Amgen Scholars Program
Research in the real world.
The Amgen Scholars Program is an international program that gives undergraduate students hands-on lab experience, working for 7 weeks in one of our world-class labs. You’ll get the chance to research full time on a project, meet like-minded students, and experience the wealth of scientific opportunity that Melbourne has to offer. All costs are covered, including travel, and living costs, and Scholars receive a stipend to support them during their experience.
The University of Melbourne is proud to be the only institution in Australia that offers this program.
The program encourages applications from First Nations applicants. Applicants who have experienced adversity, financial difficulty, or otherwise challenging circumstances are also encouraged to apply.
Why Amgen Scholars?
The Amgen Scholars Program is a unique program, combining research experience with travel and an international community. Through the generous support of the Amgen Foundation, we’ve designed a program that provides a platform where you can explore your research interests and expand your skills, preparing you for a career in scientific research.
Throughout the program, we provide personalised support; in your lab, at college, and beyond. You’ll work closely with a mentor in your lab on a day-to-day basis. There’s also a fortnightly seminar, where industry and academic leaders discuss emerging scientific issues, as well as tours and excursions.
The Program concludes with the Symposium event, where Scholars present to their cohort, as well as the wider University of Melbourne community, the research they have conducted. This includes a poster presentation and a short aural presentation, preparing students for research conferences in their future career.
The University of Melbourne is the leading Australian research university, ranked #1 in Australia (based of Times Higher Education), #14 in the world (based of QS Quacquarelli Symonds World University Ranking), and has the largest cohort of research students in Australia.
The Program provides students with an enrichment program at the historic Queen’s College, on campus, free of charge. This includes all meals. Living at Queen’s College with your fellow Scholars means that you’ll be able to form a strong community both socially and intellectually.
In addition to your research experience, you will have the opportunity to meet with leading industry professionals, attend seminars delivered by world-class researchers, and explore the wonderful city of Melbourne.
To be eligible for the Amgen Scholars Program Australia program you must:
- Be an undergraduate student enrolled in an accredited college or university from across Oceania – Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific.
- Have completed two years of an equivalent Australian Bachelor degree in a scientific field before the summer program begins, and at the end of the program have at least two semesters left of your undergraduate degree (i.e. to be eligible for the ASP 2024, you will have finished your second year at the end of 2023 and expect to graduate at the end of 2024).
You must also have:
- A weighted average mark (WAM) equivalent to 75% (GPA 3.2) or above in relevant 1st and 2nd year subjects; and
- Demonstrate academic excellence and leadership; and
- Have interest and enthusiasm for a research higher degree in a scientific field;
- OR, you are Indigenous and have a weighed average mark (WAM) equivalent to 55% or above in relevant 1st and 2nd year subjects.
Applicants experiencing financial or personal hardship are encouraged to apply. Students from linguistically diverse, rural, international or Indigenous backgrounds are also encouraged to apply. Such factors are taken into account when evaluating applications.
Applications open: 1 August 2023
Applications close: 31 August 2023
Outcomes released: from 2 November 2023
Program commences: 4 January 2024
Program concludes: 23 February 2024
Applications for the Amgen Scholars Program 2024 are now closed.
To stay up to date and not miss out on details for the 2025 program – please join our mailing list.
Accommodation, pastoral care, dining and extracurricular activities are provided for the duration of the program at the historic Queen’s College, located on College Crescent next to the University of Melbourne.
Queen’s is one of Melbourne University’s larger colleges, featuring beautiful student spaces set in landscaped gardens. Facilities include the fully furnished student rooms, numerous studio and rehearsal spaces, a spacious library, and the Eakins Dining Hall. Scholars are provided with a private room for the duration of the program.
The College is perfectly located, a quick tram-ride away from the centre of Melbourne and a few minutes’ walk from the popular restaurants and shops of Lygon Street Carlton.
