Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) began seeking 45 students on Tuesday for its 2016 Helios Scholars for the TGen biomedical research internship program supported for the 10th year by the Helios Education Foundation. Arizona students are encouraged to apply.

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 discoveries about illnesses such as neurological disorders, infectious diseases and many types of cancer.

“We look forward to recognizing the 10th anniversary of Helios Scholars at TGen throughout 2016,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation. “The program has become one of the most sought after bioscience internships in Arizona, providing opportunities for intensive, hands-on learning to a diverse student population.”

Nearly 400 students have completed the Helios Scholars at TGen program since it began in 2007. The eight-week, full-time, paid internships are open to Arizona high school, undergraduate and graduate level students, including those in medical school. More than 600 students applied in 2015.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the learning experiences and research opportunities I received through Helios Scholars at TGen,” said Megan Russell, who completed the Helios program in 2009 and now works as a bioinformatician in TGen’s Neurogenomics Division. She now serves as a mentor to new classes of Helios Scholars.

“I highly recommend that any student in Arizona planning on going into the fields of bioscience or medicine apply for the Helios Scholars at TGen program,” said Juan Rodriguez, who completed the Helios program this past summer. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics from Arizona State University in December, and will soon start graduate school studies in Software Engineering and Bioinformatics while working in labs at ASU and TGen.

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.

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.

“Helios Scholars at TGen has helped launch the careers of many promising and talented researchers and physicians, and after a decade is beginning to add significantly to the bioscience workforce landscape in Arizona. In partnership with Helios, we have been able to provide hundreds of highly-motivated students the unique opportunity to contribute to innovative, patient-centric research” said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen President and Research Director.