Welcome to the (draft) website for Penn's new postdoctoral fellowship training program in translational research in neurobiology of disease. This training program is supported by a grant from NIH which we received in fall, 2006. If you are a clinician interested in a career as a physician-scientist, please read on. And feel free to contact us for more information. Click HERE to download a copy of the Program brochure (pdf).Highlights of our Program
- Candidates are MDs or MD-PhDs who have finished clinical training in any clinical neuroscience specialty and desire to pursue academic careers as physician-scientists in laboratory-based translational research in the neurobiology of disease
- Trainees will engage in mentored, laboratory-based research and targeted career development activities.
- Two experienced faculty mentors will guide each trainee's research development. Mentors will be matched with trainees to offer complementary expertise, in terms of basic research and clinical experience. Each trainee will receive individualized mentoring and instruction in areas including experimental design, data interpretation, and specific investigative techniques.
- Trainee research will focus broadly on neural injury, neurodegeneration and neuroprotection for acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, motor neuron diseases, status epilepticus, retinal degeneration, depression, behavioral disorders and autism. Projects will be directed toward understanding the genetic, molecular and /or cellular pathophysiology and the development of strategies for prevention, treatment, or cure.
At Penn you can be sure to get the training you need to succeed as an independent physician-scientist in translational research in neurobiology of disease
We designed our fellowship training Program specifically to lower the hurdles that you as an aspiring clinician-scientist face as you attempt to navigate a difficult career path: you will be able to devote full effort to research while receiving a salary, and you will be mentored closely by two experienced faculty. Because you can be accepted into the Program well before your clinical training ends, you can begin to prepare early for your career as a physician-scientist. Your mentors and the Steering Committee will make every effort to help you network with others in the field and form collaborations. You will be immersed in a research culture where senior and junior faculty, fellows, postdocs and students regularly interact and where state-of-the-art techniques are readily available. Your mentors will help you to develop an independent research project that you will take with you when you transition to independent funding. Your mentors and the Program staff will help you write for your first independent funding award.
We hope you will consider coming to Philadelphia and spending some time with us at Penn.As a trainee, you can expect to
- Devote full professional effort the Program; most will be spent in laboratory research, with up to ~ 20% in clinical activities
- Have access to a minimum of 22 laboratories within the core group of trainers
- Collaborate with at least two groups engaged in complementary research
- Receive didactic training in neurobiology of disease
- Attend special workshops on current topics in translational research, including: clinical trials design and conduct; how the pharmaceutical industry acquires and develops new therapeutic agents from academic centers; interaction with regulatory bodies; ethical and regulatory components of human research; practical aspects of new drug, or treatment/device, development; animal models of neurodegenerative diseases; proof-of-principal clinical trials
- Learn effective writing and presentation skills
- Learn how to obtain independent funding and how to develop and run a successful laboratory
- Attend a special "TRNBD" journal club and become skilled at interpreting and critiquing the primary literature
- Network with senior faculty active in translational research in neurobiology of disease and with others new to the field
Which Penn faculty serve as mentors?
The core faculty in the Program represent 9 departments at Penn; training in other Penn laboratories is possible. Please see the list below.
How long will I spend in the Program?
The expected duration is 2 years; you may stay longer, or shorter, if circumstances warrant.
How will my time in the Program be spent?
The vast majority of your time will be spent in laboratory research. You also will attend didactic trainings in neurobiology of disease and translational research. And professional development workshops will give you the skills you need to write well, communicate your results, obtain funding, and manage a lab. You also may perform clinical duties for up to 20% time.
Will I get paid? Yes. You will receive the NIH-level postdoctoral stipend commensurate with your experience. Your clinical department also may provide additional compensation for your clinical work.
Can I still see patients during my training?
Yes. You likely will spend ~1 day per week in clinical activities (this is somewhat flexible); this will help you maintain your clinical skills while gaining insights that you can use to generate interesting hypotheses to fuel your research program.
What hospitals are you affiliated with?
Our training program is affiliated with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Who can apply?
MDs and MD-PhDs (or equivalent) who are within 2 years of finishing their clinical training in any clinical neuroscience specialty can apply. US citizens, non-citizens nationals, permanent residents. Less than 1 yr as an NRSA trainee when beginning the Program.
We strongly encourage applications from under-represented minorities.
When can I apply?
As early as 2 years before you finish your clinical training (i.e. residency or fellowship). We prefer that you apply early so you can begin to plan for the Program and your career.
What are the criteria for selection?
We are looking for clinicians who show exceptional promise as independent physician-scientists in translational research in neurobiology of disease. Selection criteria include: motivation to pursue an academic career in translational research in neurobiology of disease clarity of career objectives letters of recommendation prior research experience performance in clinical training publication record.
What is the application procedure?
Look at the list of Penn faculty who are affiliated with our program and figure out who you would like to work with. (Please note that training in other Penn labs is possible, so feel free to contact any faculty member who you feel can help train you in laboratory-based translational research in neurobiology of disease.) Contact that faculty member, or members, to discuss a position in their lab as part of the training program. Send your CV, career statement, summary of research experience and 2 letters of recommendation (from clinical and/or research mentors) to Dr. Locke. The potential Penn mentor also will contact us and let us know that you are a candidate for the program. We will be able to let you know within a month or two whether you have been accepted into the program. If you are accepted, you and your mentors together will develop a written research proposal describing the work you will undertake while in the Program. Your written research proposal must be completed and approved by the Steering Committee before you can begin as a trainee.
representing the departments of Neurology, Neuroscience, Neurosurgery, Emergency Medicine, Ophthalmology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Psychiatry, Pulmonary Medicine.
Training in other Penn labs and departments is possible.
Marc Dichter, MD, PhD; Steven Arnold, MD; Rita Balice-Gordon, PhD; Jean Bennett, MD, PhD; Wade Berrettini, MD, PhD; Amy Brooks-Kayal, MD; Maja Bucan, PhD; Edward Cooper, MD, PhD; Peter Crino, MD, PhD; John Duda, MD; Joshua Dunaief, MD, PhD; Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, MD; Joel Greenberg, PhD; Hakon Hakonarson, MD; Robert Kalb, MD; Dennis Kolson, MD, PhD; Virginia M-Y Lee, PhD; David Lynch, MD, PhD; David Meaney, PhD; Robert Neumar, MD, PhD; Steven Scherer, MD, PhD; John Trojanowski, MD, PhD; Frank Welsh, PhD.
Marc A. Dichter, MD, PhD
dichter at mail med upenn edu; 215-349-5166
Robert Neumar, MD, PhD; David Lynch, MD, PhD; Peter Crino, MD, PhD
Rachel E. Locke, PhD
rlocke at mail med upenn edu; 215-898-3130
We look forward to hearing from you!