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Fox Biomedical Research Technician Apprenticeship

The Wistar Institute’s Fox Biomedical Research Technician (BRT) Apprenticeship is the first-ever registered, nontraditional apprenticeship program for biomedical research ratified by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

The Fox BRT Apprenticeship offers apprentices a career pathway to becoming biomedical research technicians in a research laboratory environment. Through advanced training they acquire skill sets to facilitate experimental procedures, manage a laboratory and monitor lab safety, conduct data analysis on experiments, and other highly-skilled techniques with the goal of supporting a lead scientist and staff in the laboratory to advance scientific hypotheses and outcomes. This apprenticeship model successfully creates cross-boundary collaborations between industry, academia and research institutes, offers in-depth training and education while providing students a wage, and gives trainees the skillsets sought after by the life sciences industry.

The apprenticeship is an extension of The Wistar Institute’s Biomedical Technician Training (BTT) Program, created close to 20 years ago by William Wunner, Ph.D., as a partnership with the Community College of Philadelphia. Successful completion of the BTT program at The Wistar Institute is a pre-requisite of the apprenticeship program.


Yaya Dia, a former apprentice at Wistar, was featured on 6ABC to discuss his non-traditional journey to science and contributions to a COVID-19 vaccine being co-developed by Wistar:

On May 11, 2017, the Fox BRT Apprenticeship Program was approved by the Council on Apprenticeship Standards for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

From left to right: James Chiarchiaro (Program Coordinator, Keystone Development Partnership), Mark Genua (Apprenticeship Program Director, Philadelphia Works), Anita Pepper, Ph.D. (Vice President of Institutional Advancement, The Wistar Institute), Jessica Appleton (Outreach and Education Program Analyst, The Wistar Institute), William Wunner, Ph.D. (Director of Academic Affairs, The Wistar Institute), Michael Schurr (Education Director, Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region, and Chairman, Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Council), Joseph Welsh, Esq. (CRD Associates), Eric Ramsay (Director of the Apprenticeship and Training Office, Pennsylvania Department of Labor)

Contact Us

For more information on the Fox Biomedical Research Technician Apprenticeship, please contact:

Kristy Shuda McGuire, Ph.D.
Dean, Biomedical Studies
Associate Professor, Molecular & Cellular Oncogenesis Program, Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center
The Wistar Institute
3601 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Opening the Doors to New Opportunity

In this video, students in Wistar’s BTT and Fox BRT Programs discuss how the skills taught in Wistar’s labs prepare them for a rewarding career in biomedical sciences.


The Wistar Institute gratefully acknowledges generous support for the Fox Biomedical Research Technician Apprenticeship from:

The Fox Family