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Amgen Foundation gives UCLA a $1-million grant for undergraduate science research

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UCLA has received a $1-million grant over the next four years from the Amgen Foundation to continue the Amgen Scholars program, which provides hands-on laboratory experience to approximately 100 undergraduates. UCLA initially received a four-year, $1-million grant in 2006 for the program, which is held at UCLA. Half of the students are UCLA undergraduates and half are from other universities throughout the country.
 
Judith L. Smith, UCLA vice provost for undergraduate education, said, “UCLA is a national leader in undergraduate research, and we are extremely pleased about the continuation of the Amgen Scholars program, which provides valuable learning opportunities to large numbers of undergraduates, many of whom may go on to become distinguished scientists.”
 
 “The success of the Amgen Scholars program is due in large share to our university partners,” said Jean J. Lim, president, Amgen Foundation. “These leading universities provide undergraduates from around the country with an inspiring, hands-on research experience that often leads them to pursue advanced degrees and careers in the sciences.”
 
Patty Phelps, UCLA professor of integrative biology and physiology, and faculty adviser for the program, said that the students work in a wide range of UCLA laboratories on topics involved in biomedical areas such as immunology, neuroscience or bioengineering.
 
“The program changes lives and provides the students with the tools they need to succeed in graduate school and beyond,” Phelps said.
 
The highly selective program includes a summer symposium allowing students to share their summer research projects, learn about biotechnology and hear from leading industry and university scientists. Students are selected based on criteria including academic excellence, letters of recommendation and potential for careers in science. The students work for 10 weeks, a minimum of 40 hours per week. Half of the students in the UCLA program are UCLA undergraduates, and half are from other universities nationally.
 
Financial support for students is a critical component of the program, so eligible students are able to participate, regardless of their financial status.
 
Besides UCLA, nine U.S. universities were selected by the Amgen Foundation to participate in the program: UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, the California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Washington, Columbia University/Barnard College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Washington University in St. Louis. In addition, the foundation selected three from outside the U.S.: Cambridge University (UK), Sweden’s Karolinska Insitutet in Stockholm and Germany’s Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat in Munich.
 
Applications are now being accepted for the 2011 Amgen Scholars program. For more information about Amgen Scholars or an application, please visit www.amgenscholars.com or http://www.ugeducation.ucla.edu/urc-care/AmgenScholars.htm.
 
The Amgen Foundation 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.
 
UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of more than 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 328 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Six alumni and five faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize. For more news, visit the UCLA Newsroom and follow us on Twitter.
 
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