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Amgen Scholars' Summer Research Helps Lead to Science Careers

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., July 19, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

A Rhodes Scholar, a Labouisse winner, a Hertz Foundation Fellow and co-author of an internationally acclaimed research project - these are just a few examples of what alumni of the Amgen Scholars Program have achieved.

Established in 2006, Amgen Scholars is a $27.5 million international initiative of the Amgen Foundation. The opportunity to work with top academic scientists is a cornerstone of the program, with participating universities seeking to match students with faculty members who will both inspire and challenge them. This summer, more than 325 of the brightest undergraduate students across the United States (U.S.) and Europe will comprise the next class of high-achieving Amgen Scholars participating in hands-on research with faculty mentors at 13 of the world's leading universities.

"Each year, the Amgen Foundation is impressed with the quality of the Amgen Scholars applicants, the diversity of their research interests, and the accomplishments of our alumni," said Jean J. Lim, president of the Amgen Foundation. "The time they spend in the lab allows them to view scientific research and the life of a scientist through a new perspective that can help lead to professional and personal growth."

From July 17-19, the U.S. Amgen Scholars met at UCLA for the fourth annual Amgen Scholars U.S. Symposium, hosted by Amgen Foundation in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The 268 participants in the U.S. were selected from nearly 4,700 applications to participate in the summer research experience and attend the mid-summer symposium. Under the mentorship of faculty members, the students - representing 119 colleges and universities across 37 U.S. states - will explore areas of research beyond what they may be able to do as part of their regular undergraduate education.

The Amgen Scholars Program is now considered among the most competitive summer research programs in the U.S. More than 70 percent of Amgen Scholars alumni who have completed their undergraduate studies are now pursuing an advanced degree or a career in science or engineering.

"By partnering with the Amgen Foundation over the last four years, we have seen compounded growth in the awareness and perception of the Amgen Scholars Program by students and mentors as a professional-level summer program, and amongst our peer institutions as they strive to deliver a compelling, high quality undergraduate research experience," said Christopher M. Jones, director of the Amgen Scholars U.S. Program Office at MIT.

The three-day Amgen Scholars U.S. Symposium is a key component of the program where Amgen Scholars learn about biotechnology and how to apply their research experience into future careers in science. Joe Miletich, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of research and development at Amgen, spoke during the opening keynote presentation about the impact of biotechnology on drug discovery and development. Students also heard firsthand from leading scientific experts including Robert Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., the first orthopedic oncologist astronaut in space and a specialist in bone cancer; and Michael Phelps, Ph.D., a professor at UCLA who developed the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan -- the first technology for imaging brain function.

Presentations during the symposium also included talks on the drug discovery and development process from various Amgen scientists and discussion of the many career options in academia and industry for scientists with a Ph.D. Students also had the opportunity to share their summer research projects with their peers. In addition to the U.S. symposium, a similar three-day symposium will be held in September at the University of Cambridge for student participating in Amgen Scholars in Europe.

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.

Financial support for students is a critical component of the U.S. and Europe programs, which aims to ensure that eligible students, regardless of their financial status, are able to participate. Please note that details vary by host university.

To learn more about Amgen Scholars and to view the 2009 Amgen Scholars Program Annual Report, visit http://www.amgenscholars.com/.

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 $140 million 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 both domestically and internationally.

CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks
Kristen Davis, (805) 447-3008

One Amgen Center Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-1799
Telephone (805) 447-1000
Fax (805) 499-3507
www.Amgen.com

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SOURCE Amgen