November 10, 2006

CONTACT: Susanne Hartman
(215) 349-5964

Invitation to Cover
Penn’s Biomedical Graduate Studies - a Pioneer Program Providing
Interdisciplinary Research Training - Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

WHAT: Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine marks its 20th anniversary with a celebration featuring scientific talks by distinguished BGS Alumni.
WHEN: November 13, 2006
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
WHERE: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Biomedical Research Building II/III, Lobby and Auditorium
421 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
WHO: Talks include:
9 a.m. “Modulation of Cell Signaling Pathways by KSHV”
Blossom Damania, PhD, UNC Chapel Hill
10 a.m. “Digging up the Roots and Stems of Brain Tumors”
Robert Wechsler-Reya, PhD, Duke University
11 a.m. “The Antigenic World According to T Cells”
Laurence Eisenlohr, VMD-PhD
1 p.m. “Protein Engineering of Antibody Based Therapeutics”
Karyn O’Neil, PhD, Centocor, Inc.
2 p.m. “Activation of Autoreactive B Cells: Tolls, T Cells and Tolerance”
Mark Shlomchik, MD-PhD
CONTACT: If you plan on attending, or need any additional information, please contact Judy Jackson at (215) 898-2793.

BGS was established 20 years ago to provide interdisciplinary, broad-based education and training to graduate students who go on to careers in academia, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, as well as patent law, science journalism and science education. Today, many institutions are beginning to develop interdisciplinary learning along the lines of BGS, but twenty years ago, the concept of broad-based training that transcended academic departments and schools at the University of Pennsylvania was almost unheard of. The current BGS program, consisting of about 570 faculty and 675 graduate students pursing a PhD in the basic biomedical sciences, draws from more than 30 departments and 7 schools at the University (Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dental Medicine, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Wharton and Nursing), as well as a number of affiliated institutions such as Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Wistar Institute and the Fox Chase Institute for Cancer Research.

Since its founding, BGS has more than doubled in size and the areas of study have changed as new fields and subfields have arisen in biomedical science. The current program is organized into seven graduate groups: Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Cell and Molecular Biology, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Genomics and Computational Biology, Immunology, Neuroscience, and Pharmacological Sciences. Students are trained in the fundamentals of cell biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as their chosen discipline. More recently, new programs have been introduced to the graduate curriculum, one funded by an award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute provides PhD students with a background in human biology and physiology, the other trains students interested in infectious disease or cancer biology in Public Health. Both programs will train students for future research that bridges basic science and clinical disciplines. Students accepted to Biomedical Graduate Studies' PhD programs receive a fully funded fellowship, including tuition, fees, health insurance, and a competitive stipend-regardless of financial need. Funds for these fellowships are derived from reserves provided by the School of Medicine and the University Provost, NIH training grants and individual fellowships, research grants, and other funding sources.


PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals, all of which have received numerous national patient-care honors [Hospital of theUniversity of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.

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