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Over 15,000 students in Ireland set to benefit from Amgen Foundation Science Education Investments during the coming academic year

Launch of Amgen Teach and Amgen Biotech Experience programmes, designed to equip secondary school teachers with the skills to increase students’ scientific literacy and interest in scientific careers More than 53,000 students and nearly 500 teachers across Ireland to be reached over the course of a three-year commitment Five undergraduate students from Ireland conduct cutting-edge research this summer at leading European universities as part of the Amgen Scholars Programme To date, the Amgen Foundation has invested almost €600,000 in science education in Ireland

Leading biotechnology company Amgen and its philanthropic arm, the Amgen Foundation, have announced two complementary science education programmes in Ireland – Amgen Teach and the Amgen Biotech Experience.

Designed to support the professional development of secondary school life science teachers, and increase students’ scientific literacy and interest in scientific careers, both programmes are expected to reach over 15,000 students and nearly 150 teachers across Ireland over the coming academic year.

Over the full three year commitment of the programmes, Amgen Teach and the Amgen Biotech Experience are expected to positively impact approximately 53,000 students and nearly 500 teachers in Ireland.

Amgen Teach and the Amgen Biotech Experience support the Irish science school curriculum, providing teachers with the skills and confidence to transform the student experience in learning science. Training is offered free of charge and emphasises hands-on, enquiry-based learning, providing teachers with practical tools they can replicate in the classroom and lab to motivate students. Additionally, the Amgen Biotech Experience provides molecular biology resources and research grade lab equipment, available on loan to participating schools. Amgen Teach is delivered by appointed training partner, Professional Development Service for Teachers, while the Amgen Biotech Experience is coordinated by leading Irish universities, University College Dublin and Dublin City University.

The Amgen Foundation also announced that five undergraduate students from Ireland were selected to participate in the 2015 Amgen Scholars Programme. Part of a $50 million, 12-year commitment, the Amgen Scholars Programme advances science education by providing undergraduates with a cutting-edge summer research experience at world-class third level educational institutions. 28 students from various Irish universities, including Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork, Dublin City University, the Royal College of Surgeons and NUI Galway, have participated in Amgen Scholars since the programme was launched in Europe in 2008.

The participating Amgen Scholars from Ireland for 2015 are:

  • Ciana Diskin from Navan Road, Dublin. Third year Immunology (Biology) student at Trinity College. Amgen Scholars host institution: University of Cambridge.
  • Aaron Fleming from Celbridge, Co Kildare. Third year Immunology (Biology) student at Trinity College Dublin. Amgen Scholars host institution: Institut Pasteur, Paris
  • Conor Keogh from Portmarnock, Dublin. Third year Medical student in Trinity College. Amgen Scholars host institution: ETH Zurich.
  • Daniel Scott from Churchtown, Dublin. Third year Pharmacy student in Trinity College. Amgen Scholars host institution: University of Cambridge
  • Ciara Shortiss, from Cork. Fourth year Neuroscience student in University College Cork. Host University: ETH Zurich.


The Amgen Teach and Amgen Biotech Experience programmes, together with details of the Amgen Scholars 2015 Ireland recipients, were announced at an event to mark the opening of the new $300 million Amgen facility in Dun Laoghaire.

Commenting on the programmes, Kerry Ingalls, Amgen Vice President of Regional Manufacturing said, “Amgen is committed to fostering the scientific potential of a new generation. Ireland is currently the only European country to offer all three science education programmes. I believe that despite increased demand for a science-based workforce, many teachers do not have sufficient access to the impactful training, resources and materials to deliver a high-quality experience to their students. As a result, too few young people are opting for a career in science. Our programmes are designed to change that and to inspire students in Ireland to pursue further education, and possibly even a career, in science.”

He continued, “All three programmes remind us that innovation to improve the lives of patients’ demands partnership between industry, government, public services and academia.”

Congratulating Amgen for its support of science education, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD said, “Globally, Ireland now ranks in the top 20 countries for science excellence. Developing collaborative partnerships with leading companies, such as Amgen, to support science education and world–class research will ensure we continue to nurture the next generation of Irish scientists and researchers, enhancing collaboration with enterprise and providing a strong voice for the promotion and support of science, biotechnology and research in Ireland.”


For further information, please contact

Amgen Dun Laoghaire: Laoise O’Murchu, Senior Corporate Affairs Manager, Tel (01) 2049499; Mobile; Email:


Editors’ Notes

“The potential of the Amgen Teach and Amgen Biotech Experience programmes to align with the newly developed senior cycle science syllabus, and build competency and confidence in the classroom is very welcome.”

Stephanie Leonard, Chairperson, Irish Secondary School Teachers Association

Amgen Teach

“Amgen Teach has given me a huge amount of confidence to use enquiry-based learning in the classroom.”

Kirstie McAdoo, Science Teacher, Dublin, participant in Amgen Teach


“Amgen Teach is about the students experiencing science rather than observing it or being lectured about it. When they come to science class, they have to use their imagination and their own knowledge to work out problems.”

Patricia Duffy, Science Teacher, Dublin, participant in Amgen Teach


“Teachers are the catalyst for change in the renewal of science education. Amgen Teach delivers the right mix of practical, hands-on learning that teachers can replicate in the classroom or lab.”

