New ‘Ten To Watch’ List Highlights Top Amgen Scholars Poised To Impact The Future Of Science And Medicine

Amgen Scholars Program

New ‘Ten To Watch’ List Highlights Top Amgen Scholars Poised To Impact The Future Of Science And Medicine

11/14/2016 8:58:00 AM

Scientists From Premier Educational and Research Institutions Reveal What the Future may Look Like

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2016) – In recognition of the Amgen Scholars Program’s 10th anniversary, the Amgen Foundation announced the Ten To Watch, a list highlighting the best and brightest up-and-comers in science and medicine. Selected from more than 3,000 Amgen Scholars alumni, who represent 700 colleges and universities across 42 countries, the Ten To Watch is a diverse group of students that has the potential to help define the future of science. The selection process, carried out by the Amgen Foundation in partnership with the participating host institutions, sought to identify the most promising alumni who are on a path to achieving real impact in their field and emerging career

The list of alumni 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. One such alumnus, Aaron Meyer, after receiving his Ph.D. from MIT in 2014, now runs 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. He explains, “It’s exciting to be able to work on challenging problems every day with the potential to improve people’s lives.” Aaron was recently recognized by the National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award. As Aaron continues down his academic path, he believes he can help shape the minds of tomorrow’s scientists.

The full Ten To Watch list, including photos and bios, can be found here.

The Amgen Scholars Program gives talented undergraduates a chance to participate in cutting-edge research opportunities at world-class institutions across the U.S., Europe and Japan, including MIT, Cambridge and Stanford. The program runs for eight to10 weeks every summer. It aids in cultivating the next generation of scientists by providing professional development and networking opportunities unparalleled by most other summer research programs.

“It is impressive to see the impact that Amgen Scholars Program alumni are making on the world,” said Eduardo Cetlin, president, Amgen Foundation. “We are proud that since the program’s inception 10 years ago, over 100 Scholars have earned Ph.D.’s in scientific fields; with nearly 1,000 in the scientific pipeline pursuing masters, Ph.D.s and M.D.-Ph.D.s across the globe.”

Concurrently with the Ten To Watch selection, 148 scientists from premier educational institutions in seven countries, who have acted as mentors for the Amgen Scholars Program, participated in a survey to uncover what the future of scientific research may look like.

The survey looked at a number of current issues facing society and explored the next generation’s capability in solving them, while also examining tomorrow’s scientific workforce and the types of skills that will play a role in their research. With an eye to the future, 98 percent of those surveyed believe hands-on experience is an essential part of a young scientist’s training.

The survey also revealed that these top scientists believe that there is much progress being made towards solving some of the world’s major medical problems. The results showed that a majority (81 percent) feel there will be significant progress made in finding cures for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and malaria from the next generation of scientists. The results indicate that scientists believe cancer will have the most significant scientific progress made towards a cure, while emphasizing the creation of medications tied to a person’s individual genome.

“We are privileged to work with some of the best scientists and institutions in the world to help mentor and train the next generation,” said David M. Reese, M.D., senior vice president of Translational Sciences at Amgen and member of the Amgen Foundation Board of Directors. “We believe that exposing students to hands-on research, like that provided by the Amgen Scholars Program, helps students build a solid foundation in science while fueling their curiosity to learn and grow.”

Other key survey findings include:

Women will play a big role in the future of scientific research.

  • 72 percent of respondents feel there are currently not enough mentors and role models for women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields
  • 80 percent of those surveyed believe women will be in positions of power in STEM fields twenty years from now

Skills and technology will change how scientists work in the labs of tomorrow.

  • 72 percent believe computer programming and coding will be the most beneficial skill for new scientists to learn while 52 percent identify debate and oratory skills
  • 92 percent said the scientists of tomorrow will have tools at their disposal that they and their colleagues could only dream of today
  • 39 percent believe the biomedical problems that will be solved by the next generation don’t even exist yet
  • 55 percent say advances in solving medical problems will come from figuring out the best ways to use digital technology in medicine
  • 90 percent said that they wished the world knew scientists were also full of fun, not just books and labs

A total of 17 host institutions are now accepting applications from undergraduates who meet the eligibility requirements for the 2017 Amgen Scholars Program. Financial support for students is provided by the Amgen Scholars Program, which aims to ensure that eligible students, regardless of their financial status, are able to participate. For more information about the Amgen Scholars Program, or to complete an application online, visit Accepting applications now until Feb. 1, 2017.

About the Amgen Foundation

The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators, and invest in strengthening communities where Amgen staff members live and work. To date, the Foundation has donated over $250 million to local, regional, and international non-profit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. The Amgen Foundation brings the excitement of discovery to the scientists of tomorrow through several signature programs, including Amgen Scholars, Amgen Biotech Experience, and Amgen Teach. For more information, visit and follow us on

CONTACT: Amgen Thousand Oaks
Jennifer van der Borgt, 805-447-5597 (media)


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