International Collaboration for Scientific Training Launched Between The Wistar Institute and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Wistar Institute and Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) formalized a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions to explore a postdoctoral training exchange program in immunology, cancer research and vaccine biology. The Wistar-Schoemaker International Postdoctoral Fellowship would bring recent Ph.D. graduates trained at LUMC to Wistar to advance their research education under the mentorship of cutting-edge biomedical research leaders.

“The Wistar Institute has a long history of collaborative efforts both in research and education, while training new generations of scientists is part of our mission and contribution to the advancement of biomedical research,” said Dario C. Altieri, M.D., Wistar president and CEO and director of the Institute’s Cancer Center and the Robert & Penny Fox Distinguished Professor. “We are very excited by the prospect of an international exchange between Wistar and LUMC, expanding the Institute’s reach and opening new opportunities for global collaboration.”

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in fundamental biomedical research and technological innovation with special expertise in cancer and immunology research and vaccine development. As a modern university medical center, the LUMC aims to improve healthcare and people’s health and achieves this mission by providing patients with optimised, state-of-the-art healthcare based on pioneering research and innovative teaching.

The Wistar-Schoemaker Postdoctoral Fellowship builds upon the legacy of the late Hubert J.P. Schoemaker, Ph.D., a visionary pioneer in biotechnology and a native of the Netherlands, who was the co-founder of Centocor, now Janssen Biologics. Centocor engaged in an auspicious collaboration with Wistar to advance the Institute’s seminal research in monoclonal antibodies into a commercial platform. More importantly, Schoemaker believed in mentoring the next generation of innovative scientific leaders, which is the inspiration behind this program.

As one of the early biotechnology entrepreneurs who built their facilities in the Leiden Bio Science Park, Schoemaker contributed to the successful development of one of the top five science parks in Europe that today hosts LUMC along with more than 200 organizations and biotech companies. 

The Wistar-Schoemaker Postdoctoral Fellowship is set to reprise the historical collaboration between Wistar and the Dutch biomedical research arena, expanding Wistar’s international partnerships in research and education and promoting scientific exchange between investigators in the Netherlands and the United States.

The program uniquely proposes to facilitate the return of awardees to the Netherlands at the end of the three-year training period at Wistar, to establish their lab and bring their newly aquired skillset to advance biomedical research in the Netherlands. 

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The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer, infectious disease 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. wistar.org.

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