Appointment of Maja Bucan, PhD, as Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Research Training and Director of BPP


I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Maja Bucan as Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Research Training and Director of Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs (BPP) at the University of Pennsylvania, effective July 1, 2019.  At that time, she will succeed Susan Weiss, PhD, who contributed nine years of incredible leadership.

Dr. Bucan is a Professor of Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine, who began her career at Penn in 1990.  She also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry.  Dr. Bucan received her PhD from Belgrade University and completed her postdoctoral research fellowships in the Genome Analysis Laboratory Imperial Cancer Fund in London, as well as at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia.  Her work focuses on understanding the genetic basis of complex psychiatric and neuropsychiatric disorders and includes experimental studies in model organisms as well as human genetics studies. She is the author of more than 100 scientific papers. This breath of knowledge in science and the collaborative nature of her work provide important attributes in her interactions wih students, trainees, and postdocs. 

In addition to her research and teaching, Dr. Bucan also serves a number of leadership roles, including Co-Director of the recently established Autism Spectrum Program of Excellence. For many years, Dr. Bucan served on the Steering Committee for the Autism Genetics Research Exchange, the first large collection of genomic and phenotype data for Autism Spectrum Disorders families. She is also a founding member of the Center for Autism Research at Penn and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Dr. Bucan has served as the President of the International Mouse Genome Society and as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Mental Health.

With a strong commitment to pre- and post-doctoral training, mentorship and diversity recruitment, Dr. Bucan co-founded the graduate group for Genomics and Computational Biology, which she also chaired from 2008-2015.  She will oversee all aspects of biomedical postdoctoral programs within the School, as well as build upon collaborations across campus.  

At this time, we thank Dr. Weiss for her many years of service in this role and for graciously remaining as BPP director until the end of the academic year to ensure a seamless transition for our postdoctoral research training community.

We are delighted that Dr. Bucan has agreed to offer her thoughtful and enthusiastic leadership as Director of the Office of Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs.  Please join me in congratulating Dr. Bucan on this appointment.

Jon Epstein, MD