Research Fellowships
for Clinicians
In Translational Research in Neurobiology of Disease
Univ. of Pennsylvania

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).

Jump down this page to: What Trainees Can Expect | FAQ | Applying

Highlights of our Program

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. sun 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. sun Your mentors and the Steering Committee will make every effort to help you network with others in the field and form collaborations. sun 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. sun Your mentors will help you to develop an independent research project that you will take with you when you transition to independent funding. sun 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 FAQ's

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.

Applying to our program

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: sun motivation to pursue an academic career in translational research in neurobiology of disease sun clarity of career objectives sun letters of recommendation sun prior research experience sun performance in clinical training sun 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.

Program Faculty, 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.

Program Leadership
Program Director
Marc A. Dichter, MD, PhD
dichter at mail med upenn edu; 215-349-5166

Steering Committee
Robert Neumar, MD, PhD; David Lynch, MD, PhD; Peter Crino, MD, PhD

Program Coordinator
Rachel E. Locke, PhD
rlocke at mail med upenn edu; 215-898-3130

We look forward to hearing from you!