Helios Scholars at TGEN Marks 16th Year

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The 16th summer cohort class of Helios Scholars at TGen, the flagship internship program at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), has begun.

Designed for incoming and continuing undergraduate, graduate, and medical school students, Helios Scholars at TGen offers a one-of-a-kind summer experience in biomedical research under the guidance of an experienced TGen mentor. The 8-week program supports students from all backgrounds in their efforts to develop foundational skills by placing them alongside faculty and staff where they actively participate on a breadth of research and administrative projects. They also attend numerous seminars designed to develop and hone their professional skills in writing, networking and presentation methods.

“Helios Scholars at TGen provides a launching pad for students wanting to gain valuable hands-on experience while learning to navigate the world of biomedical research,” said Kristen Kaus, Manager of Education and Outreach at TGen. “It’s amazing to see the growth these future scientific leaders undergo as the summer evolves.”

In May, 2007, TGen received a $380,000 grant from Helios Education Foundation to pilot a paid summer internship program that brought 50 students into TGen laboratories. Following the success of the pilot program, a $6.5 million endowment from Helios Education Foundation in January, 2008, officially established the Helios Scholars Program at TGen.

Since its inception, Helios Scholars at TGen has trained over 650 students, many who have gone on to careers in Arizona’s biomedical research, healthcare, and life science sector. 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 on numerous scientific publications.

“We are proud of the success Helios Scholars at TGen has achieved over the past 16 years,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation. “As a foundation focused on postsecondary success, it is extremely rewarding to see how this partnership has enriched and benefitted so many students, many of whom are first generation and have gone on to make significant contributions in the biomedical sciences. 

The 2022 program concludes July 29 with a daylong scientific symposium where TGen celebrates the Helios Scholars for their achievements and the students compete for awards recognizing project mastery and presentation skills.