At a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology last year, Megan Krench saw something remarkable: Children, previously unable to move their head or sit up, were turning their heads to look at their parents, sitting up, and even walking. It was a video of a company’s clinical trial for a gene therapy to treat a devastating childhood neuromuscular disorder, spinal muscular atrophy. Infants with this disease typically never reach any developmental milestones, and most die by age two.
When Bronwyn Scott received a Stamps Scholarship a couple years ago, she cited an Amgen Scholar as the person having the greatest impact on her in her college career: “My incredible research mentor Dr. Joy Wolfram had inspired me to work hard, believe in myself, and remain unapologetic for my passion and drive. She continuously pushes me to reach for goals I thought were unattainable.”
Steven McCornack is an unlikely member of the Amgen Scholars community. He is not a biology researcher, undergraduate, program alumnus, or student program director. A professor of communications at the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), McCornack studies interpersonal relationships. He has recommended students before for the Amgen Scholars Program but his true connection to the program is a very recent and personal one: his son was a 2017 Amgen Scholar.
The Amgen Scholars Program provides young scientists across the globe access and opportunity through cutting-edge research experiences and exposure to biotechnology and drug discovery. In this video, participating students talk about the opportunities for independent research in top university labs, networking and communication skills. To learn more, visit: https://www.amgenscholars.com.
Dr. Tama Hasson starts off her New Year grilling would-be science writing skills tutors. From January to June, she interviews and evaluates senior graduate students to see if they have the “write stuff” to shepherd Amgen Scholars through the science writing process at UCLA.
Most Amgen Scholars only begin to learn about their summer research topic in their college years. For Trévon C. Gordon, his research topic began in high school, when he began to suffer from a condition called alopecia areata, which prevents him from growing hair. Since then, understanding the autoimmune disease has become his mission, and he spent his Amgen Scholars summer researching ways to treat it with a cutting-edge researcher who herself has alopecia areata.