The Kim Family Fellowship in Williams Syndrome
Williams Syndrome (WS) affects one in every 7,500 people – hundreds of thousands of children and adults across the world. WS is caused by a microdeletion in chromosome 7q11.23 leading to monoallelic loss of 25-27 genes that results in a multisystem disorder including, but not limited to, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurodevelopmental, behavioral, and craniofacial phenotypes. Given the complex needs of individuals with WS, it is essential to train the next generation of clinicians and researchers who are passionate about addressing the many unmet clinical care challenges and the unanswered research questions in WS.
To ensure there is a steady pipeline of talented experts who are passionate about pursuing careers dedicated to WS, the Kim Family Fellowship in WS was established. The Kim Family Fellowship in WS is a one-year clinical and research fellowship program within the Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome at Penn and CHOP that supports individuals interested in pursuing specialized training and careers in the WS field. At the Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome, we employ an interdisciplinary approach to provide comprehensive care across the lifespan in order to improve the quality of life and outcomes of the WS community. More specifically, the Armellino Center will provide multidisciplinary care, support, and services to individuals and families living with Williams syndrome, addressing not only medical needs, but also the physiological, executive function, behavioral, psychological, and social complexities of this syndrome.
The Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome at Penn and CHOP is becoming the destination for high-quality WS clinical care across the age spectrum and cutting-edge translational and therapeutic research. Thus, this fellowship will afford the trainee the unique opportunity to further his/her training at an epicenter of WS expertise. The Kim Family Fellow will be directly mentored by the Center’s leadership team and senior faculty, and he/she will be an integral member of the highly active community of clinicians and researchers devoted to WS clinical care and research. This program will provide a unique cross-disciplinary training experience in collaborative clinical care and science. The program will also provide access to a wide range of professional development activities to further develop the Fellow’s clinical, educational, and leadership skills in the field of Williams syndrome.
Who should apply
Candidates should have a significant long-term interest in WS research and/or care that aligns with the Center’s vision to improve the lives of all people with Williams syndrome and their families across the lifespan. Our mission is to build a model for comprehensive care, research, and education that fully supports the needs of all people with Williams Syndrome (WS) and their families by providing expanded and integrated clinical services, leading research into a better understanding of WS across the lifespan, developing new approaches to treatment and prevention, training the next generation of WS experts, offering educational resources for the WS community, and increasing awareness of the spectrum of lived experiences of families living with WS. The purpose of this fellowship is to offer advanced training – clinical, research, and teaching opportunities – in the field of Williams syndrome to enable Kim Family Fellows to become field-leading clinicians and/or scientists in WS with independent and novel clinical and/or research programs.
Given the complex constellation and continuum of needs for the WS population, this fellowship is open to candidates from diverse backgrounds including, but not limited to, MDs, DOs, MD/PhDs, DO/PhDs, PsyDs, PhDs, EdDs, nurse practitioners, and genetic counselors in any clinical or research field related to WS.
Fellows are to be based in the Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome and should expect to spend at least part of their time in-person in Philadelphia. Current and past Fellows are expected to participate in an annual Williams syndrome symposium and will prepare biannual progress reports describing the clinical activities, initiatives, and/or research conducted, how it impacted their career trajectory, and what their plans are for the future.
Interested applicants should prepare and submit the following by April 14, 2023:
- Personal statement describing your clinical and/or research background and interest in the Kim Family Fellowship in WS.
- Proposed fellowship activities and/or research projects, including desired mentorship and training. The purpose of this document is to provide insight into the applicant’s interests and ability to articulate a vision and plan for clinical activities, initiatives, and/or research. The Fellow’s clinical training program and/or research project are to be determined largely by the individual candidate and his/her interest within the broad field of Williams syndrome research and care.
- Curriculum vitae
- Three letters of recommendation speaking directly to the candidate’s potential.
The application review, interview, and selection processes will commence after the April 14th deadline. One Kim Family Fellow in WS will be selected per year for a one-year fellowship at the Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome. The inaugural fellow be named in the Spring of 2023 with a start date of Summer/Fall 2023.