The weekly lectures covered many topics that were not discussed in any of my undergraduate biology classes, these lectures contributed significantly to my understanding of my individual research project and my understanding of cancer and radiation biology as a whole.

Joe Benci – SUPERS 2010, 2011
Cell Biology Graduate Group, Univ. of Pennsylvania

Laboratory Research

Individual hypothesis-driven research is the core component of the SUPERS program. Accepted students will perform meaningful research under the direct guidance of their faculty mentor. Students will be expected to: Gain a functional understanding of the hypothesis behind their individual project. Learn and perfect the skills and techniques needed to carry out experiments. Analyze and process data collected in the laboratory for presentation to their; mentor, laboratory and their program peers. As testament to the quality of the research done by past SUPERS students, is the ever growing list of peer reviewed publications which list at least one of our alumni as coauthor.


Tri-weekly lectures on the principles of cancer cell biology, tumor physiology, radiation biology and physics and radiologic imaging are part of the program. The primary goal of these lectures is to build a foundation for students to understand how their research project fits into the broader picture.

Journal Clubs

Keeping up with the scientific literature is essential for all research scientist. In journal club, timely and relevant journal articles are dissected and discussed. Journal Club is student led, to promote confidence in the ability to comprehend seemingly complex scientific papers.


Students are given two opportunities to present their project to their peers and other members of the research community. First, students present their hypothesis, background information and research plan at mid-summer chalk talks. Second students present twenty minute power point presentations, focused on results and conclusions of their work, at a day long end of summer retreat.


Students are housed communally in one of the on Dormitories on Penn’s campus. Each dormitory suite contains four single rooms connected around a shared kitchen and living area. The Dormitories are located approximately 5 minutes, by foot, from the Departments research laboratories. Students are responsible for their own meals. The SUPERS program hosts a variety of social activities over the course of the summer in which students are encouraged to participate.

The 2015 Application Deadline is 5PM EST February, 1st.
The program begins June 1rd
and will end August 7th, 2014.

While enrolled as a SUPERS student, you will spend the summer in Philadelphia and get to explore the city and even have some non-science related fun!