My mom is a scientist. She carried out microbiology research as a graduate student, and later as a postdoc, for most of my upbringing. I would go to the lab with her, and I also remember working intensely on school science projects. I liked microbiology, but I ultimately became interested in neuroscience because some of my relatives had conditions that affected the brain.
My grandfather was a pharmacologist, and he told me about his work. I have always dreamt that one day I would create my own drug and it would help people and make a difference in the world. Science is what I enjoyed most in school. While at university, I wanted to combine applied math, physics, biology and chemistry to benefit from that knowledge. I can’t imagine my life without science in it.
Guest post written by The University of Tokyo Amgen Scholar Alex Sample
The Amgen Scholar Japan Symposium was a global gathering of passionate young scientists. The Amgen Scholars Japan Program is the only one of Scholar’s three programs to accept applications from any country which leads to a very diverse group; this year 48 Scholars from 17 countries participated. This year, Kyoto University hosted the symposium, so naturally the best way to show the Tokyo Scholars the city was with a visit to one of Kyoto’s many shrines—in this case Fushimi Inari Taishita.
“We do science for the betterment of society, but too many misunderstandings exist between scientists and the populations we strive to serve. I hope to build bridges of communication and understanding between scientists and the public.”
Lela Okromelidze grew up in the Eurasian country of Georgia, which after years of fighting following the fall of the Soviet Union, didn’t always provide the educational opportunities of many other countries. Having to occasionally attend school without heat or electricity, Lela, with the help of her mother, defied the odds and is now a fifth year medical student at Tbilisi State Medical University. Upon graduation, it is her goal to become resident physician at a leading medical institution in the U.S.
“Science is cumulative: Scientific discoveries of today will continue to reap benefits and become the accepted facts of tomorrow.”
Earning an undergraduate degree from UCLA in 2009 and a Ph.D. from MIT in 2014, Aaron Meyer now runs his own lab at MIT where he uses engineering tools to research the function of a family of receptors in the body and discover how to make better drugs to fight cancer. His work has been published in a number of scientific journals, and he was recently recognized by the National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award.