Apr 5, 2024

The University of Toronto announces its 2024 Amgen Scholars

Amgen Scholars Canada Program at the University of Toronto, Students
Samreen Ahmad, Stella Duncan, Jackson McElman, Nikan Movahedi, Ashtyn Mowbray-McMillan, Oyinda Obigbesan, Emily Yuan, and Michael Zarychta.
The 2024 Amgen Scholars (from top left, clockwise): Samreen Ahmad, Stella Duncan, Jackson McElman, Nikan Movahedi, Ashtyn Mowbray-McMillan, Oyinda Obigbesan, Emily Yuan, and Michael Zarychta; not shown: Sindi Bebeziqi, Manu Kattimani (photos supplied)
By Sarah McMahon

Ten undergraduate students from across Canada have been selected to participate in the prestigious Amgen Scholars Program at the University of Toronto.

An initiative underpinned by the Amgen Foundation, the Amgen Scholars Program is designed to provide undergraduate students from across the globe, with unparalleled research experiences in the realms of science and biotechnology. With a commitment to inspiring the next generation of scientists, the program offers hands-on research opportunities, mentorship from leading experts, and a vibrant community of peers.

“We are absolutely delighted to be able to invite this group of incredibly talented young scholars to the University of Toronto this summer,” says Dr. Stavroula Andreopoulos, a professor of biochemistry at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, and director of the Amgen Scholars Program at U of T.  During the program, participants will engage in 10 weeks of hands-on research with U of T faculty, postdoctoral trainees and graduate students, from across Temerty Medicine and its affiliated hospitals and research institutes. “To be selected as an Amgen Scholar at the University of Toronto,” says Andreopoulos, “requires strong academic performance, a genuine interest in biomedical research, communication skills, adaptability and a collaborative spirit.” 

United by their passion for biomedical science and innovation, the 2024 Amgen Scholars are:

  • Samreen Ahmad (Yukon University) - Samreen's dedication to environmental and conservation sciences has led her to become interested in how environmental and health sciences intersect.
  • Sindi Bebeziqi (University of Guelph) - Equipped with an interdisciplinary background in mathematics, statistics and biomedical science, Sindi is looking forward to learning about how individualized brain-in-a-dish models can shed light on complex disorders.
  • Stella Duncan (University of Calgary) - With an interest in neuroscience and biotechnology, Stella hopes to learn how molecular genetics can be applied to better understand neuropsychiatric disorders.
  • Manu Kattimani (University of Toronto) - Manu will use his background in pharmacology and genetics to learn how the molecular etiologies of disease can be used to develop potential treatments.
  • Jackson McElman (University of New Brunswick) - Jackson's passion for chemical engineering will serve him well as he delves further into biomedical sciences research this summer.
  • Nikan Movahedi (York University) - Nikan is excited to use his background in kinesiology and visual neuroscience to learn about the molecular and genetic underpinnings of oncogenesis and cancer proliferation.
  • Ashtyn Mowbray-McMillan (Laurentian University) - With a robust background in behavioural neuroscience, Ashtyn is looking forward to a summer engaging in biomedical research.
  • Oyinda Obigbesan (University of Calgary) - Oyinda's exploration of family-centered care and women’s health will give her a unique perspective as she engages in biomedical research.
  • Emily Yuan (University of Toronto) – With a background in pharmacology and nutritional sciences, Emily is well positioned to research the molecular biology of metabolic diseases this summer.
  • Michael Zarychta (University of Manitoba) – Prepared with a foundation in biochemistry, Michael looks forward to investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating human lung development.