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44 Helios Scholars graduate from TGen intern program

Posted on: July 31, 2009

Eight-week summer instruction prepares students for careers in science

PHOENIX, AZ – Future leaders in science and medicine graduated from an intense summer internship program today from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). 

The 44 members of the Helios Scholars Program at TGen wrapped up eight weeks of investigations with a symposium of scientific posters and discussions at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

This was the third year of TGen’s Helios Scholars Program, funded by the Helios Education Foundation, the largest philanthropic foundation in Arizona and Florida solely focused on education. The foundation has donated $6.5 million toward the Helios Scholars Program at TGen.

This innovative program helps students from all backgrounds sharpen their research skills as they prepare for careers in science or medical fields. Selected from a competitive pool of applicants – many at the top of their class – their backgrounds ranged from bioengineering to business to international studies.

The program allows high school, undergraduate and graduate level students, including those in medical school, to conduct independent research in pursuit of scientific questions that they formulate.

Under the guidance of research investigators – who provide closely-supervised, one-on-one instruction – Helios Scholars use cutting-edge technology to learn about the genetic causes of diseases such as melanoma, prostate cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

To complete their internships, Helios Scholars presented their work today (July 31) at a daylong symposium – one replicating a real-world scientific conference – where they gave oral presentations and displayed and explained scientific posters.

Past interns boast an array of impressive accomplishments – publishing scientific abstracts, scientific articles, and acceptance into medical and graduate schools. A remarkable 96 percent of interns have rated the Helios Scholars program “excellent’’ or “good,’’ while 75 percent have credited the program with playing a significant role in helping them secure employment.

For more information about TGen or the internship program, visit www.tgen.org/intern. TGen will begin accepting online applications for next summer’s Helios program in early 2010.


About Helios Education Foundation
Helios Education Foundation is the largest philanthropic organization serving Arizona and Florida focused solely on education. The Foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals in Arizona and Florida by creating opportunities for success in postsecondary education and its community investments are made across three impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years (grades 5-12) and Postsecondary Education. Since inception in 2004, Helios Education Foundation has invested over $62 million into education-related programs and initiatives in both states. For more information, visit the Foundation online at www.helios.org.

About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org and click on Education/Outreach; then click on Helios Scholars Program.

Category: College and Career Readiness

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