Philadelphia Community College Students Intern in Arcadia Lab

By Purnell T. Cropper | October 1, 2010

Two Philadelphia Community College students from The Wistar Institute’s Biotechnician Training Program (BTT) interned with Dr. Sheryl Smith, Assistant Professor of Biology, this year to gain training in molecular biology and genomics.

The Wistar Institute is a world-renowned research facility located on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus in Philadelphia. The Wistar Institute’s Biotechnician Training Program in partnership with Philadelphia Community College provides a six-week program that serves to provide training to students currently underrepresented in science the opportunity to learn laboratory techniques essential for obtaining a position in academia or the pharmaceutical industry. Once students are trained, they are placed in laboratories at the Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania for six-week internships.

“Since I had completed my postdoctoral fellowship at Wistar and had volunteered in this program, I was contacted last summer by Dr. William Wunner, Director of the program, to place one of the Biotechnician Training Program students in my lab for an internship,” Smith says.

Neepa Christian spent 10 weeks last summer and fall in Smith’s lab. At the conclusion of her internship, Christian returned to the Wistar Institute to give a presentation on her work in Smith’s lab.

“Dr. Wunner was impressed with Neepa’s progress and was also impressed with the students from my lab who helped to train Neepa. This summer, Dr. Wunner placed another student, Du Phan, in my laboratory for training. Du has just completed his internship with me, and may return next year for a longer-term internship,” says Smith.