Concluding the Inaugural Year of the Janssen-Drexel 4D Fellowship
August 25, 2022
The inaugural class of Janssen-Drexel 4D fellows successfully completed their first year in Drexel graduate programs, capping off a great start to their educational journey and to the entire 4D program. The occasion was marked by a 4D Fellowship event at Janssen’s Spring House facility, where the inaugural fellows presented their research progress and the incoming fellows introduced themselves to Janssen scientists.
The second-year fellows, Mohammed, Desmond and Celina presented their research results.
The new 4D Fellows, Hieu, Alani, Nicholas and Zoila introduced themselves to Janssen scientists and staff.
Olimpia Meucci, MD, PhD, professor and chair of pharmacology and physiology and executive director of the 4D Fellowship at Drexel, attended the event, noting, “I enjoyed seeing the transformation of the inaugural 4D fellows after their first year in the program, and it was exciting to welcome a larger and more diverse incoming class this year.”
Alessandro Fatatis, MD, PhD, professor of pharmacology and physiology and chair of the 4D Admission and Steering Committee at Drexel, concurred. “Last week’s event provided an invaluable opportunity to assess how much the inaugural 4D fellows have grown – both scientifically and personally – since they joined our graduate programs at Drexel less than a year ago. All three fellows showed a sense of pride for conducting biomedical research aimed to advance human health and welfare. They presented the results of their research with confidence. Notably, all the Janssen mentors made a point of emphasizing how impressed they were with the progress made by each of the fellows.
Janssen’s 4D Fellowship event also set the stage for the incoming 4D fellows, who received a preview of the scientific and mentorship opportunities provided by the Janssen-Drexel partnership. Fatatis said, “The event had a crucial impact on the ’24 4D fellows. Still getting acquainted with their new scientific and educational commitments – and for some in a new country – they could see themselves in their peers and were clearly excited and eager to start their new journey.”
The incoming class includes five new fellows: Alani Hairston, Hieu Jeromy, Diego Jimenez Trejo, Zoila Moreano Villena and Nicolas Wilson. The new fellows recently started their studies in Drexel’s graduate programs and began their first lab rotation in a Drexel or Janssen lab. In the future, fellows may participate in additional Janssen or Drexel lab rotations prior to beginning thesis research in their lab of choice.
The new 4D fellows signing their fellowship agreements!
The 4D event included a tour of Janssen's facilities.
Meucci expressed pride not just in the fellows, but in the fellowship program itself. “Creating the 4D Fellowship program with Fei [Shen, PhD pharmacology and physiology ’17] and the Janssen Oncology team during the pandemic has been reinvigorating and a wonderful opportunity to employ the basic elements of academic science — innovation, mentorship and leadership — toward a single selfless goal. I look forward to continuing this important work and expanding the program to other therapeutic areas and academic units. The partnership with Janssen offers a life-changing opportunity to underrepresented students enrolled at Drexel and will change the fabric of the pharmaceutical industry workforce. I expect others will soon follow our visionary example.”
The Janssen-Drexel 4D Fellowship is just beginning its important work to diversify the industry workforce and biological sciences more broadly. Crucially, the program has earned ample positive feedback from Drexel and Janssen mentors as well as the fellows themselves, which highlights the future potential of the 4D Fellowship. All involved are looking forward to the continued growth of the program, celebrating the first 4D graduates next year, and continuing to diversify the biomedical science community.