Meet Amgen Scholars Alumni Candice Ford
Host University: Institut Pasteur
Home University: University of Bristol
Amgen Scholar Year: 2016
Expected Graduation: 2018
Journey to Science
How did you become interested in science?
As a kid, I enjoyed cooking for my family and often asked for feedback in order to improve my skills. Food science seems to be a kid’s dream. I have been planning on going into the food industry and doing market research since as long as I can remember. Going to university, I decided to start with a broad training in chemistry.
Academic and Professional Ambitions
What’s the larger significance of your Amgen Scholars research? What’s your ultimate career goal?
My goal this summer was to synthesize different molecules called luciferins, which are responsible for the emission of bioluminescent light. This phenomenon can be seen, in fireflies and in various marine species. I spent my last week working with biologists, who used my molecules in their imaging experiments. I now know that I really enjoy working in the lab, and I am considering doing a PhD in chemistry.
Why did you apply to the Amgen Scholars Program?
At university, we spend a minimum of 6 hours per week working in the lab, but as we work of different topics each week, it can be a bit frustrating not getting the chance to build our work into a larger project. When I heard about the Amgen Scholars Program, I was immediately drawn to the fact that it would enable me to see if life in the lab was a fit for me. Being an international program meant that it would be a chance for me to meet people from various horizons, so I decided to apply.
What aspects of the program did you enjoy most?
My lab was fantastic. I was nervous at first since I felt like I lacked research experience and confidence in the lab. But the lab team I had the chance to be part of made me feel extremely comfortable. I also really enjoyed the program’s regional symposium as I got to exchange experiences with loads of different Scholars coming from across Europe.
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.