Throughout the program, Amgen Scholars Program participants can use some of the wonderful facilities Queen’s College has to offer while being close to their research laboratory. Fortnightly seminars are run throughout the program, facilitated at Queen’s.
Questions about the accommodation and facilities provided through Queen’s College should be directed to email@example.com
Available projects* for the Amgen Scholars Program 2024.
Lab Head emails are for project specific queries only. If you have any general queries about the program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Please note, projects are subject to change.
|Lab Head||Lab Name||Project Summary||Contact Email|
|Professor James Fallon||The Bionics Institute –Peripheral Interface Neuromodulation Team||
The use of electric medicine devices to stimulate the autonomic nervous system has given rise to a broad range of promising new treatments for autoimmune diseases and chronic conditions and has gained significant momentum in the medical research community. However, most devices used to deliver bioelectric therapy are open-loop and provide a fixed level of stimulation that does not respond to individual needs.
The next generation of bioelectric neuromodulation devices aim to provide closed loop (adaptive) control, in which the level of stimulation adjusts to a patient’s rapidly changing needs.
The Peripheral Interface Neuromodulation Team at the Bionics Institute are developing a range of vagus nerve devices to prevent the recurrence of Crohn’s disease; and are developing similar devices to reduce inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to a peripheral nerve device to improve bladder control. This approach offers exciting possibilities for the future treatment of autoimmune diseases and chronic conditions.
|Dr. Vito Colella||One Health Parasitology||
Cats in Australia were believed to have originated with the British colonisation, hence are foreign animals to the continent and have spread over 99% of it. Cats are important pets in Australian households, and as of 2019, approximately 27% of households hosted at least one cat, with nearly 3.9 million cats kept as companion animals. However, they are widely known to prey on native Australian fauna, which has led to the extinction of 25 species and threatens 100 more species. Furthermore, pathogens that require feline hosts for their life cycles cause approximately AU$6 billion in losses to the economy by infecting livestock and humans every year.
Given the important ecological, economic, public health, and companionship roles of domestic cats, as well as the role of feral cats as pests, this research will explore the parasite diversity of felines and the impact of feral cats on native wildlife across Australia using a combination of post mortem, classical and advanced molecular diagnostic techniques.
|Professor Anthony Hannan||Epigenetics and Neural Plasticity||
We are interested in how genes and environment combine to sculpt brain development and function, in health and disease. We have examined the role of various molecular and cellular mediators, and environmental modulators, as they influence healthy cognitive and affective function on the one hand, and cognitive and affective disorders on the other. These findings have been extended to include environmental manipulations in models of various brain disorders, including autism, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders.
We have also discovered altered brain-body interactions, including the first evidence of gut dysbiosis (dysregulated microbiota) in Huntington’s disease, and a preclinical model of schizophrenia. Ongoing studies are exploring the gut microbiome as a therapeutic target and the possibility that specific environmental factors may modulate brain function via microbiota-gut-brain interactions.
In a parallel program of research, we have been exploring epigenetic inheritance via the paternal lineage. We have discovered the transgenerational effects of various paternal environmental exposures. Our findings reveal significant experience-dependent effects on cognitive and affective function of offspring via epigenetic inheritance. We are investigating the relevance of these discoveries in mice to human transgenerational epigenetics and associated ‘epigenopathy’. Our ongoing studies are exploring mechanisms whereby experience can modify germ cells and associated sperm epigenetics, and how these epigenetic modifications (of mice and men) may modulate offspring phenotypes and their potential susceptibility to various brain disorders.
Our research links data at behavioural and cognitive levels to underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. We use a variety of behavioural tools, including automated touchscreen testing of cognition, that are directly translatable to clinical tests. We are establishing the extent to which experience-dependent plasticity can modulate these behavioural and cognitive endophenotypes, in models with targeted genome editing. This cellular level of understanding is linked, in turn, to molecular mechanisms, including epigenetics, transcriptomics and proteomics.
