This issue of Penn Medicine encompasses journeys far and wide by alumni and faculty of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Just as many beloved fantasy novels map out the lay of the land before readers venture into a new world, “The Prep” this winter shows the landscape of the issue.

Click one of the map items below to start your journey!


Guam – The island home to the mysterious disease known as lytico-bodig

San Diego – UC San Diego researcher W.C. Wiederholt, MD, was principal investigator on a series of NIH grants to study lytico-bodig from 1997-2007 in collaboration with Penn investigators.

Seattle – Gerard Schellenberg, PhD, was at the University of Washington when he first began collaborating with Penn researchers John Trojanowski, MD, PhD, and Virginia Lee, PhD.

Papua New Guinea – Home to the disease kuru, spread through consuming infectious tissue, a mechanism briefly considered to explain lytico-bodig.

Read more about lytico-bodig: Guam’s “Skeleton Key” Enigma


Philadelphia – Home to the University of Pennsylvania, and to the Philadelphia chromosome

Portland, Or. – Brian Druker, MD, at Oregon Health and Science University, led trials of the first small molecule targeted therapy for cancer, Gleevec, which targets the Philadelphia chromosome mutation.

Basel, Switzerland – Headquarters of Roche Pharmaceuticals, where John Reed, MD’86, PhD’86, GME’89, works. Reed’s work on identifying the role of a key cancer gene began during his MD-PhD studies with the late Peter Nowell, MD’52.

Read more about the life and legacy of Peter Nowell: The Cancer Visionary


Bethesda, Md. – Home to the National Institutes of Health, where William Eaton, BA’59, MD’64, PhD’67, has spent his nearly half-century-long career

Vietnam – Seeking to avoid involvement in the U.S. military during the war here contributed to Eaton’s decision to skip his medical internship; he served through the U.S. Public Health Service after earning his PhD in 1967 instead.

Berlin, Germany – Eaton spent a year here as the first Willy Brandt exchange student between Penn and the Free University of Berlin, getting mixed up with Soviet espionage along the way.

Cambridge, U.K.  – Eaton studied at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology for a summer during medical school, among scientists who had six Nobel prizes in total.

Chernogolovka, Russia (near Moscow) – “Why don’t you work on a hard question, like protein folding?” This question, asked of Eaton at a conference here, set him on a new direction in his research.

Africa, Middle East, Mediterranean, India – These parts of the world are most affected by sickle cell anemia, the disease whose mechanism Eaton’s research helped to illuminate through biophysical techniques.

Read more about Eaton: A Deep and Lasting Passion for Science

cursorBeyond the Map: Penn Medicine’s new Center for Digital Health explores the digital realms of social media to connect individuals’ online activity to their health.

Read more about the Center for Digital Health: Tweet Yelp, Heal

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