Welcome CHOP Research Trainees!

Please take a moment to browse through the following trainee updates - clicking on each link will bring you to that announcement:

June Announcements

Don't forget to mark your calendars for the monthly Postdoc Happy Hour, Friday, June 16 at 5:30pm. Details below!

Applications Now Open: CHOP Translational Research Workshop for Basic Scientists

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Research Institute is pleased to announce the call for applications for its third Translational Research Workshop for Basic Scientists.

This program, taking place on October 11-13, 2017, is a three day, intensive learning experience designed to introduce early career researchers to the principles and fundamental elements of translational research. By employing a combination of didactic presentations, lectures, and clinical experiences, this workshop aims to bridge the gap that exists between bench research and the clinic.

Instructors and lecturers will include top researchers from the Philadelphia area and beyond, who will draw their discussions from their own personal experiences and lessons learned. Participants who complete the program in its entirety will receive a certificate of participation.

Learn more about the 2017 CHOP Translational Research Workshop, and sign up to receive agenda updates.


To be eligible for enrollment, candidates must be early-career researchers enrolled at or employed by a research institution. The ideal candidate will also meet the following criteria:

  • Pre-doctoral students (Ph.D. students in their fourth year or later of scholarly training)
  • Postdoctoral fellows
  • Early-career scientists (scientists within 5 years of the receipt of their doctoral degree)

The goal of this program is to provide basic or wet bench scientists with the information they need to successfully transition their research programs to the clinic. However, trainees and early-career scientists from other backgrounds (e.g., M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. scientists) may also be eligible. These individuals should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire about eligibility prior to applying.

How to Apply

Enrollment in the CHOP Translational Research Workshop is competitive. Your application will require a CV, statement of interest, and recommendation letter. More information and application instructions can be found at the CTRW Website.  

The application deadline is June 23, 2017 at 12:00pm (ET).

Annual Postdoc Info Meeting: Developing Your Mentoring Style, June 22
Developing Your Mentoring Style
Date: Thursday, June 22, 2017
Time: 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Lunch served at 1:00pm)
ARC 123-C

Panel Moderator
Dennis R. Durbin, MD, MSCE
Assistant Vice President and Chief Clinical Research Officer
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute
Professor of Pediatrics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Faculty Panel
Nadia L. Dowshen, MD
Director of Adolescent HIV Services, Medical Director of the Adolescent Initiative, and Director of the Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Daniel J. Licht, MD
Director, Neurovascular Imaging Lab
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Nancy B. Spinner, PhD, FACMG
Chief, Division of Genomic Diagnostics
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Professor of Pathology and Genetics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Matthew D. Weitzman, PhD
Investigator, Division of Cancer Pathobiology
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Pediatrics, and Microbiology
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

What are the key elements of a productive mentoring relationship? How can you learn to be both an effective mentee and mentor? Join us for an informative discussion that will address best practices in research mentoring. This session will focus on how to get the most out of your relationship with your (busy) mentor as well as lay the foundation for becoming an effective mentor yourself.

In this session, our faculty panel will:

  • Share strategies for overcoming common challenges
  • Offer practical advice for establishing successful mentor/mentee relationships
  • Provide guidance for cultivating a unique mentoring style

Be sure to arrive at 1:00 p.m. to get lunch and hear about upcoming OPA programming.

All are welcome.

Sponsored by the Offices of Responsible Research Training and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Research Trainee Orientation Sessions in June and July

The Office of Responsible Research Training, in conjunction with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and Department of Pediatrics, will be offering two orientation sessions for training grant, postdoctoral, or physician fellows who will be moving into a "research trainee" status and receiving stipends for Fiscal Year 2018, beginning on July 1, 2017.

Date: Tuesday, June 27
Location: Abramson Research Center, Room 123-C
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.


Date: Wednesday, July 12
Location: Abramson Research Center, Room 123-C
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

The orientation sessions will provide information on the health and benefits package, financial and tax implications, and training requirements and will offer other valuable resources for new trainees.

For more information, please contact Janet Stuart at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 267-426-7496.