Based on this research, and the identification of key target molecules, we are also exploring the concept of ‘enviromimetics’, therapeutics that mimic or enhance the beneficial effects of cognitive stimulation and physical exercise. One goal is to develop such therapeutic agents to help reduce the personal and societal burdens of these devastating brain disorders.
|Professor Michael Hildebrand||Translational Neurogenetics Laboratory||
Genetic Diagnosis of Children with Vascular Anomalies for a Therapeutic Clinical Drug Trial.
Our understanding of the genetics of vascular anomalies is rapidly advancing but remains incompletely understood. An inherited germline mutation may lead to a predisposition to developing vascular anomalies, with a ‘second hit’ somatic mutation occurring within the affected tissues. In other sporadic cases a somatic variant alone arising in the affected tissue at low frequency during early development may be sufficient to cause the vascular anomaly. The Vascular Anomaly Clinic at RCH has a large cohort of patients with a wide variety of vascular anomalies, including those associated with overgrowth syndromes. Most of these patients are sequencing naïve and are being tested for a genetic diagnosis in the Translational Neurogenetics Laboratory at Austin Health.
Analysis of DNA from blood may not identify a mutation in individuals with vascular anomalies, however sequencing tissue extracted from surgical specimens may identify the causative variant. Technologies such as high-depth sequencing or droplet digital PCR are key in detecting and quantifying mosaic variants in various tissues. Patients in whom appropriate variants are identified will be eligible for enrolment in our new 5-year MRFF-funded Rare Cancers Rare Diseases Unmet Needs (RCRDUN) Clinical Trial of targeted therapies for vascular anomalies commencing in 2023.
|Dr. Ivanhoe Leung||Leung Research Group: Structural and Mechanistic Enzymology||
Our research group conducts multidisciplinary research to study enzymes with a focus on structure, function, and modulation. We apply a range of biophysical, chemical biology and structural biology techniques to enable our discoveries.
Our research aims to elucidate and understand how enzyme activities are regulated so that we can gain insights into their biological functions. Specifically, we study how (i) posttranslational modifications, (ii) metabolites, and (iii) synthetic inhibitors modulate to the structure and activity of enzymes. We apply the knowledge to understand how intracellular bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis adjust their metabolism to survive in nutrient-deprived environments, and how plants response to abiotic stress.
We aim to harness the catalytic activity of enzymes to break down environmental pollutants. Specifically, we study how oxidative enzymes such as laccase may be applied to degrade emerging contaminants.
Available summer project:
A key step of our work involves the production and purification of recombinant proteins. In this summer project, you will conduct experiments to genetically modify microorganisms to produce recombinant proteins as well as optimising the procedure for protein purification. If time permits, you will also have the opportunity to use biophysical tools (such as mass spectrometry) to characterise the proteins that you will make.
An understanding of basic molecular biology and an enthusiasm in enzymology will be helpful. Training and supervision will be provided throughout the summer period. You will be an integral part of our research group and contribute to the generation of new knowledge for scientific publications.
Examples of recent work from our group that include contribution from summer students:
– Correddu, D.; MontaÃ±o LÃ³pez, J. d. J.; Angermayr, S. A.; Middleditch, M. J.; Payne, L. S.; Leung, I. K. H. Effect of Consecutive Rare Codons on the Recombinant Production of Human Proteins in Escherichia coli. IUBMB Life 2020, 72, 266â€“274.
– Correddu, D.; MontaÃ±o LÃ³pez, J. d. J.; Vadakkedath, P. G.; Lai, A.; Pernes, J. I.; Watson, P. R.; Leung, I. K. H. An Improved Method for the Heterologous Production of Soluble Human Ribosomal Proteins in Escherichia coli. Sci. Rep. 2019, 9, 8884.
Please feel free to contact me by email if you would like to find out more about our research!
|Professor Colette McKay||The Bionics Institute – Translational Hearing Research Team||
Our brains are constantly adapting to the world around us. For people with hearing loss, their brains can change due to the loss of hearing and subsequent restoration of hearing via medical devices. Cochlear implants are auditory prostheses, pioneered at the Bionics Institute and the University of Melbourne, which restore the sense of hearing to the severe-to-profoundly deaf.
