Cancer research

10th class of bioscience interns finishes at TGen

Celebrating the program’s 10th year, the 2016 Helios Scholars at TGen completed their eight-week internships today with a daylong scientific symposium at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix.

The collaboration between the Helios Education Foundation and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) graduated 44 students who will help form the next generation of scientists specializing in Arizona’s growing biomedical fields.

“This 10th anniversary year of Helios Scholars at TGen represents a milestone in this innovative program, which has helped launch the careers of many promising and talented researchers and physicians,” said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen president and research director. “In partnership with Helios, these students have experienced what it is like to pursue patient-centric research on the frontier of genomic medicine.”

Helios Scholars at TGen is the research institute’s flagship summer internship program for Arizona students looking to further their interest in bioscience and medicine. Helios Scholars work in TGen’s laboratories — receiving one-on-one mentorship from TGen scientists — on research projects that aim for new molecular-level discoveries about neurological disorders, infectious diseases and many types of cancer.

More than 400 students have now graduated the program since its inception in 2007.

“We are proud of the impact Helios Scholars at TGen has had on the lives of hundreds of talented students in Arizona,” said Paul J. Luna, president and CEO, Helios Education Foundation. “This program provides this diverse student population with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in an intensive, hands-on, scientific learning experience, and it propels them toward achieving success in college and career.  We look forward to the next 10 years, and beyond, of this impactful program.”

The full-time, paid internships are open to Arizona high school, undergraduate and graduate level students, including those in medical school. From more than 500 student applications, 33 undergraduates, 1 graduate student and 10 high school students were selected this summer.

Students hail from many schools and backgrounds, including Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Phoenix College, and these Arizona high schools: BASIS Chandler, Bioscience, Desert Vista, Hamilton, Phoenix Country Day, South Ridge, Sunnyslope, Tempe Preparatory and Xavier College Preparatory. Five students currently attend out-of-state colleges.

In addition to patient-focused research, Helios Scholars participate in professional development seminars, including science communication, public speaking, and basic business etiquette, as well as social activities to build and strengthen relationships between students. This summer’s program concluded with a scientific symposium highlighting the accomplishments of the 2016 Helios Scholars at TGen.

Scholars boast an array of impressive accomplishments including acceptance into top tier graduate and medical schools, unique career developments, national awards and scholarships, and authorship credit in numerous scientific publications.

Applications for the 11th class of Helios Scholars at TGen will be accepted starting in January 2017 at www.tgen.org/intern. For more information, contact Julie Euber, TGen Education and Outreach Specialist, at 602-343-8459, or jeuber@tgen.org.