Penn’s David and Lyn Silfen University Forum: February 28: A Formidable Foe: Cancer in the 21st Century
|Penn President Amy Gutmann, with the Vice President of the United States Joe Biden at the January 15 formal launch for the Cancer “Moonshot” Project.|
It has been called “the emperor of all maladies.” A scourge familiar to the ancient Egyptians that still elicits fear. The foe: cancer.
The last century saw enormous progress in our understanding of cancer biology as well as prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Yet, while cancer mortality rates have been steadily declining in the United States, enormous challenges remain in understanding and treating cancer. The decline in cancer death rates is slowing, but some cancers still remain largely incurable.
Our improved understanding of cancer has uncovered many new questions about this broad collection of diseases. Can different cancers be reclassified? Can the body’s own immune system be harnessed to aid in the fight? Are the newest treatments and technologies scalable to all cancers or are they “one-hit wonders” destined to help comparatively few patients?
In 2016, President Barack Obama announced a new “Cancer Moonshot” with a goal of, in the words of Vice President Joseph Biden, “fundamentally chang[ing] the trajectory” of how our society and world understands and combats cancer. America’s research universities and academic medical centers are critical to this effort (Almanac January 26, 2016).
On February 28, Penn President Amy Gutmann and a distinguished panel, including Mr. Biden will discuss the past, present and future of cancer research and treatment at the David and Lyn Silfen University Forum. What progress has been made in the fight against cancer? What are the most difficult questions and challenges ahead? What is the role of leading universities and academic medical centers like Penn in overturning the tyranny of this “emperor of all maladies”?
The David and Lyn Silfen University Forum series was generously endowed by the late University Trustee David M. Silfen and his wife Lyn to foster conversation and debate regarding important contemporary issues.
Dr. Gutmann will be joined by The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., 47th Vice President of the United States; Loretta “Lori” Alf, Penn Medicine Ambassador and patient; Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer, American Cancer Society; Nancy E. Davidson, director, Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, president, American Association for Cancer Research; Carl H. June, director, Translational Research Program, Abramson Cancer Center, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, Perelman School of Medicine.
There was such a great response that tickets sold out in minutes. The University will stream the Silfen Forum live on February 28 at 4 p.m. at http://www.upenn.edu/silfenforum/webcast.html
2017-2018 Penn’s Financial-aid Budget and Tuition
The University of Pennsylvania announced a $224 million financial-aid budget for 2017-2018—the largest in the University’s history —while increasing total undergraduate charges by 3.9 percent.
Since Amy Gutmann became Penn’s president in 2004, Penn’s financial-aid budget has grown by 171 percent, and the University has awarded $2 billion in undergraduate aid to a total of 17,253 students.
Penn is the largest US university with a need-blind admissions policy and grant-based financial aid for undergraduates. Upon admission, Penn determines students’ financial need, then reduces the cost of tuition, room and board and fees through University grants and work-study jobs. These grants, made up largely from Penn’s funds as well as federal and state grants, do not require repayment. This current academic year, 46 percent of Penn undergraduate students received need-based grants from the University, with the average grant for students estimated at $45,368.
“Approaching the tenth anniversary of establishing grant-based financial aid among the highest of our priorities, Penn’s Ivy League education is more accessible and affordable to students with the greatest promise from all backgrounds than ever before,” said Penn President Gutmann. “Doubling the number of first-generation college students is just one among the many educational and societal benefits that flow from Penn’s doubling of financial aid and our outreach efforts, which we continually strengthen. As the first in my family to attend college, I understand the transformative impact that affordable access to high quality higher education can have. It is the single greatest gateway to economic opportunity and has an indelible impact on society. This is the enduring value fueling Penn’s grant-based financial aid program.”
Penn’s grant-based financial aid initiative supports the University’s long-standing commitment to its need-blind admissions policy, which means students are accepted based on academic achievement, regardless of their ability to pay.
Financial aid packages are determined based on the cost of attendance for 2017-2018, which includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation and personal expenses. For 2017-2018 undergraduate tuition will increase to $47,416 from $45,556; room and board will increase to $15,066 from $14,536; and fees will increase to $6,118 from $5,908.
