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The Wistar Institute

Our Mission

The mission of The Wistar Institute is to marshal the talents of outstanding scientists through a highly enabled culture of biomedical collaboration and innovation, in order to solve some of the world’s most challenging and important problems in the field of cancer, immunology, and infectious diseases, and produce groundbreaking advances in world health. Consistent with a pioneering legacy of leadership in not-for-profit biomedical research and a track record of life-saving contributions in immunology and cell biology, The Wistar Institute aims to pursue novel and courageous research paths to life science discovery, and to accelerate/potentiate the impact of those discoveries by shortening the path from bench to bedside.

Today’s Discoveries. Tomorrow’s Cures.

Wistar discoveries include significant research technologies and tools contributing to such lifesaving global health advances as:

  • The generation of a rubella virus strain and rabies virus strain that generated numerous vaccines worldwide
  • The identification of genes associated with different types of cancer
  • The engineering of novel DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies targeting Zika and Zaire ebolavirus and a novel delivery approach for COVID-19
  • Pioneering leadership in one of the world’s most ambitious HIV cure initiatives

“Wistar’s single-minded focus is on making discoveries that will change the future of human health. Our distinctive way of doing science is to harness the creativity of some of the world’s leading experts and foster their collaboration to generate basic discoveries that can be translated into creative solutions to the global health challenges of our time.”

Dario Altieri, M.D.

  • President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Director, Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center
  • Robert and Penny Fox Distinguished Professor, Immunology, Microenvironment & Metastasis Program


Advancing a well-trained, sustainable life science workforce

As the oldest, independent, biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar is committed to educating the next generation of scientists and creating a diverse and inclusive pipeline for a well-trained, sustainable life science workforce. Under the guidance of top faculty-mentors in collaboration with industry experts, Wistar trainees flourish in distinct programs designed for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as pre-apprentices, apprentices, and postdoctoral fellows. It is all part of Wistar’s commitment to teach sought-after biomedical skills and prepare the next generation of scientific leaders in the biomedical, biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to gain critical knowledge leading to new ways to diagnose and treat illness.

Research. Discoveries. Breakthroughs.
At Wistar, we are changing the future of human health.

Wistar First and Forward

  • First independent biomedical research institute in the United States (founded 1892)
  • First NCI-designated Basic Cancer Center (with continued recognition and support since 1971)
  • Among the nation’s top 3 drivers of innovation, research and tech transfer (Heartland Forward)
  • In the top percentiles globally for both innovation and research among leading academic and research-related institutions (SCImago Institutions Rankings).