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Biomedical Technician Training Program

The Biomedical Technician Training (BTT) Program was created by Dr. William Wunner at The Wistar Institute in partnership with Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). The BTT Program is designed to prepare community college students for new career opportunities as laboratory technicians and research assistants. The program combines academic course work at CCP with hands-on training in laboratories at The Wistar Institute and other partner institutions. This dual experience offers students seeking associates degrees the opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to obtain positions in biomedical research laboratories which are traditionally held by graduates of four-year baccalaureate programs.

Career Opportunities

Since 2000, the BTT Program has been preparing CCP students for exciting careers in the growing field of basic and applied biomedical research. The BTT Program provides CCP students with the opportunity to gain the academic training and technical skills needed to assume and succeed in entry-level research positions. BTT Program graduates have been placed for training and obtained jobs in a variety of academic research institutions and at biomedical, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical companies in the Philadelphia region, such as:

  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Drexel University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of the Sciences
  • Integral Molecular, Inc.
  • Invisible Sentinel, Inc.

The Classroom Component

Students from CCP may be enrolled in any major. However, the specific courses required for the BTT Program align well with the A.S. in Biology or the A.S. in Chemistry degree programs including:

  • English Composition (ENG 101)
  • Intermediate Algebra (FNMT 118) or higher-level Mathematics
  • College Chemistry I (CHEM 121)
  • Principles of Biology I: Cell & Molecular Biology (BIOL 123)
  • Applied Computer Technology (CIS 103)

The Laboratory Component

First Summer

Orientation to biomedical technology. Through lab exercises, tutorials and problem-solving, BTT students learn and practice general biomedical laboratory skills during seven days at The Wistar Institute.

Laboratory practicum. In order to apply their technical skills to research projects, students are placed in two different laboratories at The Wistar Institute or one of our academic or industry partners, exposing them to the diversity of biomedical research. 

Second Summer 

Internship. Students are placed in a lab for a 12-week research experience; it may be one of the labs where they completed their practicum or a new lab where they have developed an interest in the research. Most students complete their internships during their second summer in the BTT Program, but exceptional students, including those who already have a bachelor’s degree in science, may be able to accelerate their completion of the program by doing an internship in the fall or spring.

Students are paid during all portions of the laboratory training. Through these mentored research experiences, they continue to develop their technical and professional skills while contributing to the goals of the laboratory.

BTT Video Image

Opening the Doors to New Opportunity

In this video, students in Wistar’s BTT and BRT Programs discuss how the skills taught in Wistar’s labs prepare them for a rewarding career in biomedical sciences.

Watch the Video

Entry Requirements

Students are required to take CCP’s placement tests. Students who are identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as well as the required program courses listed above.

Applicants for this program should be registered for a minimum of six course credits at CCP

Information sessions will be held at the College during the fall and spring semesters. 

Admission to the program is currently during the spring semester and is based on the student’s academic record, faculty recommendation and an interview. Laboratory training begins each May at The Wistar Institute.

Contact Us

For more information about the BTT Program at The Wistar Institute, contact: 

Kristy Shuda McGuire, Ph.D.
Dean, Biomedical Studies 
Associate Professor, Molecular & Cellular Oncogenesis Program, The Wistar Institute Cancer Center
The Wistar Institute
3601 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104

CCP students interested in the Biomedical Technician Training Program should contact:

Dominic M. Salerno, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Biology
Academic Coordinator, Biomedical Technician Training (BTT) Program
Community College of Philadelphia

or the Division of Math, Science, and Health Careers at 215-751-8430

Marinela and Bill - BTT Program

"While I was doing crystallization, I saw crystal clear where my future stands.”

Marinela Kola
BTT Program Graduate 2018

View Our Brochure


The Wistar Institute gratefully acknowledges generous support for the Biomedical Technician Training Program from: 

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Workforce Development System (CWDS) of the Department of Labor and Industry
The Anne M. and Philip H. Glatfelter, III Family Foundation
Gray Charitable Trust
The Hassel Foundation
Independence Blue Cross Foundation
The Brook J. Lenfest Foundation 
National Cancer Institute (NCI) Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) Program
Office Depot
Pincus Family Foundation
The Scholler Foundation