Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Summer Research Program
Formal Programs


The Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) Student Summer Research Program is an “umbrella” program that encompasses a number of formal summer programs, typically hosted and coordinated by various departments, centers, etc. Students interested in summer research within such a formal program should specify that program in their application.  Students interested in summer research with a mentor who is not part of any of the formal departmental programs listed below should specify the Dean's Biomedical Summer Research Program in their application. Only one program may be specified in the application.

Students are encouraged to discuss their summer research interests with departmental program directors or designated departmental research contacts before their application.

Dean’s Biomedical Summer Research Program

The Dean's Biomedical Summer Research Program is intended for students who are interested in doing summer research outside any of the current formal departmental programs listed below (or, very rarely, outside Thomas Jefferson University altogether, which requires pre-approval), including the departments of: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Cancer Biology; Dermatology & Cutaneous Biology; Medical Oncology; Microbiology & Immunology; Molecular Physiology & Biophysics; Neuroscience; Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery; Otolaryngology / Head & Neck Surgery; Pathology, Anatomy & Cell Biology; Pediatrics; Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics; Psychiatry & Human Behavior; Radiation Oncology; Radiology; Rehabilitation Medicine; and Urology. Occasionally, students may also apply through the Dean's Program to conduct research with mentors in other Thomas Jefferson University Colleges (Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, or Population Health).

The Program Director is Constantine Daskalakis, ScD, 215-955-5695.
For more information, contact Annette Chesson, 215-955-1629.

Anesthesia Summer Research Program

The Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research's (FAER) Medical Student Anesthesia Research Fellowship (MSARF) Program provides support to both medical students and host departments for anesthesia-related research experience and is an element of a commitment to attract scientific talent to academic anesthesiology. The program hopes that an exposure to the specialty early in the career of medical students will encourage future pursuit of research in anesthesiology and preoperative medicine. External funding may be available for students through FAER (deadline for funding application is middle of December).

For more information, contact the Program Director, Jeffrey Joseph, DO, 215-503-8032.

Basic & Translational Summer Research Program (Medicine)

The Basic & Translational Summer Research Program provides an opportunity for medical students to become involved in fast-developing fields of gene therapy, heart disease, HIV research and immunology. Laboratories of Department of Medicine faculty provide stimulating environments that enable students to learn advanced scientific techniques and pursue cutting-edge research.

For more information, contact the Program Director, Tung Chan, PhD, 215-955-4231.

Center for Urban Health Summer Research Program

The Center for Urban Health's Summer Research Program provides students with opportunities to work with an interdisciplinary staff in underserved community-based sites, focusing on population health and health services research in target neighborhoods, or on policy related issues that affect chronic disease prevention and management. Past projects have included obesity prevention programs, evaluation of a community based blood pressure screening and education program, and assessment of social factors related to frequent hospital admissions.

The Program Co-Directors are James Plumb, MD, MPH, 215-955-6340, and 
Rickie Brawer, PhD
, 215-955-2396. 
For more information, contact Abbie Santana, MSPH, 215-955-7713.

Clinical Research Institute Summer Research Program (Medicine)

Jefferson's Clinical Research Institute helps students identify summer research opportunities in clinical research, with particular focus in cardiology and related areas.

The Program Director is David Whellan, MD, MHS, FACC, 215-955-2636.
For more information, contact Suzanne Adams, RN, MPH, 215-955-8848, or Melissa McCarey, MPH, 215-503-7417.

Computational Systems Biology Summer Research Program

The Systems Biology Summer Research Program provides an opportunity for students to work closely with faculty using a systems biology approach in their research. The program introduces clinical researchers to the genomic scale data collection, data analysis and computational biology typical of systems biology. Research projects can originate in any clinically relevant area but must clearly apply a systems approach. Projects creating or promoting collaborations between systems biologists and translational researchers are strongly encouraged. All projects should be pre-approved by the Program Director and sponsoring research science advisors.

For more information, contact the Program Director, Rajankikanth Vadigepalli, PhD, 215-955-0576.