Call for 2017 CRISSP Poster Day Judges, August 10

We are currently recruiting up to 14 postdoctoral fellows and physician fellows to judge scientific posters at the CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP) poster session on Thursday, August 10 from 11:30 a.m. -1:00 p. m. in the Abramson Lobby. CRISSP is a highly competitive summer internship program for undergraduate students interested in careers in biomedical research. Twenty-five students have been selected to participate this summer from a pool of over 700 applicants.

As part of their internship experience, all CRISSP students must complete an independent research project presented during the August 10 poster session. Judges will be asked to visit several assigned posters during the judging period and identify the best research project. Judging criteria will be provided to guide the selection process. A judges meeting will be held at 1:00 p.m. in Abramson 123ABC to discuss the winners.

Students will be split into 3 judging tracks: Basic, Translational, and Behavioral/Clinical. We are looking for 4 basic research judges, 4 translational research judges, and 6 behavioral and/or clinical research judges. Judges are also invited to attend the awards ceremony from 4:00 p.m. -5:30 p.m., Thursday, August 10 in Abramson 123ABC.

If you are interested in serving as a CRISSP poster day judge, please email Colleen Ambron at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide your name, department, division, and which area of research you are interested in judging.

RCR June Feature: Data Management

High quality research data is necessary for advancing scientific progress, medical knowledge and maintaining public trust. What are the responsibilities of the Principal Investigator and study team for maintaining the integrity of research data? How can researchers maximize the benefits of sharing data while minimizing the risks? Learn the essentials of responsible data management by visiting the RCR Web site.

The RCR Web site provides centralized education, policy and training resources that encourage best practices and promote scientific integrity as a core value. For more information about CHOP’s RCR program or Web site, contact Janet Stuart at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 267-426-7496.

AAMC Grant Writers Coaching Group: Apply by June 21, 2017

Apply by June 21 to attend the AAMC Grant Writers Coaching Group on September 7 in Orlando, FL.


The AAMC wants to support racial and ethnic minority faculty through the process of grant writing and is offering this learning experience to master the details of preparing a successful K or R NIH grant proposal.

The following are some highlights from the workshop:

  • Get introduced to K and R proposal elements.
  • Learn about tools to aid in grant writing.
  • Train on how proposals get reviewed and what reviewers expect to see.
  • Master the Specific Aims section for NIH Grant Proposals.

AAMC look forward to seeing you there and providing you with hands-on guidance, continued peer review and online support.


Program Information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Conference Logistics: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Conference Registration: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Resources Available for Trainees Applying for F and K Awards

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has developed a centralized repository of information to help trainees navigate the F (Fellowship) and K (Career Development) Awards process. These resources can be found on the research intranet and includes information related to:

  • Putting together a successful application
  • Components of the application
  • Modified Biosketch tips
  • When and how to engage the Office of Sponsored Projects
  • Sample applications from successful CHOP researchers

Click HERE to visit the F Award Resource Page (Active Directory Log-in Required)

Click HERE to visit the K Award Resource Page (Active Directory Log-in Required)

English Language Programs at Penn

Penn offers English Language Programs to members of the Penn and Philadelphia communities, which aim to successfully develop competence and fluency in English.

They focus primarily on speaking and listening skills and cover a wide range of language proficiency, from beginner through advanced. Classes are held 6:00-7:40 p.m., one night per week, for seven weeks, and the cost is $400 - one exception is the TOEFL skills course, which meets twice weekly and is $800. The first step for enrollment is to email our ELP Main Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you are interested and have any questions, you should contact the Intensive Program Manager, Alyssa Swanson. Her email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. She will be able to administer the short placement test and help students sign up for classes.

View More Information about English Language Courses Offered at Penn

Announcing the National Postdoc Association (NPA) Career Center

Are you nearing the end of your postdoctoral career? Want help planning the next step of your career? The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) is here to help: take a moment to check out the NPA's new career center.

Candidates can:

  • Seek new positions
  • Set up lists of opportunities that will be emailed directly to them on a regular interval
  • Upload their resume or CV for viewing by potential employers and recruiters

Check it out, upload your information and take the next step towards your future. For questions contact Amy Wilson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Biotechnology Internship, Militia Hill Venture

Overview Militia Hill Ventures offers challenging and rewarding internships to current or recent graduate students and post-docs. You’ll gain real-world, hands-on venture, advisory, and early stage experience in investment, discovery, development, and commercialization aspects of the biotechnology industry, helping the Philadelphia region’s most visionary life science companies succeed and grow. MHV’s internships provide relevant and meaningful experience and the ability to work with executives to learn more about professional roles and careers.


