Biomedical Technician Training Program
The Biomedical Technician Training (BTT) Program, jointly developed by The Wistar Institute and Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), is designed to prepare community college students for new career opportunities as research assistants and technicians. The program combines academic course work at CCP with specialized training in research laboratories at The Wistar Institute and other affiliated research institutes. This dual experience offers students seeking an associate's degree the opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to qualify for positions as technicians in biomedical research laboratories at academic institutions and at biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. These positions are traditionally held by graduates of four-year baccalaureate programs.
Since 2000, the BTT Program has been preparing CCP students for an exciting career in the growing field of basic and applied biomedical research. The BTT Program provides CCP students with the opportunity to gain the technical skills and academic training needed to assume and succeed in entry-level research positions. BTT graduates have been placed for training and jobs in a variety of academic research settings and at biomedical, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical companies in the Philadelphia region such as:
- University of Pennsylvania
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Drexel University
- University of the Sciences
- Thomas Jefferson University
- University City Science Center
- Integral Molecular, Inc.
- Invisible Sentinel, Inc.
- Affiliated biomedical or pharmaceutical companies
The Classroom Component
CCP students take a cluster of courses within the Culture, Science, and Technology (CST), Science or Biology curricula, or Applied Science and Engineering Technology (ASET) curriculum as part of the Biomedical Technician Training Program. The CST curriculum leads to an Associate in Arts degree with a solid foundation in science and health professional courses, while the Science and Biology curricula both lead to Associate in Science degrees with solid foundations in biology, chemistry, and mathematics, and the ASET curriculum leads to an Associate in Applied Sciences degree.
The Laboratory Component
Summer I (Research Training): The laboratory skills training component takes place in the summer immediately following the first year of classes at the College. On Fridays only, students take part in a 7-week Laboratory Orientation at The Wistar Institute. Following the Orientation, the students enroll in BTT101 and participate in a 7-week full-time Laboratory Practicum divided into two 3.5-week lab experiences.
Summer II (Team-building Research Experience): After the second year of classes at CCP, students return to The Wistar Institute and affiliated biomedical research institutes and companies for a 12-week full-time Internship.
Throughout the core training, students are treated and paid as employees. They become essential members of the lab team as they continue to master their professional skills and contribute to the goals of the laboratory.
An Introduction to the Biomedical Technician Training Program at The Wistar Institute
In this video, directors and students associated with the program talk about what it's like, how it's structured, and how the skills taught in this program prepare students for a career in medicine and the sciences.
Students are required to take CCP's placement tests. Students who are identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as a part of their degree program.
Applicants for this program must first be registered for a minimum of six course credits per semester at CCP.
Applicants must successfully complete the following courses: English Composition (ENG 101), Applied Computer Technology (CIS 103), College Chemistry (CHEM 121), and Principles of Biology/Cell & Molecular (BIOL 123).
Information sessions will be held at the College during the fall and spring semesters. After attending an information session, students will have the opportunity to apply to the program.
Admission to the program is during spring semester and is based on academic record, interview, and faculty recommendation.
CCP students interested in the Biomedical Technician Training Program should contact:
Kristy Shuda McGuire, M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biology
Academic Coordinator, Biomedical Technician Training (BTT) Program
Community College of Philadelphia
Division of Math, Science, and Health Careers at 215-751-8430
For more information about the BTT Program at The Wistar Institute and requirements for participation, contact:
William H. Wunner, Ph.D.
Director, Academic Affairs
Director of Outreach Education and Technology Training
The Wistar Institute
"There's no other institution that does a program of this magnitude with a focus on biomedical discovery research."
William Wunner, Ph.D.
Director, Outreach and Technology Training
Director, Academic Affairs
The Wistar Institute gratefully acknowledges generous support for the Biomedical Technician Training Program from the Connelly Foundation, Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, The Anne M. and Philip H. Glatfelter, III Family Foundation, The Gray Charitable Trust, The Hassel Foundation, Janssen Biotech, Inc., Morphotek, Inc., the National Cancer Institute (NIH), and The Scholler Foundation.