Computer-Assisted Education Development Summer Research Program

The Summer Computer Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for students to work closely with faculty in order to develop or evaluate the use of instructional technology for the medical college curriculum. The program has produced a wide range of computer-based learning programs and quiz preparation software. Students and faculty work with the Center for Teaching and Learning, which provides instructional design help, as well as support for learning the programming language appropriate for the project and for developing any graphics, animation, video or sound that will become part of the program.

For more information, contact Anthony Frisby, PhD, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, 215-503-8848.

Emergency Medicine Summer Research Program

In the Emergency Medicine Summer Research Program, students serve as research assistants in the Department of Emergency Medicine, assisting in patient enrollment and data collection for ongoing clinical emergency medicine research. Students also have the opportunity to follow and observe Emergency Medicine physicians as they provide patient care.

For more information, contact the Program Director, Anna Marie Chang, MD, 215-955-6844.

Family and Community Medicine Summer Research Program

In the Family and Community Medicine Summer Research Program, medical students who have successfully completed their freshman year are given the opportunity to participate in ongoing family medicine research projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Past research topics include chronic pain, global health, refugee health, palliative care, capillaroscopy, homeless care and ER utilization, and job training/diabetes prevention. Students also have the opportunity to shadow in the Jefferson Family Medicine Associates office and attend seminars.

 Preference is given to students in the Physician Shortage Area Program, the Urban Underserved Program, and the College within the College Program. Funding may be available to selected students through departmental grant sources.

For more information, contact the Program Director, Amy Cunningham, PhD, 215-955-0535.

Neurological Surgery Summer Research Program

The Neurosurgery Summer Research Program provides research opportunities to medical students interested in pursuing careers in a neurosurgical or spinal-surgical specialty. Students will work with faculty mentors on clinical research projects which may be tailored to the students’ individual interests. Students will also experience clinic and in-patient hospital care settings.

For more information, contact the Program Director, Stavropoula Tjoumakaris, MD, 215-955-7000.

Neurology Summer Research Program

The Neurology Summer Research Program provides an opportunity for medical students to participate in basic science and/or clinical research in the laboratories of Department of Neurology faculty.

For more information, contact the Program Director, George Brainard, PhD, 215-955-7644.

Obstetrics and Gynecology Summer Research Program

The Obstetrics and Gynecology Summer Research Program provides opportunities to medical students to work with a research-oriented faculty mentor in obstetrics, gynecology, gynecologic oncology or maternal fetal medicine. A student may either take an active role in the mentor's ongoing research or may identify a new research project that he/she will pursue with direction and leadership provided by the mentor and research personnel in the department. The student will be given opportunities to shadow, observe and become involved in activities in the clinical offices, operating room, labor and delivery, grand rounds, journal club and clinical meetings.

The Program Director is Dennis Hand, PhD, 215-955-8419.
For more information, contact Stephanie Sendek, 215-955-9243.

Ophthalmology Summer Research Program (Wills Eye Institute)

The Wills Eye Hospital Vision Research Scholar Program provides research opportunities for dedicated and enthusiastic medical students interested in ophthalmology. Students will participate in a didactic research curriculum which includes lectures, small group sessions and grant writing seminars. Students will also be actively involved in clinical research studies conducted by the Department of Research and the Glaucoma Research Center, and will have the opportunity to write research grants related to glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, ocular genetics and other eye diseases, under the mentorship of researchers and clinicians.

Note: Students wishing to conduct research in Ocular Oncology should also apply through this program.

For more information, contact the Program Director, Lisa Hark, PhD, RD, 215-928-3045.

Orthopedics Summer Research Program (Rothman Institute)

This Rothman Institute Program provides opportunities to medical students to work on research related to musculoskeletal diseases and conditions.

Note: Students wishing to conduct research with surgeons at the Philadelphia Hand to Shoulder Center (formerly The Philadelphia Hand Center) should also apply through this program.

The Program Director is Javad Parvizi, MD.
For more information, contact Allie Martin, MS, 267-339-3606.

Surgical Summer Research Program

The Surgery Summer Research Program provides opportunities to medical students to work on basic and translational research projects, as well as on clinical studies, with a focus on surgical topics.

For information, contact the Program Director, Jonathan Brody, PhD, 215-955-2693.