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The Wistar Institute Appoints Italo Tempera, Ph.D., as Associate Director for Cancer Research Career Enhancement of Its Cancer Center

PHILADELPHIA — (Aug. 31, 2021) — The Wistar Institute announces the appointment of Italo Tempera, Ph.D., as Associate Director for Cancer Research Career Enhancement at the Institute’s Cancer Center. In this role, Tempera, who is also an associate professor in the Gene Expression & Regulation Program, will lead the educational mission of the Institute and its Cancer Center to train scientists and create workforce development programs in the life sciences.

Tempera will be working closely with Cancer Center faculty and the Dean of Biomedical Studies to coordinate the diverse Cancer Center educational initiatives, expanding and strengthening partnerships for high-school, undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral training programs in cancer biology.

Graduate and postdoctoral training programs leverage Wistar’s close collaborations with neighboring and international world-renowned academic institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, University of the Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy, and Leiden University, Netherlands, for experiential training in Wistar laboratories.

Wistar’s Biomedical Technician Training (BTT) Program and Biomedical Research Technician (BRT) Apprenticeship, built on meaningful collaborations with the Community College of Philadelphia, Cheyney University and a growing list of partnering educational institutions and biotechnology companies, are uniquely tailored to support talent development, customized skills and workforce training to best prepare students for job opportunities in the life sciences ecosystem.

“We are grateful to Italo for taking on this role that comes with important responsibilities for the cultivation of scientific talent and the training of future generations of cancer researchers,” said Dario Altieri, M.D., president and CEO of The Wistar Institute, director of the Cancer Center and the Robert & Penny Fox Distinguished Professor.

Tempera’s research is focused on the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and how it regulates expression of its genes in the host cell during infection. Since EBV infection has a causative role in the development of some types of cancer in people with a compromised immune system, the Tempera lab aims at disrupting the natural capacity of EBV to modulate gene expression as a new approach for treating EBV-associated cancers.

“This is a time of substantial growth across Wistar’s education programs and I am thrilled by the opportunity to play a part in this process,” said Tempera. “Looking back to my own early career steps, education and training are probably the most exciting periods for a scientist, because they come with the realization of the vast potential for their career growth and for their ability to make impactful discoveries.”

Tempera graduated with a B.Sc. in molecular biology and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. Before joining Wistar in 2020, he was an associate professor at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine of Temple University.


The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the United States, Wistar has held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute since 1972. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible.

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