In the Translational Hearing Research Team at the Bionics Institute of Australia, we are pioneering the use of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to study changes in the hearing-impaired brain within the year after cochlear implantation. Join our multi-disciplinary team of engineers, clinicians, and scientists as we uncover the different conditions in the brain which limit how well people can do with their cochlear implants. These observations will help implant recipients better understand the challenges they will face on their hearing journey and guide clinicians towards better rehabilitation strategies for cochlear implant recipients. Ultimately, our research will improve speech understanding outcomes for cochlear implant users, allowing them to hear more confidently while studying, working, or relaxing.
As a part of our team, you will have the opportunity to observe clinical hearing research, learn about functional brain imaging, and perform state-of-the-art analysis of imaging data. Our research project will help you develop a keen sense of statistics, which will become useful during your future research career.
|Professor Lucy Palmer||Neural Networks||
The function of the largest area of our brain, the cortex, is one of the great mysteries of neuroscience. Despite decades of research, the role of the cortex is largely unrealised, and we are just starting to appreciate its contribution to many important brain functions, such as learning and memory.
Our goal is to understand how cortical neurons, and their dendrites, encode information and how this process is modulated throughout learning and memory. We use advanced imaging and electrophysiology approaches to tackle these questions, including patch clamp electrophysiology, two-photon calcium imaging, widefield imaging, and optogenetics in vitro and in vivo. By investigating single neurons and neural networks that drive behaviour, we aim to highlight changes that occur within these networks during brain function and dysfunction, with a particular focus on brain cancer.
As an Amgen scholar, you would be involved in the research that is conducted with the laboratory and will learn how to analyse imaging and electrophysiological data.
|Dr. Senaka Ranadheera||Probiotics, Prebiotics and Gut Health||
The growing preference for functional foods favours the probiotic and prebiotic market growth and is expected to reach over USD 66 billion by 2024. Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer health benefits on the host through enhancing gut microbiome. Probiotics are associated with maintaining optimum microbial balance in the digestive tract with a number of well-documented health benefits. Therefore, these organisms such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria have been extensively incorporated into various food products over the last decade.
Colonic foods, which encourage the growth of favourable bacteria, are referred to as prebiotics. There is an obvious potential for a synergetic effect when combining probiotics and prebiotics appropriately because prebiotics promote the growth and activities of probiotics. Traditionally, probiotic delivery has been associated with dairy foods, however there is an increasing demand for non-dairy probiotic products due to vegetarianism, concerns over milk cholesterol content, and lactose intolerance. In order to provide beneficial health effects for the host animal, probiotic bacteria must survive through the gastrointestinal tract, tolerating acid, bile, and gastric enzymes, and then adhere and colonize in the intestinal epithelium. These functional properties can be influenced by the type of food carriers used in probiotic delivery. Hence, studies evaluating the influence of various food substrates such as plant-based food matrices on probiotic functional efficacy are crucial.
Our recent work focus on the impact of various food substrates on the gastrointestinal tolerance of selected probiotics strains, their colonic fermentation in vitro and metabolites produced in the gut environment. In addition, we use cell culture techniques with respect to probiotic adhesin into intestinal epithelium and basic molecular biological applications.
|Dr. Matteo Volpi||X-band Laboratory for Accelerators and Beams (X-LAB)||
An exciting opportunity has arisen in the Medical Accelerator Physics group at the University of Melbourne. Based in the School of Physics, the student will join the research team of the new X-Band Laboratory for Accelerators and Beams (X-LAB), developed in collaboration with CERN (home of the Large Hadron Collider).
The X-LAB is the first X-band accelerator test facility in the southern hemisphere. The term “X-band” refers to the ultra-high-frequency at which the device operates: this high frequency means the accelerators are physically smaller and lighter than existing technology.