Caroline McHale, Team Leader, Professional Development Service for Teachers

Training Partner, Amgen Teach Ireland


Amgen Biotech Experience

“The Amgen Biotech experience allowed my students to experience a real working lab, using state of-the-art technology in their own classroom.”Brigid Corrigan, Science Teacher, Dublin

Participant in Amgen Biotech Experience


“The students are transformed into scientists and own their own discovery.”

Margaret Hourigan, Science Teacher, Edenderry, Co Offaly

Participant in Amgen Teach and Amgen Biotech Experience programmes


“Tying real laboratory experiences to the development of medicines through the Amgen Biotech Experience will undoubtedly capture the imagination of these young students.”

Professor Walter Kolch, Director, Systems Biology Ireland, UCD

Training Partner, Amgen Biotech Experience Ireland


“Amgen Biotech Experience is an excellent initiative that will strengthen our links with schools in the community and bring cutting-edge Irish research to classrooms.”

Joseph McManus, Director of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, DCU

Training Partner, Amgen Biotech Experience Ireland


“This is an exciting opportunity for UCD to partner with Amgen in augmenting teacher and student experiences of science education and facilitating engagement by our researchers with wider society.”

Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact at University College Dublin.


Amgen Scholars

“Amgen Scholars allowed me to experience life as an academic research scientist.”

Conor O’Donovan, Trinity College Dublin

University of Cambridge Amgen Scholars 2014 alumnus


Amgen Scholars opened a whole new side of medicine. Ilove the idea that as a researcher, something I created, developed or discovered could have a huge impact on people’s lives for years to come.”

Orla Hennessy, National University of Ireland, Galway

University of Cambridge Amgen Scholar 2014 alumnus


About the Amgen Foundation

The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators, and invest in strengthening communities where Amgen staff members live and work. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $200 million in grants to local, regional and international nonprofit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. The Amgen Foundation brings the excitement of discovery to the scientists of tomorrow through several signature programs, including Amgen Scholars, Amgen Biotech Experience, and Amgen Teach. For more information, visit and follow us on

About Amgen Teach

Launched in 2014, Amgen Teach is a three year, €2 million European programme funded by the Amgen Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by Brussels-based, European Schoolnet. The programme is designed to deepen student interest and achievement in science by strengthening the ability of life science secondary school teachers to use enquiry based teaching strategies in the classroom. Amgen Teach consists of a series of face-to-face, enquiry-based training workshops, offered in multiple languages and supporting national curriculum. The workshops are designed and delivered by appointed training providers in each participating country and supported through a number of pan-European Distance Learning activities per year. The launch of Amgen Teach in 2014 followed a successful two-year pilot in four European countries (France, Germany, Ireland and Poland), which saw over 500 science educators improve their skills. In Ireland, the programme partner is the Professional Development Service for Teachers. Over one thousand teachers across Europe have benefitted from Amgen Teach during the school year 2014-2015. In Ireland, Amgen Teach has reached 170 teachers nationwide to date.

Amgen Teach:


About Amgen Biotech Experience

Established in Ireland in 2014, the Amgen Biotech Experience is delivered by Systems Biology Ireland, UCD and the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, DCU. It is an innovative science education programme that provides teacher professional development, curriculum materials, and research-grade equipment and supplies to secondary schools. The programme features a hands-on molecular biology curriculum designed to introduce students to the excitement of scientific discovery. Each year, over 70,000 students and hundreds of science teachers participate in this programme, and have the opportunity to explore the methods scientists use to create biotechnology medicines. The reach of the programme has been extraordinary, with over 425,000 students to date having experienced the fundamentals of biotechnology across multiple U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Ireland, and the U.K. In Ireland, during the programme’s first academic year 2014-2015, the Amgen Biotech Experience reached over 900 secondary school students.


Amgen Biotech Experience:


About Amgen Scholars

Launched by the Amgen Foundation to inspire the scientists of tomorrow, the Amgen Scholars Programme is a $50 million 12-year initiative providing undergraduates the opportunity to engage in a compelling scientific research experience at some of the world’s leading universities. The programme was launched in 2006 in the U.S., 2008 in Europe, and 2014 in Japan.  European host institutions are the University of Cambridge, England; ETH Zurich, Switzerland, Karolinska Institute, Sweden, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Germany, and Institut Pasteur, France.

Since 2008, 28 undergraduate students from leading Ireland academic institutions have participated in Amgen Scholars.

Amgen Scholars:


About Amgen

Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.

Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.

For more information, visit and follow us on


About Amgen Dun Laoghaire

Amgen Dun Laoghaire is an aseptic operations facility, specialising in secondary manufacturing activities: formulation, fill, lyophilisation and packaging. The ADL site also includes laboratories and cold chain warehouse capabilities. Amgen is developing the capability to produce all of its medicines in Dun Laoghaire, helping to ensure continuity of supply of our medicines as we expand internationally. The $300 million expansion of the facility completed in 2015 further strengthens the capabilities of the site and offers further capabilities to the Amgen Network. It also positions the Dublin plant as a key location within Amgen’s global organization.