Wake Forest student gains hands-on research experience at NIH

Emma Butturini, a junior biology major at Wake Forest University has been working at the National Institute of Health this summer as an Amgen Scholar, conducting research under world-renowned faculty mentors.

She is one of nearly 350 students globally accepted to the program from over 5,600 applicants. The program partners with 17 leading educational and research institutions across the U.S., Europe, and Japan to host scholars in research labs.

Emma Butturini

Emma Butturini

Butturini, who is from Sarasota, Fla., has been at the National Institute of Nursing Research analyzing vesicular pathways in overweight versus normal weight participants using nanoparticle tracking analysis.

“Vesicles are potential vectors for treatments and biomarkers of disease because of the important role they play in cell-to-cell communication in the body,” Butturini said. “The results from our pilot study may be used to help inform future studies for developing targeted treatments and interventions for obesity and its side effects. Doing obesity research this summer has given me a great opportunity to pursue my interest in public health issues.”

After graduation, Butturini hopes to serve in the Peace Corps before pursuing a master’s in public health.

“Another interesting aspect of our Amgen Scholar site here at the NIH is the focus our program has on health disparities. Every week we attend a lecture by a researcher at the NIH on a different health disparity issue related to their work, and then we have discussions about the contributing factors and potential future solutions. It has been a very valuable and eye-opening experience this summer to be able to do lab work while also placing it in a larger context of health issues and needs.”

For more information about Amgen Scholars, visit www.AmgenScholars.com.

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 over $250 million 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.

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