A Summer of Research, Fun, and Friendship

Guest post written by ETH Zürich Amgen Scholar Azmi Rahman
Oct 20, 2017 10:00 AM ET

A Summer of Research, Fun, and Friendship

This past summer, I participated in the Amgen Scholars Europe program, which offered students an opportunity to work with a European research lab of their choice and to then share their findings with fellow attendees at a symposium held in University of Cambridge. It was a delightful experience that brought together more than 100 students across 5 universities: ETH Zürich, Karolinska Institute, Institut Pasteur, LMU Munich, and the University of Cambridge.

The Europe Program offers many unique benefits to students: We were able to conduct research in a country we had never visited before, work and live alongside research-oriented peers from a plethora of disciplines, and have some informative and inspiring lectures from experienced and senior mentors from the research community.

The opportunity to work in an international lab challenges many perspectives. Each country has its unique twists in scientific approaches, lab cultures, and the place of science in its society. Working in a lab in a new country provided access not only to some of the best research being done in the world, but also helped us get in touch with a dynamic research community abroad, and better understand how research is done at an international level.

I am very thankful for the program for enabling me to work with a very driven and accommodating lab at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology in ETH Zürich. During my time there, I was challenged to drive my own research, learn from errors, develop effective methods, critically analyze confusing results, and compile and present all the work with peers -- key skills that any aspiring scientist should aim to develop. I am also glad to have met a great group of peers,

In addition to the research, we also had the privilege of networking with a close group of likeminded peers, who shared a common drive to be the next generation of scientists. There was a diverse group of us: medical students, chemists, engineers, and computer scientists, all with the common aim of working toward improving society’s understanding and capabilities in healthcare. It was great to be able to bounce ideas off each other, work on our projects together, and explore Switzerland together. I made some great friends who I will keep in touch with for many years to come.

Part hard work, part social fun, and all-in-all a very rewarding and learning experience -- it was definitely a summer well spent!

Azmi is a third year medical student at Imperial College London and plans to pursue surgery and research as a clinician scientist. With the Amgen Scholars Program in Europe, he worked on the regulation of glucose metabolism in brown adipose tissue, in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

To learn more about the Amgen Scholars Program, please visit AmgenScholars.com and check out the #AmgenScholars hashtag on Twitter. Follow @AmgenFoundation to stay up to date with all STEM-related news from the Amgen Foundation.