Our current focus entails collaborating with CERN to investigate potential acceleration systems for the compact linear collider (CLIC), as detailed on the following website: https://home.cern/science/accelerators/compact-linear-collider
Our specific experiment involves configuring a test stand for characterising high gradient accelerating structures. The objective is to assess the feasibility of developing structures capable of operating with accelerating gradients on the order of 100 MV/m. To generate these gradients, accelerating structures undergo conditioning with 12 GHz RF. The RF is pulsed at 400 Hz with pulse lengths of 250 ns, and with flat top power ranges spanning from 0 to 50 MW.
The X-LAB student will be involved in daily laboratory activities, specifically testing components and equipment.
|Associate Professor Georgina Such||Functional Materials||
Designing Emulsion Nanoparticles for Targeting Biofilms.
Bacterial infections are a critical issue for modern healthcare. Many bacterial infections involve the formation of biofilms which provides bacteria with additional protection and thus extra resistance to treatment. pH responsive nanoparticles are attractive for the targeted delivery of active agents to a biofilm due the lower pH of this environment. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPS) are an interesting class of active agent to kill bacteria as they typically have a broad mode of action which limits the ability of bacteria to become resistant.
In this project we aim to design pH responsive emulsion nanoparticles that can encapsulate antimicrobial peptides and antibiotics and release them based on a decrease in pH, thus mimicking the biofilm environment. The project will investigate if can achieve synergistic killing by combination in the one nanoparticle. The project will involve nanoparticle synthesis and optimisation as well as bacterial assays to optimise activity.
|Professor Jonathan White||White Group||
A project on radiopharmaceutical synthesis will be carried out in collaboration with the Austin Hospitac PET imaging centre and the Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Institute. The student will synthesise a precursor drug molecule in preparation for 18-F radiolabellinng at the Austin Hospital
|Professor Paul Donnelly||Donnelly Research Group||
Inorganic chemistry and metal based drugs.
|Professor Mark Rizzacasa||Rizzacasa Lab||
Total synthesis of natural products. Synthesis of novel metal complexes for catalysis. Medicinal chemistry
|Professor Ross Bathgate||Neurotherapeutics Theme||
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the most important cellular sensors in the human body and drugs targeting GPCRs account for ~40% of all prescription drugs. Conversely, over 85% (>310 receptors) of the GPCR family is not currently targeted by drugs. In particular neuropeptide GPCRs, although linked to the pathogenesis of many diseases, have proved to be especially difficult to target with drugs. The reason for this is that very little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying GPCR binding and activation, thus hampering drug development.
Our laboratory targets GPCRs for drug development utilizing state-of-the-art molecular pharmacology, biochemical and Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques. These techniques enable us to map the native ligand binding sites of these receptors and determine the mechanisms of receptor activation as well their cell signalling characteristics. A complete understanding of the mechanism of ligand binding and activation is required to design drugs targeting these receptors. Furthermore, we are utilizing novel protein engineering techniques that enable these normally highly unstable proteins to be produced and purified for structural studies using advanced protein NMR techniques, crystallography and Cryo-EM. These studies are complemented by peptide drug development projects and small molecule screening projects with collaborators. Additionally, we are working with pharmaceutical industry partners (e.g. Takeda and Novartis) to facilitate drug development efforts.
1. What is the application deadline for the Australia Program?
Applications will close on Thursday 31 August, 2023. Late applications are not accepted. Please plan for this accordingly, particularly when asking references to fill out the letter of recommendation.
2. How do I apply?
Applications will open on Tuesday 1 August, 2023. The application process is outlined here.
3. What research projects are available?
Please see here for available research projects. Please note, these are subject to change. Research projects are available in a variety of fields, and change on a yearly basis depending on what is available.
4. Can I apply for the Amgen Scholars Program if I’ve already finished my undergraduate degree?
No. Amgen Scholars must have at least one year left of their degree (FTE). If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact email@example.com
5. Do I need to have previously attended the University of Melbourne to apply to the Amgen Scholars Program?
No, you don’t need to be from the University of Melbourne, but to be eligible, you must be enrolled as a student at an accredited college or university from across Oceania – Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific. Foreign nationals need to have work and study rights in Australia to participate in this program.
