U of A Engineering Student Chosen as a Harvard-Amgen Scholar

Ailon Haileyesus.
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Ailon Haileyesus.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Ailon Haileyesus, a junior honors biomedical engineering major in the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas, has been named a 2015 Harvard-Amgen Scholar. The program will allow Haileyesus to spend the summer conducting in-depth research in the field of biotechnology at Harvard University.

“That Ailon Haileyesus has been chosen as a Harvard-Amgen speaks volumes about the caliber of our students and their partnerships with talented faculty.” said John English, Dean of the College of Engineering. “She is a terrific student who comes out of an ambitious program.”

The Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program is an intensive 10-week summer research program for undergraduate students studying biotechnology. Scholars work with faculty mentors and live in Harvard’s Summer Undergraduate Research Village community. In addition to performing research, Scholars also receive a stipend and attend the Amgen Scholars Symposium at UCLA with students participating in other Amgen programs around the country. The Amgen Foundation currently operates Amgen Scholars Programs at 17 of the top educational institutions in the United States, Europe, and Japan. 

“I am excited to experience different aspects of research and graduate work with students from around the country who have my same passion for discovering something new,” Haileyesus said. “My previous research and international exposures have been critical in motivating me to pursue this Amgen Program, where I will work on hands-on projects geared toward biomedical engineering and global health. Hopefully, this experience will give me a clearer perspective on what type of work I would like to pursue in the future that would make a significant global impact.”

Haileyesus is currently researching in the lab of Kartik Balachandran, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Arkansas. Her work focuses on the effects of traumatic brain injury-induced changes in humans. 

“Ailon greatly deserves this recognition; it will help her achieve her educational goals, and she will undoubtedly be an asset to the program,” said Balachandran. “She has demonstrated her skills as an excellent researcher, and I am convinced she will succeed in all her future aspirations.”

To learn more about opportunities like the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program, contact the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards at awards@uark.edu.


About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Ashok Saxena, chair
Biomedical Engineering
479-575-8610, asaxena@uark.edu

Kartik Balachandran, assistant professor
Biomedical Engineering
479-575-4667, kbalacha@uark.edu


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