• Harvard University*
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• National Institutes of Health*
• Stanford University
• University of California, Berkeley
• University of California, Los Angeles
• University of California, San Francisco
• Washington University in St. Louis
• ETH Zurich, in Switzerland*
• Karolinska Institute, in Sweden
• Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich, in Germany
• Institut Pasteur, in France*
• University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom
• Kyoto University*
• University of Tokyo*