Biomedical Careers Program Wins Enterprise Award

Biomedical Careers Program Wins Enterprise Award

December 3, 2002

(PHILADELPHIA-December 4, 2002) - The Wistar Institute won Educational Program of the Year at the 10th Annual Enterprise Awards, presented by the Eastern Technology Council in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP at a black-tie gala on Tuesday, December 3, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Wistar was honored for the Biomedical Technician Training Program, an innovative program established by The Wistar Institute and Community College of Philadelphia that prepares associate's-degree students at the College for research-technician careers in Philadelphia-area biomedical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology institutions and companies. The Enterprise Awards honor the achievements of the region's most exceptional technology and life sciences companies and organizations.

"We are honored and gratified to be recognized with this award from the Eastern Technology Council," says William H. Wunner, Ph.D., professor at The Wistar Institute and administrative coordinator of the Biomedical Technician Training Program. "The Wistar Institute and our partner, Community College of Philadelphia, created this program to meet the need for skilled research technicians in research laboratories throughout the region. This unique program equips a talented group of people with the required skills to compete successfully for good jobs in a rapidly expanding sector of the economy."

Launched as a pilot project in 2000, the Biomedical Technician Training Program has attracted support from a variety of public and private sources. In November, the program was recognized by Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker with a Critical Job Training Grant of $156,707. The grants, awarded to only six programs statewide, support initiatives that provide training and education for high-demand jobs.

The two-year Biomedical Technician Training Program provides a structured pathway for associate's-degree students to obtain skilled technical support positions that laboratories in the fast-growing biomedical sector of the economy rely upon. Students in the program complete core coursework at Community College of Philadelphia and supervised, hands-on laboratory experience. The Wistar Institute and the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology at Temple University, which joined the program in 2001, serve as training sites for the students. In addition, Cephalon Inc., based in West Chester, Pa., also became a training partner this year.

In addition to the grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the program is supported by funding from Cephalon Inc., the Coca-Cola Foundation, The Hassel Foundation, the National Cancer Institute-CURE Program, and the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation. The Wistar Institute is an independent nonprofit biomedical research institution dedicated to discovering the causes and cures for major diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases. Founded in 1892 as the first institution of its kind in the nation,

The Wistar Institute today is a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center - one of only eight focused on basic research. Discoveries at Wistar have led to the development of vaccines for such diseases as rabies and rubella, the identification of genes associated with breast, lung, and prostate cancer, and the development of monoclonal antibodies and other significant research technologies and tools.