Demonstrating Penn’s commitment to supporting a socio-economically diverse student body, 48 percent of aided students receiving grants in the academic year 2016-2017 were awarded more than $50,000. Most undergraduate students with a family income of less than $40,000 received grant-based aid covering the total cost of tuition, room and board and fees. Ninety-four percent of undergraduate students with a family income of $180,000 or less received grant assistance.
Penn’s grant-based financial aid program is aligned with the inclusion goals outlined in the Penn Compact 2020 Presidential Initiatives, which include a comprehensive effort to raise additional funding for the endowment to support undergraduate financial aid as well as graduate and professional student aid. At Penn, one in eight members of the class of 2020 are first generation, up from one in 20 in 2004, reflecting success with inclusion goals.
Additional information on undergraduate financial aid at Penn is available at www.sfs.upenn.edu
Penn Joins Amicus Brief Opposing Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Immigration
The University of Pennsylvania joined with fellow Ivy Plus and other research universities from across the country in filing an amicus brief opposing the Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Immigration. The brief was filed in the United States District Court Eastern District of New York.
The brief contends that the executive order impedes amici’s goals of “educating tomorrow’s leaders from around the world.”
“Because amici seek to educate future leaders from nearly every continent, attract the world’s best scholars, faculty, and students, and work across international borders, they rely on the ability to welcome international students, faculty, and scholars into their communities. The Executive Order at issue in this case threatens that ability, and creates significant hardship for amici’s valued international students, faculty, and scholars.”
In addition to Penn, the brief was signed by leaders of Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Emory University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and Yale University.
A link to the amicus brief can be found at https://news.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/Darweesh-university-amicus-brief-21317-FINAL-2.pdf
Fall 2016 University Research Foundation Awards
In the most recent cycle, Fall 2016, of Penn’s internally-funded University Research Foundation, URF Conference Support (noted with *), the Office of the Vice Provost for Research has announced awards to the following members of the faculty for the projects listed below.
Amada Armenta, School of Arts & Sciences, Sociology, Immigrants & Justice: Gendered Understandings of Crime and Policing Among Latino Immigrants in Philadelphia
Daniel Barber, School of Design, Architecture, Climatic Effects: Architecture, Media, and the Great Acceleration
Eugenie Birch, Provost Interdisciplinary Programs, Penn Institute for Urban Research, Penn IUR Undergraduate Research Colloquium UURC
Hsiao-wen Cheng, School of Arts & Sciences, East Asian Religions; Knowing Women: Medicine, Popular Religion and Female Sexuality in China, 7-14th Centuries
Brian Chow, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Bioengineering, Engineering artificial proteins for stimuli-responsive photoacoustic imaging contrast
Mariella De Biasi, Perelman School of Medicine, Psychiatry/Neuroscience, Epigenetic regulation of gene expression following marijuana vapor delivery
David Fajgenbaum, Perelman School of Medicine, Medicine, Investigating inhibition of mTOR and T-cell activation in Castleman disease
*Tulia Falleti, School of Arts & Sciences, Political Science; The Future of the Left in Latin America
Ian Fleishman, School of Arts & Sciences, German Language/Lit, An Aesthetics of Injury
*Michael Gamer, School of Arts & Sciences, English, Gothic States: a Conference
*Marybeth Gasman, Graduate School of Education, Higher Education Division, Teaching the Liberal Arts to Diverse Students
Sarah Guérin, School of Arts & Sciences, History of Art, Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Trans-Saharan Trade
*Raffaella Giannetto, School of Design, Landscape Architecture, Ethics and Aesthetics of the Cultural Landscape
Reto Giere, School of Arts & Sciences, Earth and Environmental Science, The Energy-Food-Water Nexus- A Grand Challenge of our Time
Maria Golson, Perelman School of Medicine, Genetics, Regulation of Mature Beta-Cell Function by the Transcription Factor FoxM1
*Sara Heller, School of Arts & Sciences, Criminology, Transatlantic Workshop on the Economics of Crime
