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Amgen Scholars Europe Programme Convenes Undergraduates From 15 Countries for Innovative Science Research

Symposium Offers Unique Opportunity to Meet Peers and Leading Scientists; Discuss Hands-On Summer Research Projects

CAMBRIDGE, England, September 16 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, 59 undergraduates with diverse cultural and educational backgrounds will meet at the University of Cambridge for the first Amgen Scholars European Symposium with the common goal of discussing their potential as the future generation of leading scientists.

The first Amgen Scholars Europe class represents 35 different colleges and universities from across 15 countries: Bosnia, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK.

"Amgen Scholars is a one-of-a-kind programme in Europe that brings together some of the brightest students from diverse countries to explore areas of research and to experience first-hand what it takes to contribute to the advancement of knowledge," said Jean J. Lim, president of the Amgen Foundation.

The Amgen Scholars Programme is a 27.5 million USD initiative which first launched in the United States (U.S.) in 2006. The Amgen Foundation expanded the programme to Europe with a 2.5 million USD, two-year commitment. The initiative is designed to provide students with the opportunity for eight to 10 weeks of hands-on research at three world-class universities: University of Cambridge, UK; Karolinska Institute, Sweden, and Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany.

"This is a time of remarkable scientific possibilities. Now more than ever, we need to ensure the future of innovative discoveries in science and biotechnology," said Jeremy Haigh, vice president, international chief operating officer, Research and Development at Amgen. "As a leader in biotechnology, Amgen has an important responsibility to prepare and inspire the next generation of scientists. The Amgen Foundation is leading the way for the Amgen Scholars to learn about the many different scientific career paths available to them."

During the three-day symposium, hosted by the Amgen Foundation in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, students will meet their peers, share their summer research projects and hear firsthand from leading industry and academic scientists. The students will learn how biotechnology has brought about the discovery and development of important human therapeutics, as well as discuss the many career options available in academia and industry for scientists.

"As we celebrate Cambridge's 800th anniversary, we remember that this university was the birthplace of revolutionary scientific innovation with Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin amongst our distinguished graduates," said Tony Minson, professor of Virology in the Department of Pathology at the University of Cambridge and director of the Amgen Scholars European Coordinating Centre. "In this historic year, it seems appropriate for Cambridge to host this first ground-breaking symposium, which will provide students with the unique opportunity to engage with fellow students from around Europe as well as highly regarded scientists."

"I chose the Amgen Scholars Europe Programme to gain insight into current research topics from inspirational mentors, exchange experiences with other students and learn some new research methods and techniques beyond the theoretical background at my home university," said Matilda Males, a student from University of Zagreb in Croatia who is participating in Amgen Scholars Europe at LMU in Germany. "But, I have gained so much more. The programme has encouraged me to keep pursuing a career in science as I have learned first hand that science not only requires a lot of hard work, but that the excitement and innovation of trying to discover something new can pay off."

Each Amgen Scholar host university is in charge of selecting participants from colleges and universities within their own country as well as from across Europe. While each programme site has its own application process, all require an official transcript of results to date, a letter of recommendation and a personal statement or essay. Financial support for students is a critical component of the programme, which seeks to enable eligible students, regardless of their financial status, to participate.

For more information about Amgen Scholars or an application, please visit www.amgenscholars.eu.

About the Amgen Foundation

The Amgen Foundation (www.amgen.com/citizenship/overview.html) seeks to advance science education; improve patient access to quality care; and strengthen the communities where Amgen staff members live and work. Since 1991, the Foundation has made 130 million USD in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways, and those that provide disaster relief efforts internationally.

About Amgen Scholars

Established in 2006, Amgen Scholars is a 27.5 million USD initiative that provides undergraduates with the opportunity for hands-on research at some of the world's leading universities. In the U.S., the host universities are California Institute of Technology; Columbia University/Barnard College; Howard University; MIT; Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; UCLA; University of California, San Diego; University of California, San Francisco; and University of Washington. In Europe, the participating universities are the University of Cambridge; Karolinska Institute; and Ludwig-Maximilians-University.

To date, more than 800 students have participated in the Amgen Scholars Programmme. Considered among the most competitive summer research programmes in the U.S., several Amgen Scholar alumni have gone on to pursue doctorates at leading universities with some being selected for premier fellowships including the Rhodes Scholarships.

CONTACTS:

Amgen UK: Emma Gilbert +44-1223-436713
Europe: Annette Condon +353-87-2841951
U.S.: Kristen Davis +1-805-447-3008