Amgen inspiring next-gen scientists at world-class institution

Health Industry Hub | February 21, 2022 |
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Medical: Last week, the students selected to participate in the prestigious Amgen Scholars Program, came together at the University of Melbourne, the only host institution in Australia, to present their research and network with experts from industry and academia.

The University of Melbourne (UoM) is a globally significant research-intensive university, ranked 1st in Australia, 32nd in the world and has the largest cohort of research students in Australia. In life sciences and medicine, UoM is #1 in Australia and 13th globally.

The 22 aspiring scientists showcased the knowledge they gained through the program that enables undergraduate students to spend their summer at one of the world’s premier research institutions for hands-on experience, to engage in the process of discovery, and build intellectual connections with some of the world’s most accomplished scientists.

Jaydon Chai, one of the 2022 cohort said “Amgen Scholars allowed us to work on inspiring projects and see the work that world-class researchers do day in, day out. I have also made lifelong friendships with some of the kindest and most supportive people.”

Mark Hargreaves Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Partnerships & Infrastructure), the University of Melbourne, said “This is the second year we have been able to host the prestigious Amgen Scholars Program, with scholars from around Australia and New Zealand. We are especially pleased to have successfully completed this year’s program during complex and challenging times. We thank the scholars, the host laboratories, their mentors and Queen’s College for their ambition and leadership in bringing vital research experience helping to shape the scholars’ future careers. The relationship with the Amgen Foundation worldwide is critical and this week’s Symposium that connects scholars with industry is core to the program success. We look forward to the next program in 2023.”

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Amgen Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Shannon Sullivan, said “At Amgen, we believe that everybody needs science and science needs everybody. That’s why the Amgen Foundation, the main philanthropic arm of Amgen, invests in evidence-based programs at various levels, from local high schools to leading universities. We’re incredibly proud to work with The University of Melbourne to make the Amgen Scholars Program available in this region and to help reimagine how students participate in cutting edge research opportunities.”

With the 2021 program impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, the event was also an important occasion for the research leaders across the University and Melbourne’s biomedical precinct who guided and mentored the 2021/22 Amgen Scholars in fields such as biochemistry and pharmacology, neuroscience, veterinary and agricultural sciences, biomedical engineering, and molecular science and biotechnology.

The University of Melbourne was awarded a four-year grant from the Amgen Foundation in 2018, becoming one of 24 elite institutions across the globe to be an Amgen Scholars partner, and making the program more accessible to students from Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania.

Students who’ve completed the second year of an equivalent Australian science undergraduate degree are eligible to apply for the program, which incorporates eight-weeks accommodation during the research project. There are typically 15 places available each year, with the larger, combined cohort this year including students from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory and New Zealand.

The Amgen Scholars Program is a key pillar of the Amgen Foundation’s mission to advance excellence in science education and inspire the next generation of innovators, a goal to which the Foundation has already contributed more than USD 200 million globally. Since its inception in 2006, the Amgen Scholars program has made research opportunities at premier institutions possible for more than 4,400 undergraduate students.

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