Meet Amgen Scholar Alumni Angela Madira
“It’s amazing to be in a program where everyone is passionate about science and research, but they are all so unique in their interests and research focuses.”
What inspired you to major in science?
“As a child, I was always told that the brain was responsible for some of the most complex functions in the body such as memory and learning. As I grew up, that fascination fostered a genuine curiosity in the brain’s mechanisms and anatomy. I was particularly drawn to the physiological factors behind pervasive developmental disorders, such as autism.”
What’s the larger significance of your Amgen Scholars research? What’s your ultimate career goal?
“There are a variety of projects that are in progress in Dr. Macklis’ Neuroscience lab at Harvard University. The fundamental idea is that in order to better approach complicated neurodegenerative diseases, such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, we must understand the development of neurons and the genes responsible for them. I would ultimately like to be a physician-scientist in the field of pediatric neurology/neurosurgery.”
Why did you apply to the Amgen Scholars Program?
“I applied because I wanted to understand what it really means to be a scientist. I wanted to get to know what it means to devote years of one’s life to answering a single question. The Amgen Scholars Program at Harvard also gave me the chance to explore the molecular biology aspect of a Neuroscience lab, something that I did not have previous exposure to.”
What aspects of the program are you most enjoying this summer?
“Aside from the amazing laboratory experience this summer, I am really enjoying networking with other scholars in the Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village. It’s amazing to be in a program where everyone is passionate about science and research, but they are all so unique in their interests and research focuses. The friendships that I have made this summer are ones that will last throughout my life.”
To learn more about the Amgen Scholars Program, please visit our website and check out the #AmgenScholars hashtag on Twitter. Visit AmgenInspires.com and follow @AmgenFoundation to stay up to date with all STEM-related news from the Amgen Foundation.