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Top 10 Amgen (AMGN) Scholars to Watch Set to Impact the Future of Science and Medicine

11/15/2016 6:20:26 AM

Top 10 Amgen Scholars to Watch Set to Impact the Future of Science and Medicine November 15, 2016
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – It’s been 10 years since the Amgen Scholars Program was put into place, with more than 3,000 students participating. After a decade, the foundation has tagged 10 participants for its Ten to Watch list who are likely to play big roles in the science and medical industries.

The list highlights some of the “best and brightest up-and-comers in science and medicine” from 700 colleges and universities in 42 different countries. The Amgen Foundation called the members of the Ten to Watch list “a diverse group of students that has the potential to help define the future of science.”

Among those chosen to the august list includes a “Rhodes Scholar, Ph.D. graduates from Stanford and MIT and numerous published scientists, as well as future professors, researchers and doctors who are charting unique paths to make a lasting impact,” the Amgen Foundation said.

The Ten to Watch are:

1. Todd Gingrich, a Physics of Living Systems Fellow at MIT

2. Elisabeth Krow-Lucal, an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer with the CDC

3. Espoi Kyubwa, a Ph.D. and MD candidate in the medical scientist training program at U.C. San Diego

4. Aaron Meyer, a research fellow at MIT

5. Lela Okromelidze, a fifth-year student at Tbilisi State Medical University

6. Trish Stan, assistant professor of natural sciences in the Minerva Schools at the Keck Graduate Institute

7. Marta Andres Terre, a Ph.D. candidate in the field of immunology at Stanford University

8. Suan Tuang, a M.D. and Ph.D. candidate in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program

9. Michelle Vaisman, a Ph.D. candidate and NASA Space Technology Research Fellow at Yale University

10. Jay Wolfram, a postdoctoral fellow at the Houston Methodist Research Institute

The Amgen Foundation highlighted some of the work being conducted at MIT by Meyer. Since earning his Ph.D. in 2014, Meyer has been operating his own MIT lab where he is researching the function of receptors in the body to discover how to make better drugs to fight cancer. The work he is doing recently earned Meyer earned him the National Institute of Health Director's Early Independence Award.
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Participation in the Amgen Scholars Program provides students the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research programs at academic institutions across the U.S., Europe and Japan. The summer program runs for eight to 10 weeks and give students access to more than technology—it also provides them with networking opportunities for future employment as well as professional development.

Not only has the foundation helped implement programs to advance scientific research, the program conducted a survey to determine what the future of scientific research may look like in the near future. According to the results, 81 percent believe there will be “significant progress made in finding cures for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and malaria from the next generation of scientists.” Personalized health was also a highly touted as a common feature in the landscape of healthcare.

Other key survey findings indicate women will play a big role in the future of scientific research, particularly noting that women will likely be in positions of power in STEM fields within the next 20 years. The survey also indicated the greater role technology and big data will play in the industry. According to the survey, 72 percent believe computer programming and coding will be the most beneficial skill for new scientists to learn in order to tackle existing and future medical issues. But, one somber note the survey raised, 39 percent believe biomedical problems that will be solved by the next generation don't even exist yet.

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