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The Wistar Institute & Cheyney University Collaboration

Merging science and entrepreneurship to create value, jobs, and technologies for the future.

Launched in 2021, this innovative collaboration unites the nation’s first independent biomedical research institute and first historically Black college and university (HBCU), with the goal of expanding life science research education, training and business development opportunities in Pennsylvania.

Through this alliance, Cheyney University students participate in Wistar’s biomedical research and training curriculum and gain hands-on experience through laboratory courses and internships that can progress into Wistar’s registered apprenticeship program.


  • Biomedical Research Methods (BRM) course
    Cutting-edge biomedical research techniques with a special focus on cancer biology, using a project based on Wistar research from Dr. Maureen Murphy’s lab on African-centric variants of the p53 tumor suppressor gene.
    After completion of the BRM course, students will have opportunities to participate in summer research internships at Wistar.

  • Life Science Innovation (LSI) course
    Key concepts related to intellectual property, regulatory affairs, and commercialization prepare students for positions in the biotechnology industry.

As part of this alliance, Cheyney University also became a new member of the Philadelphia Research Consortium (PRC), through which Cheyney on-campus life science companies will be able to leverage the research and business communities coalesced around the PRC.

Cheyney will also have access to Wistar’s state-of the-art core facilities to advance innovative research and technologies.

Spotlighting Wistar’s Cheyney University Student Scientists

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania sophomores share how Wistar’s Biomedical Research Methods course teaches skills to investigate cancer biology.


The Wistar Institute gratefully acknowledges generous support for The Wistar Institute & Cheyney University Collaboration from: 

  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners
  • Gray Charitable Trust
  • The Hassel Foundation
  • Justamere Foundation
  • PTS Foundation
  • Rich and Lily Siegel
  • Anonymous