Meet Melissa Lurie, Amgen Biotech Experience Alumni

Meet Melissa Lurie, Amgen Biotech Experience Alumni

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‘#BiotechExperience may open the eyes of someone who doesn’t think science is fun or for them.’ –Melissa
Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 8:20am

CAMPAIGN: Amgen Biotech Experience


Melissa Lurie | Thousand Oaks, California

Amgen Biotech Experience Year: 1997
Current Profession/Academic Ambitions: Clinical Pharmacist at Kaiser Permanente
"ABE may open the eyes of someone who doesn’t think science is fun or think science is for them. It could spark something in them."

How the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) Shaped My Educational & Professional Path

While many young adults may go through a phase of self-discovery to figure out their true life passion, for Melissa Lurie, it took a single high school biology class. But this wasn’t any run of the mill biology class. This class included the ABE curriculum, and had everything this future clinical pharmacist was looking for.

Lurie, always curious about how the human body worked, loved how ABE’s hands-on lab gave her the chance to prove that something was true rather than being told so by a text book. The class solidified her decision to go to pharmacy school. She now helps patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension Disorder and Asthma, among other conditions.

My ABE Highlights

What did you enjoy most about ABE?
The hands-on experience. Normally we had to take science at face value, but with ABE, we actually had the chance to prove something was true right before our eyes!
Talk about the hands-on lab experience. Did you feel like a real scientist? How did ABE compare to your experience in other science classes you’d taken?
All I can remember from my other science classes is using a Bunsen burner. Participating in ABE felt way more high-tech. Being able to use the equipment (pipettes, agar, etc.) made me feel like a ‘real scientist.
Did ABE help you look at science in a new way? Did you have a sort of ‘ah-ha’ moment during the labs? Tell me about it.
ABE helped me to look at science in a way that I could be an investigator and I could prove a hypothesis.
Did ABE help prepare you for college? Your current position? How?
ABE really laid the foundation of the scientific method for me, which is fundamental in my field of work. The experience helped me be able to read and understand literature in medical journals, which ultimately shapes guidelines for a given disease state, which then directs the clinical decisions I make.
What was your biggest takeaway from ABE?
I think the most beneficial takeaway from the lab for me was to reaffirm that I really 'liked' science and biology. It was fascinating, something that could be proven - I liked that.
To learn more about the Amgen Biotech Experience, please visit our website and check out the #BiotechExperience hashtag on Twitter. Visit and follow @AmgenFoundation to stay up to date with all STEM-related news from the Amgen Foundation.   
CATEGORY: Education