Kevin Tao and Kewmars Kayvani, who both worked this summer in the lab of University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix researcher Frederic Zenhausern, PhD, were among the 45 graduates from the biomedical summer internship program at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).
The 2012 Helios Scholars Program at TGen wrapped up eight weeks of scientific investigations July 27 with a daylong symposium of oral and poster presentations at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.
Tao, who is from Fountain Hills, and Kayvani, who is from Scottsdale, both attend Arizona State University.
This summer, both worked at TGen’s University of Arizona-affiliated facilities in Chandler under the guidance of Dr. Zenhausern, a professor at TGen and founding director of the Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine, part of the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.
Tao and Kayvani studied various testing methods for identifying genomic biomarkers that could help diagnose disease.
Under the mentorship of TGen researchers — who provide one-on-one instruction — Helios Scholars use leading-edge technology to help discover the genetic causes of diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and many types of cancer.
This is the sixth year of the TGen Helios program, funded for 25 years through a $6.5 million grant from the Helios Education Foundation, the largest philanthropic foundation in Arizona focused solely on education.
TGen’s Helios Scholars Program is open to high school, undergraduate and graduate level students, including those in medical school. The internships help students from all backgrounds — selected from a competitive pool of applicants — sharpen their research skills as they prepare for careers in science and medicine.
Past intern accomplishments include published scientific abstracts and scientific papers, top national student rankings, acceptance into first-rate graduate and medical schools, and national awards and scholarships.
TGen will begin accepting online applications for next summer’s Helios program in January 2013.
For more information about TGen or the internship program, visit www.tgen.org/intern.
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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.
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Helios Education Foundation
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. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.
TGen Senior Science Writer