Director, Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome, Penn Genetics

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Feb 09, 2024
Full time Deans & Directors

Job Description


Director, Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome, Penn Genetics

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Open Date: Nov 08, 2023
Deadline: Nov 08, 2025 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time

The Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome (ACE for WS) at the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) at the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) seeks candidates for an Associate or Full Professor position in either the non-tenure clinician-educator track or the tenure track to be the inaugural Director of the Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome. Expertise is required in rare genetic diseases and developmental disorders, with experience in Williams syndrome (WS) strongly preferred. Candidates should hold an advanced degree in a relevant field such as medicine, genetics, neuroscience, psychology, or a related discipline. Applicants must have an M.D. or Ph.D. or equivalent degree. Rank will be commensurate with experience.

The Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome (ACE for WS), spanning CHOP and Penn Medicine, was established by a generous philanthropic gift with a vision to improve the lives of all people with Williams syndrome and their families across the lifespan. Its mission is to build a model for comprehensive care, novel research, and extensive education and training in Williams syndrome, provide expanded and integrated clinical services for both children and adults with WS, establish a leading research center leading to a better understanding of WS across the lifespan, develop new approaches to treatment of individuals with WS, train the next generation of WS experts, offer educational resources for the WS community, and increase awareness of the spectrum of lived experiences of families living with WS. The ACE for WS will create a holistic support model that addresses the diverse needs of individuals with WS across their lifespan while fostering a community that champions understanding and inclusivity.

The Director of the Armellino Center of Excellence for Williams Syndrome is envisioned as a faculty member at PSOM and CHOP who will dedicate a substantial fraction of the overall effort to the ACE for WS and oversee the clinical, research, and educational activities and strategic direction. The successful candidate will have substantial experience in rare diseases and/or developmental disorders, ideally including Williams Syndrome. The Director will be responsible for developing productive partnerships with all significant stakeholders, including clinicians, investigators, educators, and administrators across CHOP and Penn Medicine, as well as building solid relationships with the Williams Syndrome Association (WSA) and other foundations, external clinicians and researchers, and the Williams Syndrome community around the world. Leveraging CHOP and Penn's strong track record of success in programs for other complex genetic neurobehavioral and medical disorders and growing influence in the field of Williams syndrome care and research, the Director will make ACE for WS the destination for high-touch expert clinical care for individuals with Williams syndrome across the age spectrum, a world-class program for cutting-edge basic, clinical, and translational research in WS, and the leading program for training the next generation of WS experts.

In addition to the roles and responsibilities within the institutions' tripartite mission, the Director of the ACE for WS will play a pivotal leadership role in achieving the following:

Strategic Leadership: Develop and execute a vision for the Center, ensuring alignment with the broader mission and values. Manage budgets, resources, and partnerships effectively to drive sustainable growth.

Community Engagement: Spearhead efforts to increase public awareness and understanding of WS and foster an environment of empathy and support for families living with WS.

Advisory Board Liaison: Proactively interact with and cultivate strong relationships with advisory board members, leverage their insights and expertise to inform strategic decisions, drive innovation, and ensure alignment with our organization's mission and goals.

The ideal candidate will have substantial leadership experience in rare disease clinical care and research and demonstrated success in leading a program involving clinical and research components. An individual with relevant clinical experience is preferred, but non-clinicians with appropriate backgrounds and expertise will be considered. Demonstrated expertise in rare genetic diseases and developmental disorders, with a strong preference for experience in Williams syndrome, is required. The individual must have a proven track record of effectively leading and managing teams, projects, and budgets. Exceptional communication skills are necessary to foster collaboration and engage diverse stakeholders, as well as a solid commitment to advancing the understanding and support of individuals with WS and their families.

Clinical responsibilities may include comprehensive expertise in personalized clinical services, including developing and implementing integrated multidisciplinary clinical programs that provide individuals with WS and their families access to specialized care, therapies, and support services across the lifespan.

Research responsibilities may include devising, leading, and executing innovative and cutting-edge research initiatives to deepen our understanding of WS, advancing treatment approaches, and identifying comorbidity prevention strategies.

Teaching responsibilities may include establishing training programs for future WS experts, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to provide exceptional care, and creating educational resources that empower the WS community and raise awareness.

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly regarded schools that provide undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education opportunities, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer, Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions, with the most recent award from Forbes named Penn one of America's Best Large Employers in 2023. Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to various educational, cultural, and recreational activities.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has been an active part of the Philadelphia community for more than 165 years. The organization and its employees aim to make sick children well help children maintain good health and secure a healthy future for families in their communities. The CHOP Care Network extends throughout the region, with Primary Care practices, Specialty Care and Ambulatory Surgery centers, Urgent Care centers, and Newborn and pediatric Inpatient Care sites at affiliated community hospitals — with more than 50 locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

We seek candidates who embrace and reflect diversity in the broadest sense. The University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are EOEs. Minorities/women/individuals with disabilities/protected veterans are encouraged to apply.


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The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Candidates are considered for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class. Questions or concerns about this should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, University of Pennsylvania, 421 Franklin Building, 3451 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD).

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