Archive | September 2013

The Penn Science Policy Group on the Federal Budget and “How You Can Save Science”

In a previous article (“How You Can Save Science: Why the Federal budget cuts are bad for Penn’s scientific innovation” by Shaun O’Brien, Guest Column, February 15, 2013) in the Daily Pennsylvanian, Shaun O’Brien of the Penn Science Policy Group discussed how budget issues may affect science funding. O’Brien sent an email update, giving more detail on how postdocs might be impacted by NIH budget issues, and what we can do about it.

Date:    Thu, 26 Sep 2013 11:00:45 -0700

Subject: Protect the NIH from a Govt Shutdown

Hi everyone,

First, thank you again for your support with our Hill Day visit last week. We had 30 students and 2 faculty members participate, and we were able to meet with Congress members and staffers from multiple states. The Daily Penn did a recap.

We also shared stories from faculty and students about the negative impact of the sequester. These accounts will be sent along to our PA Congressional staff, and you can participate anonymously here-

On Saturday, the House of Representatives will be debating a short-term funding bill that has been revised by the Senate. If they fail to agree on the revised bill, there will be a government shutdown.  There are multiple outcomes that could happen in the next 48 hours (including another short-term bill to fund the govt for a week), but this is an important time for our House and Senate members to hear from us.

A Govt Shutdown would result in no new grants being issued or contracts being awarded, while the shutdown is in effect. The last shutdown was for 3 weeks in 1996.

The biggest concern would be a “compromise” funding bill that could include additional spending cuts.  Additionally, debt ceiling talks and discussions on the sequester will also be starting up this Fall-thus, we need to contact Congress to let them know about the importance of protecting NIH funding.

I would strongly encourage our students and faculty to contact the following PA members of Congress (if you vote in those House districts) and tell them that it is important to protect NIH funding during this current budget debate. This is especially important to do in the next 48 hours.

You can research your Congressional members here- and figure out your voting districts here-

Or you can call the following PA GOP members offices.  Most of the Republican members of Congress have visited Penn in the past, and it is important that they hear from their constituents now.-

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R), represents 6th District (Berks, Chester, Montgomery, Lebanon Counties) DC office is 202.225.4315, Local office contacts can be found here-

Rep. Pat Meehan (R), represents 7th District ( Amity Township, Paradise, Whitpain Township, Honeybrook). DC office is 202.225.2011 and local office is (610) 690-7323

Rep. Charles Dent (R)-represents 15th District (Dauphin, Leigh, Lebanon, Berks, Northampton). DC office is 202-225-6411. Local office is  (610) 770-3490

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R)-represents 8th District (Bucks, Montgomery County). DC office is (202) 225-4276 and his local office is (215) 579-8102

Sen. Pat Toomey-DC office is 202.224.4254 and local Philly office is (215) 241-1090

Thank you again for your support and effort.  Our efforts this Fall will be especially important to our careers in science, as the Federal Govt needs to be encouraged to continue to invest in science and not move away from funding the NIH.

Shaun O’Brien
Please, share the message below with your e-mail lists.

More resources are available here:

Biomedical & Life Sciences Career Fair

Biomedical & Life Sciences Career Fair

Wednesday 2nd October from 1-4pm

BRB Atrium located within the Biomedical Research Building II/III 

From Career Services: “The Biomedical & Life Sciences Career Fair is the only career fair coordinated by Career Services that is just for PhD students and postdocs. Employers at this fair are looking to connect with students and postdocs with advanced degrees because they know what they are getting – candidates with applied knowledge and experiences who have:

  • problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • broad scientific knowledge
  • the ability to communicate complex information
  • experience working in collaborative teams on a wide diversity of projects
  • a wide diversity of specific research skills and techniques
 If you are a PhD student or postdoc in the sciences (and that includes engineering, biology, chemistry, and physics) and want to apply your knowledge, experience, and skills outside of academia (or simply see what opportunities exist out there), then make sure you take advantage of this opportunity to directly interact with employers at this fair. There is no need to pre-register, just turn up with your PennCard on the day and you will be able to network with former Penn postdocs, Penn alumni, recruiters, and other employers representing their organizations. Students and postdocs who have attended this event in the past have successfully found the jobs they were looking for. Be one of the 300 PhD students and postdocs who attend this fair each year.

The following employers have already registered for the career fair, and more may be registering soon. For more information about these organizations, and for links to their websites, click here. All of these employers will be able to talk about career opportunities they have available. A schedule for employer presentations during the fair (in the adjoining BRB Auditorium) will be posted on the career fair website soon. Keep checking this website for updates as employers are still registering for this event:  




·           ClearView HCP

·           L.E.K. Consulting               

·           Navigant Consulting, Inc. 

·           Decision Resources Group            

·           PriceSpective

·           IMS Health

·           TechAtlas Group



·           Merck

·           Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

·           Alliance Pharma, Inc.

·           Graphene Frontiers

·           LifeSensors, Inc.



·           Center for Technology Transfer                

·           Global Prior Art, Inc.      

·           Riverside Law LLP            



·           ETHOS Health Communications                

·           Nature Publishing Group             

·           Nucleus Global  

·           AdMed, Inc.



·         Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation



·           American Association for Cancer Research, Inc.                

·           The Henry M. Jackson Foundation     

·           AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships


Biomedical Postdoctoral Council Sponsored Blood Drive


We are extending the Biomedical Postdoctoral Council sponsored blood drive until Friday, September 27th. So please get your friends, lab mates and PIs to go and donate blood. There is a regional shortage of blood & your donation would help treat HUP patients.

 What:  Penn BPC sponsored blood drive     

 When: September 9th – 27th

 Where: Penn Medicine Blood Donation Center (located on the “Bridge level” of Penn Tower)

Collection Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00 am – 3:15 pm  (Walk-ins are welcome) or schedule a donation online at:

All donors will receive a Penn branded t-shirt!

All donations are used exclusively to treat HUP Patients. 

National Postdoc Appreciation Week: September 16-20, 2013

This week marks National Postdoc Appreciation Week. The BPP and BPC are organizing a number of events to celebrate – please join us!

Monday 9/16:

To kick off NPA Week, Dr. Michael Kalos will be giving a talk on Monday, September 16th, 2013 from 3:00 – 4:30pm. The talk is titled: “Application of Synthetic Biology to Treat Disesase: The T-Cell Immunotherapy Program at UPenn,” and will be followed by a reception for CHOP and Penn postdocs.

Wednesday, 9/18

Speed Networking Event! Get to know other postdocs, socialize, or talk about experimental techniques and ideas. Snacks will be served, and there is a chance to win gift cards. Contact at gmail dot com to register. BRB14, 1-3 p.m.

Thursday, 9/19

BPP and selected faculty and staff will be serving up ice cream to our postdocs on Thursday, September 19th from 2:00 – 4:00 pm in the BRB faculty lounge!