The Wistar Institute and Cheyney University of Pennsylvania have launched a strategic collaboration uniting the nation’s first independent biomedical research institute and the nation’s first historically Black college and university (HBCU) in order to expand life science research education, training and business development opportunities in Pennsylvania.
Through this alliance, Cheyney students will participate in Wistar’s biomedical research and training curriculum and gain hands-on laboratory experience through laboratory courses and internships that can progress into Wistar’s credentialed apprenticeship program. In addition, as a new member of the Philadelphia Research Consortium (PRC), Cheyney University and its on-campus life-science companies will be able to leverage the research and business communities coalesced around the PRC.
“The creation of a center for biomedical research excellence at Cheyney points to our common goal in establishing a highly skilled, diverse, and equal-opportunity life science pipeline in Pennsylvania,” said Dario C. Altieri, M.D., president and CEO, director of the Cancer Center and the Robert & Penny Fox Distinguished Professor, at The Wistar Institute. “By combining education, business development, and technology training in a seamless, unified framework, we will maximize the potential of our students to become the next generation of scientists, innovators and life science professionals in this region and beyond. Our vision is to merge science and entrepreneurship to create value, jobs, and the technologies of the future.”
Throughout its history, Wistar has offered rigorous biomedical research education and training programs to high school, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers. This new Wistar-Cheyney collaboration will train students in cutting-edge biomedical research techniques and business development curricula that will be integrated into a comprehensive program over four years.
“Cheyney and Wistar are aligned in a forward-thinking strategic collaboration that will benefit from Wistar’s scientific expertise to equip our students to become leaders with careers in life science research,” said Aaron A.Walton, president of Cheyney University. “This new partnership will amplify our ongoing successful efforts to build corporate collaborations on our campus. It also will provide more internships and career development opportunities for our students, preparing them for future careers while earning their degrees at Cheyney.”
Mosaic Development Partners, Cheyney’s corporate partnership facilitator, worked with Calvin R. Snowden Jr. and Robert Carrington, both African American and former Centocor professionals, to cultivate the relationship between Cheyney and Wistar. Snowden and Carrington, who recently formed CBS BioPharma LLC, are committed to increasing the number of minorities in the biosciences field and worked with Anne Schoemaker, Wistar former employee, philanthropist and wife of Hubert J. P. Schoemaker, co-founder of Centocor whose commitment to education and mentorship was legendary.
“The relationship consummated between Cheyney and Wistar affirms that our collective strategy to create a biosciences hub at Cheyney, and one that focuses on student enrichment, research and entrepreneurship, is working,” said Timothy Roseboro, Mosaic’s Managing Director of Commercial Leasing. This agreement marks the sixth biosciences entity to join Cheyney on this journey.
The Philadelphia Research Consortium, a growing research collaboratory, was co-founded by The Wistar Institute together with its member institutions to facilitate impactful research collaborations between start-up companies and researchers across Pennsylvania while reducing barriers that can typically interfere with the ease and speed of entering into new for-profit and non-profit collaborations. Cheyney University will be an instrumental member of the consortium and a conduit connecting Chester County and Philadelphia life sciences and entrepreneurial communities. Cheyney will also benefit from having access to Wistar’s state-of the-art core facilities to advance innovative research and technologies.