6. What about housing, food and travel expenses to and from the summer program in Australia?
Financial support is available to all students accepted to the Amgen Scholars Program. Financial support will cover travel, accommodation and associated costs and will be confirmed once successfully admitted to the program.
Amgen Scholars receive the following benefits:
- Stipend paid in two sums, up to $3600;
- All accommodation and meals provided at Queen’s College;
- Travel Costs including flights and public transport to and from campus;
- Additional Benefits include access to some athletic and recreational facilities, on campus activities, excursions to other scientific facilities, and a fortnightly seminar series.
7. Can I apply to participate in the Amgen Scholars Program in Australia if I am not a science or engineering major?
Yes. Students in any major may apply, although it is expected that most of the Amgen Scholars will have science, life science or engineering majors. Students are expected to have experience in a discipline appropriate to the research project they participate in, with approval from their research lab.
8. Do I need to have research experience prior to being admitted to the Program?
No. The Amgen Scholars Program encourages applications from both students experienced in research and newcomers to the field. We encourage applications from students attending universities where research opportunities are not available.
9. I’ve experienced personal or financial difficulties that mean my study/grades have been affected. Will I be able to share this in my application?
Yes, we encourage applications from students who may come from difficult circumstances. This will be taken into consideration.
10. Can I participate as an Amgen Scholar for more than one summer?
No. Students are invited to participate as an Amgen Scholar for one summer only. This ensures that the largest possible number of students get to experience the program.
11. Can I apply to participate as an Amgen Scholar at multiple institutions?
No, eligible students attending colleges and universities in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania are only eligible to apply for the Australian Amgen Scholars Program.
12. What if I was a mid-year entry to my degree and therefore will only have 1.5 years of my degree completed at the time of the program?
Apply anyway! We take mid year entry into consideration. As long as you still have 1 year FTE left of credits in your program, and have completed at least 1 year of FTE completed, you are eligible for the program.
13. Does the Letter of Recommendation need to be completed by someone from my home university?
Yes. The letter of recommendation needs to be completed by either your Course Coordinator, Academic Advisor or a Subject Coordinator from your home university. Please approach academic staff in a timely manner. Only one letter of recommendation is required, please use the template provided.
14. I am not a second year undergraduate student, can I still apply for the Amgen Scholars Program?
If you are only a first year student in 2023 – we recommend that you apply for the following year intake. If you are a final year student in 2023 but will be completing your honours as part of your undergraduate degree in 2024 – then please do apply. If you are a final year student in 2023 and will be completing your masters in 2024 – you are unfortunately not eligible to apply. If you are unsure what category you fit in or whether you should apply or not, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Huong (Kevin) Chau, Macquarie University
Kevin was part of the inaugural Melbourne Amgen Scholars Program cohort in 2020. Since the program, he has continued to pursue a research career. He graduated from a Master of Research in 2022 and is currently a PhD candidate in glycomics and glycoproteomics at Macquarie University.
His experience in the Amgen Scholars Program gave Kevin an insight and invaluable skills that he’s utilised in his ongoing research. Kevin says, “Working with Prof Gavin Reid in the lipidomics field also increased my interest in expanding my knowledge in the -omics research to other areas including glycomics and glycoproteomics. During my time at ASP, I strengthened a lot of lab skills that I had not had a chance to get my hands on during my Undergraduate. In addition, I was grateful to be exposed and make connections with plenty of academics as well as people working in the industry, which is definitely helpful for developing my career as a research scientist.”
Reflecting on the program, Kevin says he would recommend the program to any potential applicants after his experience: “I would highly recommend everyone to apply for this program as this is going to the lifetime experience that you are never going to forget. What would be greater than spending two months in Melbourne doing the things you love and making connections with other scholars sharing the same interest with you? The Amgen Scholars Program is a great experience to be exposed to the research and academic world.”
