RFA for Sidney Pestka, M’61 Term Fellowship

We are pleased to announce a request for applications from individuals who are interested in pursuing the Master of Science in Translational Research with funding provided by the Sidney Pestka, M’61 Term Fellowship, established by his wife, Joan Petska.

Sidney Pestka, M’61 Term Fellowship

The late Dr. Sidney Pestka is known as the "Father of Interferon" for his seminal work on interferon, work that gave birth to a $6 billion dollar market directed at the therapy of hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other diseases that affect mankind. Dr. Pestka is named inventor on 270 U.S. and foreign patents and has 665 publications and abstracts in his name. He has edited five books related to protein biosynthesis and interferons -several of which are classics and still cited today.

Dr. Pestka received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1961.

He was awarded the 2001 National Medal of Technology by President George W. Bush. He received the Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research; the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize from Harvard Medical School; the Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award; the Molecular Biology Medal from the National Institutes of Health for his role in deciphering the genetic code and the mechanism of protein synthesis; and the Edward J. Ill Outstanding Medical Research Scientist Award for Basic Biomedical Research.

This fellowship is not currently accepting applications.


The purpose of this Fellowship is to provide financial support to individuals while they:

  1. Engage in a research project
  2. Complete the Master of Science in Translational Research (MSTR)
    • For trainees pursuing a T1 research project testing basic research findings for clinical effect (i.e. preclinical, first in human, proof of concept, phase 1) and whose research is focused on the elucidation of mechanistic and therapeutic aspects of disease processes.

  Applicants are encouraged to contact Rachel McGarrigle, Director of Education,
to discuss their learning objectives and career goals.

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Positions are open to Predoctoral Students, GME Trainees (Residents, Fellows), and Junior Faculty.

  • Predoctoral applicants must be enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania in the Perelman School of Medicine MD program
  • Postdoctoral trainees and junior faculty applicants must have MD level degree
  • The fellowship gives preference for students and/or recent alumni from the Perelman School of Medicine
  • If you have other funding under review or awarded at the time of application or up until appointment to the grant, please notify us to discuss eligibility.

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Available Funding

  • Appointment to the Sidney Pestka, M'61 Term Fellowship will be for two years
  • Fellows may receive partial salary support, tuition support, or a combination of the two
  • Fellows may receive support for supplemental academic development opportunities such as visits and collaborations with other labs, industry leaders and/or the FDA, or other networking and mentoring opportunities.

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Apply Now!

Only one application is required for both the chosen educational program and associated funding awards. All eligible applicants who apply during the fall application cycle are considered for funding awards.

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If you have any questions, please contact:
Education Director, Rachel McGarrigle, MSEd
Program Director, Emma Meagher, MD

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