Howard University Teams Up With Biotechnology Firm Amgen to Boost Graduate Student Research

Howard University’s department of chemical engineering and Amgen, one of the world’s leading independent biotechnology companies, have designed an innovative academic-industry partnership meant to greatly expand opportunities for underrepresented minorities in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The partnership takes the form of a fellowship for master’s-level graduate students and includes training in Amgen’s laboratories.

The department of chemical engineering in the College of Engineering and Architecture at Howard University offers a graduate program in chemical engineering. But there have been few opportunities for research for students interested in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. According to Preethi Chandran, the director of graduate studies in chemical engineering, resolving the disparity in participation in these industries is critical to resolving downstream disparities in treatment designs and outcomes.

“The Amgen partnership leverages our department’s expertise in producing master of science degree-holders from communities underrepresented in STEM and Amgen’s proven track record of involving Black and African-American graduate students in state-of-the-art research with targeted industrial applications,” said Patrick Ymele-Leki, interim chair of the department of chemical engineering at Howard University.

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