Baruch S. Blumberg Institute Partners with University of Pennsylvania for Master of Chemical Sciences Program

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Partnership will offer work experience for Penn graduate students, research support for Institute

Seated: (L-R) Tim Block, PhD., and Nora E. Lewis. Standing: (L-R) John L. Kulp, PhD., Gary A. Molander, PhD., and Ana-Rita Mayol, PhD.

This is a great synergistic partnership that will benefit not just the students and these two institutions, but all of us, as we work to advance therapies to combat hepatitis B for the millions infected worldwide.

The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute and the University of Pennsylvania have formed a partnership that will offer graduate students valuable laboratory experience while bringing additional research support to the Institute’s research programs.

University of Pennsylvania graduate students in the Master of Chemical Sciences program now will be able to complete research at the Blumberg Institute, the nation’s leading nonprofit research organization dedicated to hepatitis B and liver cancer. The agreement is expected to bring high-caliber research support to the Institute, based at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Bucks County, while giving Penn graduate students the opportunity to be mentored while they secure real-world research experience in order to enter or advance in the chemistry profession.

“We are very excited about this new partnership, which opens up new opportunities for students from Bucks County to get the Penn experience, and for Penn students to benefit from the entrepreneurial spirit of the Blumberg Institute and the Pennsylvania Biotech Center,” said Dr. Tim Block, President of the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. “This is a great synergistic partnership that will benefit not just the students and these two institutions, but all of us, as we work to advance therapies to combat hepatitis B for the millions infected worldwide.”

The Master of Chemical Sciences is a newly developed academic program offered by the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies, a division of the School of Arts and Sciences. The degree is designed to provide students with a well-rounded foundation in chemistry. Whether they are interested in pursuing careers in the chemical sciences or already are working in chemical or pharmaceutical industries, the Master of Chemical Sciences offers full and part-time options to enable students to pursue their education without interrupting their careers.

“Our Master of Chemical Sciences is another example of how the School of Arts and Sciences strives to develop programs that integrate knowledge and place an emphasis on innovative understanding and discovery,” said Nora E. Lewis, Penn’s Vice Dean of Professional and Liberal Education. “With this agreement with Blumberg, our master’s degree students are able to extend the expertise of Penn’s research and teaching. They will apply what they’ve learned from our exceptional faculty within the professional domain and provide Blumberg scientists the opportunity to mentor, and potentially employ, gifted graduate students. This strategic partnership will help those enrolled in our Master of Chemical Sciences program create a positive impact on the Blumberg Institute and its mission to find a cure for hepatitis B in our lifetime.”

The program’s curriculum is structured with a combination of core concentration and elective courses, to address the students’ interests and goals. As a culminating exercise, students must complete an individual capstone course that demonstrates their ability to define a project, develop appropriate methods, complete research, and present their results clearly and concisely.

The agreement between the University of Pennsylvania and the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute now provides students the opportunity to complete their capstone research project at the Institute while being guided by an on-site supervisor.

For more information about the Master of Chemical Sciences program, visit http://www.upenn.edu/chemistry.

Photo Caption: Seated: (L-R) Tim Block, PhD., President, Baruch S. Blumberg Institute; Nora E. Lewis, Vice Dean of Professional and Liberal Education, University of Pennsylvania
Standing: (L-R) John L. Kulp, PhD., Academic Director, Baruch S. Blumberg Institute; Gary A. Molander, PhD., Hirschmann-Makineni Professor of Chemistry and Department Chair, University of Pennsylvania; Ana-Rita Mayol, PhD., Director, Master of Chemical Sciences Program, University of Pennsylvania

About the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute: The Hepatitis B Foundation established an independent, nonprofit research institute in 2003 in order to conduct discovery research and nurture translational biotechnology in an environment conducive to interaction, collaboration and focus. The research center was renamed in 2013 to honor Baruch S. Blumberg, the man who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus. To learn more, visit blumberginstitute.org.

About Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies: Housed within the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences, the College of Liberal and Professional Studies offers innovative programs that attract highly motivated students. From degree and non-degree options at the undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and graduate levels, Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies also offers a host of summer programs which are located on-campus, abroad and online. For more information about the breadth of programs available, visit upenn.edu/lps.

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