ABE 30th Anniversary
ABE 30th Anniversary
ABE 30th Anniversary

ABE 30th Anniversary

A Global Evolution

In 2020, the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) is celebrating its 30th anniversary — reflecting on the past, present, and future of this innovative program to bring hands-on biotechnology to high school students.

In 1990, leaders of Amgen set out to help teach high school students in their community about biotechnology. Using the latest tools and science, they created ABE.

Over 30 years, more than 3,600 science educators have participated in ABE, inspiring more than 850,000 students across 13 countries. With the power of the free virtual lab experiences available on LabXchange, the impact of ABE continues to grow. Students and teachers now have more access to biotechnology than ever before.

From Humble Origins

In 1990, Amgen scientist Bruce Wallace set out to help teach high school students in their community about biotechnology. Using the latest tools and science and with help from high school teacher Hugh Nelson, Amgen scientist Rick Jacobsen, and biology professor Marty Ikkanda, he created ABE. Although it began in just one school in California, it has now grown to schools across 8 sites across the United States and 12 other countries globally. The program continues to evolve and adapt to meet the growing and changing demand for high-quality scientific lab experiences for high school students around the world.

ABE has led to careers in the sciences, medical discoveries we benefit from today, new perceptions of biotechnology, and countless other outcomes we cannot yet imagine.

Then to Now

Our Then to Now video series reflects on how much the field of biotechnology and the ABE program have changed over the past 30 years.

Celebrating our Teachers and Students

In 2019, Hugh Nelson, the first-ever Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) teacher who helped to develop the program, had a surprise reunion with two of his former students, Kim Barbato and Michele Suleiman, who are both now at Amgen. He is but one of hundreds of ABE teachers who has inspired countless students to pursue the sciences and to grow in their appreciation of STEM. From our original cohort of teachers in the 1990s to our newest teachers at new sites, ABE educators have inspired a new generation of scientists who will undoubtedly lead to new discoveries in medicine, public health, and research and to science-literate citizens who will lead our society into the next three decades. Our teachers continue to evolve their teaching strategies to stay current with the science while connecting students with potential career paths and meeting the needs of modern learning.

The Faces of ABE

Without the people in these pictures—just a sampling of all of our ABE students, teachers, and the staff at our ABE program sites around the globe—ABE could not be the exemplary, innovative program that it is.

  • ABE Singapore
  • ABE Italy
  • ABE Hong Kong
  • ABE Massachusetts
  • ABE United Kingdom
  • ABE Los Angeles
  • ABE All Site and Program Office Staff
  • ABE San Francisco
  • ABE Ireland
  • ABE France
  • ABE San Francisco
  • ABE United Kingdom
  • ABE Massachusetts
  • ABE Italy
  • ABE United Kingdom
  • ABE Washington State
  • ABE Ireland
  • ABE Massachusetts
  • ABE Italy
  • ABE United Kingdom
  • ABE Hong Kong
  • ABE Germany
  • ABE United Kingdom
  • ABE Ireland
  • ABE Massachusetts

Looking to the Future

Even as COVID-19 continues to challenge our global educational systems, ABE continues to provide biotech to students everywhere. In 2020, we are expanding to two new sites in Japan and Turkey, and we are further integrating LabXchange as a virtual science learning tool. We also are working to provide greater equity across our sites through a systemic global survey to understand regional needs. We look forward to another 30 years of inspiring and educating young people everywhere! Biotechnology is for everyone, everywhere ...

#SCIENCEMADEPOSSIBLE

Total Student Participation
~850k
Teacher Participation for 2019-20 School Year
1,120