Written by Scott Heimlich, Vice President, Amgen Foundation
Day 1 (March 4, 2019)
First off, a thank you to the Lemelson Foundation for inviting me to speak at their session tomorrow on A New Paradigm for Tomorrow’s Workforce. I look forward to joining my fellow panelists from Lemelson, the Digital Harbor Foundation, McKay High School, and MIT to discuss this important issue.
For Saira Sakalaš, learning she was selected as an Amgen Scholar last year was the beginning of a new chapter in her life. She says she will never forget the moment she got an email from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden offering her the fellowship.
In second grade, when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, Timothy Day said: “a chemist who would try to cure cancer.” He wasn’t too far off the mark. Two decades later, with biochemistry, microbiology, and neuroscience degrees in hand, Amgen Scholar alumnus Day has started his own company to to develop gene therapies for intestinal and systemic diseases.
ASP: Can you tell me a little bit about your research as an Amgen Scholar?
Loving: During my time as an Amgen Scholar at the UC Berkeley, I have been working with Priya Moorjani’s lab, which focuses on evolutionary biology and population genetics. I have been developing and implementing a pipeline for reliably estimating the germline mutation rate in primates.
Ask Ivan Simpson-Kent who his early idols were and he would give a surprising response: criminals. This is despite growing up in a dangerous neighborhood in West Philadelphia, where he lived across from drug dealers, often heard gunshots at night, and nearly daily stories of people, mostly youth, getting murdered. “I perceived these criminals as invincible outlaws going against the limits society had placed upon them,” he says.
At the U.S. Amgen Scholars symposium at UCLA in July, an unexpected reunion occurred. When Janielle Cuala took the stage to explain her summer research at Caltech, Kristina Folta couldn’t believe her eyes: It was a friend of hers from Guam with whom she played rugby. “I was so excited to see someone else coming out of Guam and entering the STEM field,” Folta recalls.
In this video, Amgen Scholars at the U.S. symposium at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at the Europe symposium at the University of Cambridge talk about the many and varied new experiences they had with the program. From new collaborative environments to becoming more independent as scientists, hear students share their stories.
We asked Amgen Scholars attending the U.S. symposium at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at the Europe symposium at the University of Cambridge to tell us something cool about their labs this summer. In this video, the scholars answered: the science. Hear students discuss their experiences exploring new areas of science, from bioinformatics and spores to exoskeletons and clinical neuroscience.