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Biomedical Technician Training Program

The Biomedical Technician Training Program, jointly developed by The Wistar Institute and Community College of Philadelphia, is designed to prepare community college students for new career opportunities as research technicians. The program combines academic course work at Community College of Philadelphia with specialized training in research laboratories at The Wistar Institute and other affiliated research institutes. This dual experience offers students seeking an associate's degree the opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to qualify for positions as technicians in biomedical research laboratories at academic institutions and at biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. These positions are traditionally held by graduates of four-year baccalaureate programs.

Career Opportunities

The Biomedical Technician Training Program prepares Community College of Philadelphia students for an exciting career in the growing field of basic and applied biomedical research. Biomedical research technicians are responsible for: following laboratory protocols; making detailed observations; collecting, analyzing, and recording data; and reporting experimental results to the head of the laboratory.

The Classroom Component

Community College of Philadelphia students take a cluster of courses within the Culture, Science, and Technology (CST), Science or Biology curricula, or Applied Science and Engineering Technology (ASET) curriculum as part of the Biomedical Technician Training Program.  The CST curriculum leads to an Associate in Arts degree with a solid foundation in science and health professional courses, while the Science and Biology curricula both lead to Associate in Science degrees with solid foundations in biology, chemistry, and mathematics, and the ASET curriculum leads to an Associate in Applied Sciences degree.

The Laboratory Component

Summer I (Research Training): The laboratory skills training component takes place in the summer immediately following the first year of classes at the College. At The Wistar Institute and affiliated cancer research centers in Philadelphia, students participate in:

Orientation to Biomedical Technology, Biomedical Technician Training Laboratory Practicum (Summer I) and Internship (Summer II) (all paid instructional sessions)

Summer II (Team-building Research Experience): After the second year of classes at the Community College of Philadelphia, the students return to The Wistar Institute and affiliated biomedical research institutes and companies for a 12-week paid Internship.

Culture, Science and Technology (CST), Science and Biology Curricula, and Applied Science and Engineering Technology (ASET) Curriculum Entry Requirements

Students are required to take Community College of Philadelphia's placement tests. Students who are identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as a part of their degree program.

Check out this video to learn more about the Biomedical Technician Training Program experience!

Biomedical Technician Training Program Entry Requirements

Applicants for this program must first be registered for a minimum of six course credits per semester at Community College of Philadelphia. Students interested in the Biomedical Technician Training Program should contact the Academic Coordinator Dr. Kristy Shuda McGuire at or the Division of Math, Science, and Health Careers at 215-751-8430. Information sessions will be held at the College during the fall and spring semesters. After attending an information session, students will have the opportunity to apply to the program. Admission to the program is during spring semester and is based on academic record, interview, and faculty recommendation.

For more information about the Biomedical Technician Training Program at The Wistar Institute and requirements for participation, contact: 

William H. Wunner, Ph.D.
Biomedical Technician Training Program
The Wistar Institute
3601 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4268

View the program brochure. (PDF)


The Wistar Institute gratefully acknowledges generous support for the Biomedical Technician Training Program from the Connelly Foundation, Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, The Anne M. and Philip H. Glatfelter, III Family Foundation, The Gray Charitable Trust, The Hassel Foundation, Janssen Biotech, Inc., Morphotek, Inc., the National Cancer Institute (NIH), and The Scholler Foundation.