Helios Education Foundation Invests $6.5 Million in New Partnership with TGen Partnership Extends Funding for Bioscience Summer Internship Program Over

the Next 25 Years

    PHOENIX, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Helios Education Foundation today
 awarded $6.5 million to the Translational Genomics Research Institute
 (TGen) as part of a new partnership that extends the Helios Scholars
 Program at TGen for the next 25 years. The program helps cultivate new
 scientific and technical talent across the state of Arizona.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080129/CLTU087 )
     "Helios Education Foundation's commitment to develop a long term
 partnership with TGen for student training is an incredible boost for
 Arizona's future in the biosciences," Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano
 said. "Arizona is poised to become a world leader in cutting-edge medical
 education and health care, but only if we provide the necessary training
 and mentorship. These types of public-private partnerships hold the key to
 what must be the central goal of an Arizona education: giving our students
 the skills they need to succeed in the high-tech, high-knowledge world of
 the 21st century."
     The Helios Scholars Program at TGen is an annual summer internship
 program for 45 high school, undergraduate and graduate students in Arizona.
 Interns receive a stipend, are paired with a TGen scientist/mentor and are
 actively engaged in research projects in disorders as diverse as cancer,
 diabetes, autism and Alzheimer's disease. The eight-week program supports
 students from all backgrounds in their efforts to develop foundational
 skills as they pursue careers in science or medical-related fields.
     "Creating opportunities in education that have math and science at
 their core is very important to Helios Education Foundation," said the
 Foundation's Chairman Vince Roig. "We are excited to invest $6.5 million in
 this innovative and unique program at TGen because it opens new doors into
 the world of the biosciences for Arizona students. We're even more excited
 to be investing in a long-term partnership that will impact the future
 growth and development of the sciences in Arizona."
     Helios Education Foundation provided funding for TGen's 2007 summer
 internship program, which included a stipend for students. This led to a
 sizable increase in the number of qualified student applications from
 around the State. The $6.5 million endowment enables TGen to extend its
 competitive internship program for 25 years and provide a stipend and other
 support for students. The Helios Scholars Program at TGen also encourages
 student diversity, with upwards of 20 percent of the interns coming from
 underrepresented populations.
     "We are excited to continue and expand our partnership with the Helios
 Education Foundation," said TGen president, Dr. Jeffrey Trent. "Our shared
 commitment to training the next generation of researchers provides an
 unparalleled opportunity for Arizona and those students seeking hands-on
 training to augment their classroom experience. For many of these students,
 this experience will prove to be a defining moment in focusing their career
 choices across the biosciences."
     Applications are now available on-line at the TGen website:
 http://www.tgen.org/education . Interns must be a resident of Arizona or a
 full-time student at an Arizona-based high school, accredited college or
 university. The application deadline is March 14. Attributes that
 investigators consider in selecting students include a strong desire to
 conduct independent research, interests, academic achievement, curiosity,
 ambition, and aptitude for working independently and with a team. The
 application process is competitive, but many different backgrounds and
 abilities are represented among the students selected.
     In addition to the stipends, Helios Education Foundation and TGen
 recognize each student as a Helios Scholar. The endowment also funds an
 end- of-the-summer symposium where students present their work to their
 peers, TGen staff, family and guests. Additionally, the endowment provides
 six merit-based scholarships and supports several extra curricular
 activities to encourage student interaction and learning.
     TGen's past summer interns boast an array of impressive
 accomplishments, including publishing scientific abstracts and
 peer-reviewed articles, gaining acceptance into medical and graduate school
 and winning scholarships and prizes. In 2005, TGen interns Albert Shieh and
 Anne Lee took first place in the team category at the 2005-2006 Siemens
 Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology. The interns split
 a $100,000 scholarship.
     About Helios Education Foundation
     Helios Education Foundation is the largest nonprofit organization
 serving Arizona and Florida focused solely on education. The Foundation's
 endowment is in excess of $600 million. Helios Education Foundation is
 dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals in Arizona and Florida by
 creating opportunities for success in postsecondary education. The
 Foundation's community investments are made across three impact areas:
 Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years (grades 5-12) and
 Postsecondary Education. Since inception in 2004, Helios Education
 Foundation has invested nearly $42 million into education-related programs
 and initiatives in both states. For more information, visit the Foundation
 online at www.helios.org.
     About TGen
     The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a non-profit
 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the performance of groundbreaking
 research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on
 developing earlier diagnostics and smarter treatments for diseases such as
 cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of
 translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic
 components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in
 the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a
 substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the
 translational process. TGen's vision is of a world where an understanding
 of genomic variation can be rapidly translated to the diagnosis and
 treatment of disease in a manner tailored to individual patients. For more
 information, visit TGen online at www.tgen.org.

SOURCE Helios Education Foundation

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