Kevin has gone on to receive multiple scholarships and awards in the few years since he attended ASP, including most recently the University Medal for Chemistry and Biomolecular Science. He continues to work with the Analytical Glycoimmunology Team at Macquarie University.
Yohaann Ghosh, Griffith University (formerly Sydney University)
Our Amgen Scholars Program alumni have been able to utilise the skills gained through ASP in their careers, and Yohaann Ghosh is no exception. Yohaan worked with A/Prof Kathryn Stok during the 2020 Amgen Scholars Program, completing a project focused on tissue engineering for osteoarthritis.
Yohaann says the program continues to benefit him in the years after the program. “To this day I still reap benefits from my time as an Amgen Scholar be that in academia, industry or clinical practice. Moreover, I was able to develop lifelong friendships with fellow scholars who share the same passion and enthusiasm for biotechnology and life sciences research,” says Yohaann.
When asked what advice he would give to someone thinking about applying to the program, Yohann says: “Just apply! As long as you’re keen and willing to turn up to the lab every morning then you’ll make the perfect Amgen Scholar. The benefits of the program extend way beyond your project alone. You’ll get to know industry leaders, learn how to present in front of large groups, and work as part of a research team – all highly transferable skills that aren’t taught in standard undergraduate curriculums.”
Furthermore, the Amgen Scholars Program was key in shaping his current career pathway. “The Amgen Scholars Program is the most well-funded and best-supported undergraduate research program in the southern hemisphere. The combination of practical lab experience and commercialisation training were the catalysts for my current pursuit in translational research – moving ideas from benchtop to bedside.”
Since the program, Yohaann has continued to study at dental school, teach anatomy & histology at Sydney Medical School, obtain further research scholarships in tissue engineering, published novel surgical techniques for facial reconstruction in peer-reviewed journals, and has had a textbook chapter recently accepted by Springer Nature for release in 2023.
Read more about Yohaann’s work here.
Thomas (Phu Minh Triet) Nguyen, the University of Adelaide
Amgen Scholars participants come to the program with many different motivations and inspirations. Thomas (Phu Minh Triet) Nguyen travelled from the University of Adelaide to undertake research after his mother experienced cancer when he was young. During his time in Melbourne, he investigated the underlying mechanism of intestinal cell death induced by tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) of the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) family using a simple cell line model, under the supervision of Professor Ross Bathgate.
“Something that motivates me to pursue this research is dedicating it to my mum, Thuy. She was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was pregnant with my little brother back in 2004. I still remember watching my mom suffering from severe side effects of the breast cancer treatment. I promised to myself to become a scientist to study the underlying mechanism of breast cancer treatment-induced gut toxicities so that the outcome of my research could contribute to a tiny part in helping patients with breast cancer like my mum.”
Thomas’s experiences at the Amgen Scholars Program were key in building his research skills and preparing him for further research. To prospective applicants, he advises: “Whether you are looking for your first hands-on experience or gaining more research experience in a particular research area of interest, go for it! Participating in the ASP is a once in-a-lifetime experience. It’s not only about academic achievement but also about professional and personal maturity.”
Thomas is now continuing to study, now completing his Masters degree and working as an academic tutor in physiology.
Inoli Wadumesthrige Don, University of Canterbury
“The amazing community that has been built amongst my fellow scholars and the opportunity to to gain a realistic view of life as a scientist – the program has solidified my interest in pursuing science as a career and becoming a scientist.”
Lavi Singh, University of the South Pacific
“My summer as an Amgen scholar was a key point in my undergraduate journey. It was my window into the world of academic research. I was able to immerse myself in the diverse community of scientists and explore research in an area I was interested in. I also made some of the most insightful and brilliant friends on the way.”
In the News
Please contact us if you have any questions about the Amgen Scholars Program.
Amgen Scholars Program Coordinator
Faculty of Science