  • Be passionate about both your goals and our vision
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and communicate effectively
  • Strong organizational skills, work well in a team environment and enjoy a challenge
  • Strong analytical skills—high attention to detail
  • Verbal and written communications
  • Open to learning new skills and taking a variety of projects and tasks
  • Currently or recently enrolled in a graduate program, PhD or postdoc. MBA with a life science background

Interested parties should send a resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Talee Bio Research Scientist, Viral Vector Biology

Overview Talee Bio is a gene therapy company with an initial focus on developing products for the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Its founders include successful biotechnology professionals and world-class academic gene therapy researchers.

The company has two programs focused on different gene therapy strategies for treating cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. These include adeno-associated virus and lentivirus based vectors systems. Each of these systems has decades of academic development, which has optimized tropism, promoters, and stability of CFTR transgene expression in both human airway and animal models.

TL-101 is an inhaled gene therapy based on an AAV vector carrying a mini-construct of the CFTR gene that codes for functional protein. TL-101 has the potential for marked improvement in CFTR transduction and to enable repeat dosing in cystic fibrosis patients. TL-102 is an inhaled gene therapy based on a pseudo-typed lentivirus vector, which is tropic to airway epithelia and able to efficiently deliver the full-length CFTR gene. TL-102 has the potential to cure CF via a one-time dose.

The candidate will lead Talee’s research effort the preclinical development of novel gene therapies for cystic fibrosis. The candidate will assist in running a division of Talee Bio that interfaces with international leaders in CF research at the University of Iowa and CHOP. We seek candidates with proven ability to work independently and collaboratively to achieve optimized project plans, with the ultimate goal to deliver products that transform the lives of patients.


  • Conduct research to elucidate the critical molecular and structural components of novel viral serotypes that are required to promote and maintain intended gene transfer and gene editing functions of the vector.
  • Conduct molecular biological research to optimize vector biology and enhance genome packaging efficiency for novel serotypes.
  • Conduct molecular biological research on novel serotypes to enhance the efficiency of target cell transduction and editing by directed homologous recombination.
  • Conduct in vitro and in vivo assays.
  • Serve as liaison with process/analytical development and manufacturing group in order to guide the maintenance of vector product quality across multiple production and purification operations and scales.
  • Generate, manage, evaluate, and maintain critical data in a highly organized manner. Author technical reports, method transfer documents, and prepare scientific presentations as needed.
  • Provide project leadership to ensure that internal research objectives and activities are aligned with corporate goals. Drive vector biology research activities with diligence to maintain program timelines.

Required Experience:

  • PhD in Biological Sciences with a strong background in gene transfer vector research.
  • Prior experience in conducting research to optimize vector structural components to optimize target-cell interactions.
  • Demonstrated strong record of conducting molecular virology or viral vector research using orthogonal approaches to elucidate complex molecular mechanisms of virus-cell interactions.
  • Experience with development of analytical methods development for multiple viral vectors or live viral vaccine products is preferred.
  • Ability to effectively manage and prioritize multiple parallel laboratory activities, and communicate the prioritization of these activities to stakeholders is essential.
  • Ability to work effectively in a collaborative team environment where results are achieved through influence and the incorporation of multiple points of view.
  • Ability to execute and follow-through to completion and documentation.
  • Independently motivated, detail oriented and good problem solving ability.

Interested parties should send a resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Postdoc Happy Hour, June 16

Join us for another Postdoc Happy Hour!

Date: Friday, June 16, 2017 Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Location: City Tap House, 39th and Walnut Street

UPenn BPP Social Committee

Meet up with fellow CHOP/Penn Postdocs!

The UPenn Biomedical Postdoctoral Program (BPP) Social Committee hosts a monthly happy hour event at City Tap House in West Philly. All CHOP and UPenn postdocs are welcome to join. Feel free to bring co-workers, friends and significant others, as long as they are 21+.

For more information, visit the Biomedical Postdoctoral Council (BPC) site.