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University receives new grant to fund Amgen Scholars Program

Undergraduate research experience supports science education and innovation

December 7, 2018

Sara Holmes

Washington University in St. Louis has received a new grant from the Amgen Foundation to provide hands-on laboratory experiences to undergraduate students through the Amgen Scholars Program.

This marks the ninth year the university is participating in the program, which aims to inspire the next generation of innovators by providing undergraduate students with summer research opportunities at many of the world’s premier educational institutions.

Since 2011, Washington University has hosted more than 200 Amgen Scholars in its scientific research labs.

“This program opens doors to providing intensive research experiences to talented undergraduates who come to Washington University from across the country,” said Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “The Amgen Scholars Program has made key contributions in supporting students who wish to pursue advanced degrees and lifelong careers in the life sciences.”

This year, the Amgen Foundation is expanding the Amgen Scholars Program, with a total of 24 institutions across the U.S., Europe and Asia involved in the program along with, for the first time, Australia and Canada. Students in the program receive financial support and laboratory research experience in biomedical and biotechnology fields.

This initiative builds on the Amgen Foundation’s mission to advance excellence in science education and empower tomorrow’s innovators. The foundation has contributed nearly $150 million globally toward that goal. Eight new partners — Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, National University of Singapore, Tsinghua University, University of Melbourne, University of Toronto, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Yale University — will join the group of host institutions that includes Washington University.

“As the pace of innovation increases, so too does the need to educate the scientists of tomorrow,” said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and CEO at Amgen. “We look forward to further expanding the reach of the Amgen Scholars Program, which has already provided research opportunities to thousands of talented undergraduates at premier institutions around the globe and now has the potential to do much more.”

The university’s Amgen Scholars Program will be administered through the Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences (DBBS), a universitywide consortium that encompasses 450 faculty mentors.

“We are delighted to continue the Amgen Scholars Program at Washington University,” said Robyn S. Klein, MD, PhD, Amgen Scholars Program co-director, a professor of medicine, of neuroscience, and of pathology and immunology, and vice provost and associate dean for graduate education for DBBS. “We look forward to bringing many more talented students from across the country to Washington University to join top-notch labs in a broad range of biological and biomedical sciences. We hope the program continues to have tremendous impact on these students’ undergraduate experience and on their future career paths. Our mentors also look forward to continuing to work with these students — they are a pleasure to have in the lab. We are all excited to continue the program and are grateful for the support from the Amgen Foundation.”

Klein co-directs the Amgen Scholars Program with Joseph M. Jez, PhD, a professor of biology and head of the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.

Since its inception in 2006, the Amgen Scholars Program has made research opportunities at premier institutions possible for more than 3,900 undergraduate students representing 700 colleges and universities. Of those alumni who have completed their undergraduate studies, nearly 900 are currently pursuing an advanced graduate degree in a scientific field, and another 280 have earned a PhD or MD/PhD. More than 500 are employed in scientific fields across 33 countries.

The program aims to break down barriers for many students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to engage in science at the world’s top educational and research institutions. Financial support for students is a critical component of the program, which seeks to ensure that eligible students, regardless of their financial status, can participate.

Washington University is now accepting applications for the 2019 Amgen Scholars Program. For more information about the program, or to complete an application, visit its website.

2019 Amgen Scholars Host Institutions

United States

  • California Institute of Technology
  • Columbia University
  • Duke University*
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University*
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Stanford University
  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Los Angeles
  • UC San Francisco
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center*
  • Washington University St. Louis
  • Yale University*


  • ETH Zurich, in Switzerland
  • Institut Pasteur, in France
  • Karolinska Institute, in Sweden
  • Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich, in Germany
  • University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom


  • Kyoto University
  • National University of Singapore*
  • Tsinghua University*
  • The University of Tokyo


  • University of Melbourne*


  • University of Toronto*

*Indicates new host institution for 2019

Washington University School of Medicine’s 1,500 faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is a leader in medical research, teaching and patient care, ranking among the top 10 medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.