*Yasmin Kafai, Graduate School of Education, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division, Bio Design in K-12 Education
Ayako Kano, School of Arts & Sciences, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, War, Sex, and Belonging: Analyzing Adaptation of Modern Japanese Fiction to Film
*Justin Khoury, School of Arts & Sciences, Physics, New Frontiers in Cosmology and String Theory
Annette Lareau, School of Arts & Sciences, Sociology, Individuals of High Net Worth: Challenges and Opportunities in Family Life
Jennifer Sternad Ponce de León, School of Arts & Sciences, English, Politically Engaged and Extra-disciplinary Art in Argentina, 1998-Present
Marsha Lester, School of Arts & Sciences, Chemistry, Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Reaction Intermediates
Chunsheng Li, Perelman School of Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Novel Shikonin-loaded smart nanoparticle for targeting CD248-positive carcinoma and sarcoma
*Terri Lipman, School of Nursing, Family and Community Health; Community/Academic Partnerships to Increase Activity in Youth and their Families
*Heather Love, School of Arts & Sciences, English, Disability Studies: A History
Timothy Lucas, Perelman School of Medicine, Neurosurgery, An actuated, high density neuroprosthetic interface
Steven Marcus, School of Social Policy & Practice, A pilot study to identify factors that interrupt suicide plans
Mark Neuman, Perelman School of Medicine, Anesthesiology, Pilot of Peer Engagement for Enhancing Recovery after Surgery Study
E. James Petersson, School of Arts & Sciences, Chemistry, Toward a Molecular Mechanism of Secondary Tau Fibril Seeding in Neurodegenerative Disease
*Jean-Michel Rabate, School of Arts & Sciences, English, Ezra Pound Among the Taurians: A Public Lecture
Megan Ryerson, School of Design, City and Regional Planning, Flying the Urban Airways: The design of freight delivery and emergency response urban airways for Unmanned Aerial Systems
*Daniel Singer, School of Arts & Sciences, Philosophy, Penn-Rutgers-Princeton Social Epistemology Workshop
Andrew Tsourkas, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Bioengineering, Multi-pronged approach for the treatment of glioblastoma
Related: University Research Foundation Applications: March 23
University Research Foundation Applications: March 23
The University Research Foundation (URF) is now accepting applications for the March 23 deadline.
The URF is an intramural program that provides three funding mechanisms: Research Grants and Conference Support, Impact Seminar Grants and Research Opportunity Development Grants.
URF Research Grants and Conference Support provides up to $50,000 in project support and up to $3,000 for conference support. Its objectives are to:
• help junior faculty undertake pilot projects that will enable them to successfully apply for extramural sources of funding and aid in establishing their careers as independent investigators;
• help established faculty perform novel, pioneering research to determine project feasibility and develop preliminary data to support extramural grant applications;
• provide support in disciplines where extramural support is difficult to obtain and where significant research can be facilitated with internal funding; and
• provide limited institutional matching funds that are required as part of a successful external peer-reviewed application.
URF Impact Seminar Grants will make awards up to $20,000 for support for a cross-school, cross-disciplinary large scale event to be held on Penn’s campus within a year of the award. Funding for this award can be used to augment an already scheduled University event. The event—which can be a symposium, forum or conference—should occur over one to two days and be open to the entire Penn community. It should highlight the scholarship of Penn faculty and bring distinguished scholars to Penn’s campus, with a particular focus on the University’s distinguishing strength in integrating knowledge. Documented school and/or department matching funds are required.
URF Research Opportunity Development Grants (RODG)
The Research Opportunity Development Grant program (Phase 1 and Phase 2) was designed to facilitate the intersection of the forward trajectory of Penn’s research frontiers with the trajectory of the national and global research priorities. RODG applications should map onto emerging research areas with new opportunities for support. Awards from these programs should be used to develop preliminary information and data for new applications in these emerging research areas. The two programs are described here.
