Training the Next Generation of Researchers

Training the next generation of researchers at CNDR

The Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR) places high importance on training the next generation of researchers in neurodegenerative disease research. A general training program, supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is available, as well as a training program that focuses on drug discovery.

NIA-Funded Training Program

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
"Training in Age Related Neurodegenerative Diseases"
Program Director: Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ph.D.

The Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR) is the home base and administrative office of a T32 Training Grant funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health to support a training program on age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

The program mentors and educates young investigators to conduct research in age-related neurodegenerative diseases with a goal of supporting trainees as they develop into independent investigators in studies on the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, frontotemporal dementias, motor neuron disease and related disorders.

The trainees are: (a) pre-doctoral Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students who will be pursuing thesis research in age-related neurodegenerative diseases; (b) Scientists, physicians or veterinarians who have completed a Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M., M.D.-Ph.D. or D.V.M.-Ph.D. and wish to pursue a postdoctoral research fellowship in age related neurodegenerative diseases. Trainees are given a solid background in basic and translational neuroscience as well as related disciplines in preparation for a career in research on neurodegenerative diseases as an independent investigator.

This is a NIA research training program that provides training and experience with many diverse techniques, methods and approaches to investigate basic and translational questions on age-related neurodegenerative diseases in the setting of a research intense academic medical center and university with a highly interactive group of trainers. Notably, Penn has an extensive didactic program in the neurosciences, pharmacology and other basic and translational disciplines focused on aging and the nervous system that can be individually tailored to the needs of each trainee as a supplement to the core research training provide by CNDR and the trainers in this T32.

Each trainee will undertake an independent project that will provide experience in the design and analysis of their experiments, and in the presentation and publication of the results they obtain from their studies. Other than weekly journal club, students, postdocs and staff members attend biweekly focus group meetings and present their work in informal lab meetings. The annual CNDR Retreat (The Marian S. Ware Research Retreat) provides trainees with opportunities to hone their skills in making scientific presentations in a public but highly supportive scientific forum at Penn. Pre-doctoral students are enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Neuroscience, Pharmacological Sciences, Cell and Molecular Biology, or Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and they progress through a thorough graduate level program prior to undertaking a thesis project.

Primary Trainers:

Abel, Ted (Biology)
Arnold, Steven (Psychiatry/Neurology)
Axelson, Paul (Pharmacology)
Bonini, Nancy (Biology)
Brunden, Kurt (Pathology & Drug Discovery)
Foskett, Kevin (Physiology)
Giasson, Benoit (Pharmacology)
Gitler, Aaron (Cell & Developmental Biology)
Grossman, Murray (Neurology)
Holzbaur, Erika (Physiology)
Ischiropoulos, Harry (Biochemistry/Biophysics)
Jordan-Sciutto, Kelly (Pathology/Dental)
Karlawish, Jason (Geriatrics)
Klein, Peter (Medicine/Hematology/Oncology)
Pittman, Randall (Pharmacology)
Scherer, Steve (Neurology)
Sehgal, Amita (Neuroscience)
Shorter, James (Biochemistry/Biophysics)
Trojanowski, John Q. (Pathology and Lab Medicine)

Interested Candidates

Interested candidates should send curriculum vitae and three letters of reference to:

Kevin Davies
Administrative Coordinator
Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
3 Maloney
3600 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 662-4474

Post-Doctoral Fellows in the Drug Discovery Program

The Drug Discovery program within the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR) at the University of Pennsylvania is presently seeking post-doctoral candidates interested in translational research directed to the identification of new drug targets and drug candidates for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The Drug Discovery program at CNDR is an academic “biotech-like” enterprise in which biologists, pharmacologists and chemists work jointly to translate basic research discoveries from CNDR into drug discovery opportunities. We are presently looking for post-doctoral candidates with a Ph.D. degree in pharmacology, biochemistry, neuroscience or a related specialty who will assist in the identification of novel drug targets or in the development of potential drug candidates, utilizing unique cellular and transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Preferred candidates will have prior research experience in cell culture, molecular biology, protein biochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and a willingness to work with mouse models of disease.

The CNDR Drug Discovery program provides a vigorous and highly collaborative research environment in which post-doctoral fellows will participate in team-based projects and will be exposed to the drug discovery and development process. Moreover, the successful candidates will also participate and be exposed to other ongoing CNDR activities, including regular seminar series and interactive journal clubs.

Applicants should submit their CV and a cover letter describing their research experience and interests to:

Dr. Kurt R. Brunden
c/o Ms. Cyndi MacLeon, Administrative Coordinator
Director, CNDR Drug Discovery
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
3600 Spruce St., Maloney 3
Philadelphia, PA  19104