Jennifer Mellor, Vice President of Economic Development at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

I recently had the privilege of attending the 10th anniversary celebration of Helios Scholars at TGen, a premier biomedical internship program launched in partnership between Helios Education Foundation and the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen). This shared vision not only prepares students for college and career with hands-on learning opportunities with industry leaders, but also paves the way to produce the next generation of Arizona’s biomedical workforce.

These are no ordinary students. And this is no ordinary internship. It is an experience that clearly ignites a lifelong passion and is a pivotal, life-changing experience for their futures and careers.

Students in the intern program are paired with TGen’s world-class scientists on research projects that aim for new molecular-level discoveries about neurological disorders, infectious diseases and many types of cancer. Since the program’s inception, more than 400 students from across the state have interned at TGen on a variety of research projects.

An innovative program, Helios Scholars at TGen has helped launch the careers of many talented scientists, surgeons, researchers, physicians, engineers and mathematicians. It is creating a sustainable impact within the community and within the industry itself. I applaud the tremendous accomplishments of these highly motivated and driven students. And I applaud the vision of Helios Education Foundation and TGen to develop strategies to connect research and talent, invest in Arizona students and build a strong talent pipeline for an industry on the rise.

Clearly, TGen and Helios are building a strong foundation for the future of the bioscience industry.

Similar to the Helios/TGen partnership, the Chamber’s collaborative and strategic approach to economic development, Phoenix Forward >>, supports local businesses in this targeted industry sector. Arizona has a fast-growing bioscience industry and in order to support this growth, we must continue to develop talent such as the Helios Scholars at TGen. Our bioscience leadership council is focused on developing and implementing strategies that will enhance our bioscience industry and talent is a key driver of that success.


Written by Jennifer Mellor, vice president of economic development at the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

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