Research Opportunity Development Grants: Phase 1
With an identified new research area in mind, Phase 1 grants enable a team to articulate the research focus, map Penn’s intellectual assets in the new area, coalesce the appropriate group of scholars, identify Penn’s potential contributions in the area in the context of national and international research initiatives and identify a funding target. Typically a Phase 1 proposal would lead to a Phase 2 application. In addition, special attention will be paid to project proposals that include mentorship of Penn undergraduates. Applications up to $10,000 will be considered.
Research Opportunity Development Grants: Phase 2
Phase 2 grants offer extensive support for up to two years to enable specific outcomes in support of a center or group proposal to an external funding organization. Activities include research workshops, preliminary studies, networking in the relevant research community, etc. Specific outcomes are expected. Documented matching department and/or school funds will be considered positively. In addition, special attention will be paid to project proposals that include mentorship of Penn undergraduates. Applications with requests between $50,000 to $200,000 will be considered.
Note: Phase 2 grants are not intended to support the development of proposals that respond to regular solicitations such as those for NIH RO1 grants or NSF Division programs.
Disciplines for all award programs: Biomedical Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Engineering, Social Science and Management.
Undergraduate Participation: As part of the University’s commitment to providing research opportunities to scholars across our campus community, URF applicants are encouraged to include undergraduate student participants within the framework of their proposals.
Budget: Each URF program has separate budget requirements.
Eligibility for all award programs: Eligibility is limited to Penn assistant, associate and full professors in any track. Instructors and research associates must provide a letter from their department chair establishing that the applicant will receive an appointment as an assistant professor by the time of the award. Assistant professors must submit a letter from their department chair describing their research independence. Adjunct faculty are not eligible to apply. Awards must be expended on University of Pennsylvania facilities, equipment and/or associated University technical staff and undergraduate students. Note: Proposals from faculty who have received awards from the University Research Foundation in the past three cycles will be less competitive.
Detailed information including application materials can be found at http://www.upenn.edu/research/smarts/university_research_foundation/
Related: Fall 2016 University Research Foundation Awards
Penn Libraries’ Community Outreach Program Exponentially Expands Engagement with Greater Philadelphia Area Schools
What started with a Penn Libraries program to ensure a West Philadelphia elementary school library would remain open has turned into a sustainable model for service learning. In the two years since creating the Community Outreach Librarian position and the ever expanding Community Outreach Program, the Penn Libraries has increased its contribution to the greater Philadelphia area exponentially—from serving 500 students to nearly 6,000.
Penn Libraries’ engagement with local schools began at the Henry C. Lea Elementary School in West Philadelphia, where Penn volunteers and student workers have helped set up an electronic catalog, staffed library shifts, and maintained a collection replenishing program. Through a relationship with the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC), Penn Libraries’ public school engagement has expanded to over a dozen schools, positively impacting the educational experience of at-risk students in the city. New planned partnerships with three additional Philadelphia schools—Southwark School, William L. Sayre High School and Benjamin B. Comegys School—are on the horizon.
The Penn Libraries is able to sustain its Community Outreach Program through collaborations with local nonprofits and stakeholders on Penn’s campus such as the Netter Center for Community Partnerships. This partnership helps Penn Libraries place student employees and work-study students in local schools, providing opportunities for service learning in mentorship, literacy studies and librarianship.
“This model is both sustainable and replicable,” said Vice Provost and Director of Libraries H. Carton Rogers. “While we are focused on the particular needs of Philadelphia, our vision is one that expands beyond the city itself. Ultimately, we hope, that other colleges and universities can replicate this model within their own communities by utilizing on-campus resources and local non-profit organizations,” he added.
The University of Pennsylvania remains broadly committed to community outreach across campus. Its goals for engagement are outlined in the University’s current strategic vision, President Amy Gutmann’s Penn Compact 2020: “Penn is engaging locally, nationally and globally to bring the benefits of Penn’s research, teaching, and service to individuals and communities at home and around the world.” Alongside President Gutmann and Penn, Penn Libraries is pleased to do its part in nurturing the lives of readers and learners in Philadelphia and beyond.
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