Angie Olson, a student in the Biology of Aging discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program, has been accepted into the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) 2020 Washington Fellows Program.
The mission of the ASPET Washington Fellows Program is to enable developing and early career scientists interested in science policy to learn about and become more engaged in public policy issues.
According to the ASPET website, fellows will develop an understanding of how public policy decisions made in Washington, D.C. help shape and impact science policy, such as funding for the National Institutes of Health and other science agencies. Fellows will also learn how to advocate effectively on Capitol Hill and in their home districts.
Olson is a graduate student in Dr. Veronica Galvan’s lab where she is working on research related to Alzheimer’s Disease at The Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies.
“My background in healthcare has motivated me to have a dedication to the advancement of healthcare-related policy. I feel that it is imperative that the broken healthcare system be repaired, from the side of healthcare recipients, to the doctors and technical experts, to the NIH funded scientists who develop breakthroughs in scientific health.”
She explained that it is critical to push legislators to understand the importance of scientific discovery and properly fund branches of the government which can pursue the advancement of health sciences.
“The NIH resources for scientists is underfunded, driving highly qualified scientists away from academic scientific research and leaving others struggling due to a lack of funding,” she said. “Finding treatments and cures for diseases especially age-related diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and frailty, will ameliorate the financial burden on the healthcare system at large and having access to these resources will be the key to preventing an upcoming crisis as baby boomers progress into retirement.”
Olson has had a long history of being actively involved in honors and healthcare-related organizations. She was the secretary of the honors society Phi Theta Kappa, as well as a member of the Dr. Bernard Harris Premed Society and the Double T Health service corps. She also was the vice president of the Tech Young Progressives, a student organization at Texas Tech University, where she worked to drive progressive policies on campus.
“As a young scientist, I feel it is exceedingly important to advance scientific thought in our communities and promote federal research at the federal level.”