U.S. Amgen Scholars from 10 host institutions gathered July 15-16 for a two-day symposium at the University of California, Los Angeles. They heard from UCSF professor Dr. Charles Craik about the path to a Ph.D., learned about applying to grad school, and met with faculty at UCLA about their research interests, among other activities. The scholars also visited the Amgen campus in Thousand Oaks, where they learned more about the biopharmaceutical industry and took tours of the cutting-edge facilities.
“Any time you build a connection with someone in your field, or a field you’re interested in, that’s networking,” says Isabelle Rosenthal, reflecting on what she has learned about networking since attending the Amgen Scholars U.S. Symposium at UCLA in 2015. Rosenthal, now a lab manager at the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in neuroscience in 2016. She is now studying how humans perceive color.
Two women from two different backgrounds – one from a rural town in Eurasian Georgia and the other from urban Barcelona – both shared something in common growing up: a lack of access to scientific research labs. Now thanks to the Amgen Scholars Program (ASP), both are breaking the mold to become role models for budding female scientists around the world.
This summer, 1,100 student interns will be living, studying, and working on the sprawling campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, just north of Washington, D.C. Among them will be five Amgen Scholar alumni who will serve as mentors to some of the high school student interns in a unique pilot program to teach scientists how to be educators.
"The freedom, trust and respect my supervisor and lab colleagues showed toward me allowed me to flourish on my own, and has suitably prepared me for PhD life after I graduate–and my future career as a physician scientist."
To design and execute a summer research program like Amgen Scholars is no easy feat. The 10-week program at Columbia University and Barnard College in New York requires year-round planning to nail down faculty lectures, laboratory tours, graduate student and career panels, housing, flights, social events, and seminars in science communication.