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Universities and drug companies partner to tackle big diseases

New partnerships between universities and drug companies show promises for complex diseases. 

British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is teaming up with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to start a research institute and a company aimed at curing H.I.V. infection and AIDS... The company and the university will each own half of the new company, Qura Therapeutics, which will have the rights to commercialize any discoveries... 

The arrangement is part of a trend in which pharmaceutical companies are working directly with university researchers. Novartis and the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, are building a research center on the Philadelphia campus to work on ways to genetically alter a patient’s immune cells to battle cancer.

But while the University of Pennsylvania partnership is already producing striking remissions in some cancer patients, the attempt to cure H.I.V. is expected to take far longer and may fall short. The $20 million being contributed is a small sum for a company like Glaxo, which spent close to $5 billion on research and development last year.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here

Three Philadelphia women get a deal in the 'Shark Tank'

Zoom Interiors, a startup run by three Philly transplants, earned a deal on the ABC show that funds promising entrepreneurs. In the end, Barbara Corcoran offered $100,000 for 33 percent of the company.

Beatrice Fischel-Bock, Madeline Fraser and Elizabeth Grover all met as students during their first interior design course at George Washington University. “We became friends instantly and worked together for the next three years of design school learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Fischel-Bock said.

The company was born after friends started asking them to design their first apartments upon graduation. However, at the time they were all studying abroad, but quickly realized they were still able to assist their friends, who were all on budgets.
“It dawned on us that this is clearly an undeserved part of the market,” Fischel-Bock explained. “The design industry had just been shaken by the recession and people were very conscious about affordability. We decided to try our new formula with paying customers.”

...After starting their business in Washington DC, where they were in school, they moved to Philly after graduation. Fischel-Bock refers to the city as “the best kept secret on the East coast.” “It has the highest rate of millennials moving in to the city and just has such an authentic feel. The startup community is very close knit and supportive and continues to grow,” she said.


Original source: The Heavy
Read the complete story here

Philly exports its culinary legacy: Cheesesteaks, water ice, soft pretzels and Wawa

A couple Philly mainstays -- Rita's, Tony Luke's, Philly Pretzel Factory, Wawa -- look to take over the world.

The man intent on taking the Philly cheesesteak global saw a familiar sight from home on a recent trip to Florida: a Wawa.
The hoagie-making, coffee-brewing convenience and gas chain from the Philadelphia area is pushing hard into the Sunshine State, opening more than 60 stores since 2012 with another 25 planned by the end of the year.

Albie Misci, sales director at cheesesteak chain Tony Luke's, knows the idea.

He's helping take Philly's most famous culinary treat to Florida, California and even the Middle Eastern nation of Bahrain.

Other staples from the City of Brotherly Love, including its beloved soft pretzels and water ice, are also going global, as their Philadelphia-based purveyors aggressively expand into national - and international - chains.


Original source: Associated Press
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Family takes epic journey from Argentina to PA for Pope's visit

A family embarks on an epic journey from South America, aiming to arrive in time for the Pope's visit to Philadelphia. 

As many as two million people are expected to be in Philadelphia for the visit by Pope Francis and the World Meeting of Families in September. But it’s unlikely any of them will have a journey as long — or as remarkable — as one family from Argentina.

Packed in a 1980 VW minibus are Noël Zemborain; her husband, Alfredo Walker (nicknamed ‘Catire’); and their four kids: Carmin, 2; Mia, 5; Dimas, 8; and Cala, 12.

“It’s a very big family,” says Noël. “A very intense family experience.”

That’s putting it mildly.

In March, mom and dad ditched their jobs, drained their savings, and told their three girls and one boy that they were about to embark on the trip of a lifetime.

“We are traveling all through the continents toward Philadelphia,” says Noël. “We are meeting people, we are learning things about them, and getting to know other ways of living.”


Original source: CBS
Read the complete story here

Paste Magazine drinks its way across Philly's craft beer scene

Paste highlights 10 Philadelphia breweries, including some of our favorites. 

Philly Beer Week is swiftly approaching, but if you cannot wait until May, quench your thirst at the storied pillars of Philadelphia’s craft brew scene any time of the year. Philadelphians are as proud of their beer as they are of monuments like the Liberty Bell, the Betsy Ross House and the Rocky Steps. Nothing could possibly go better with a Philly cheesesteak than an ice-cold brew.

Original source: Paste Magazine
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PA chefs earn James Beard Award nominations

Several Pennsylvania chefs and restauranteurs have earned honors from the prestigious organization. They include: 

Marc Vetri, Vetri, Philadelphia
Stephen Starr, Starr Restaurants, Philadelphia (the Dandelion, Talula’s Garden, Serpico and others)
Alex Bois, High Street on Market, Philadelphia
Joe Cicala, Le Virtù, Philadelphia
Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia
Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia


Check out the full list of nominations here

Original source: The New York Times
 

Philadelphia Inquirer publishes gorgeous in-depth report on East Market development

The Inquirer takes an in-depth look at an essential section of Center City Philadelphia and its latest chapter.

If Philadelphia were a basketball court, Market Street East would be that inexplicable dead spot on the floor, the place where the ball just doesn’t bounce.

The eight-block corridor has four Dunkin’ Donuts and two Subway sandwich shops — but no outdoor cafe. A McDonald’s sits in what used to be a porn emporium...

For years, when people like Paul Levy pitched the route’s potential to developers, they answered, “Yeah, I get it, but nobody goes to Market Street.”

Now that’s changing — fast.

People involved in massive construction plans say that, finally, Market East is poised to become the worthy, prosperous connector of Center City’s two great icons, City Hall and Independence Mall.

“The pieces are in place,” said Levy, president of the Center City District, the marketing and planning agency. “’Inevitable’ may be too strong a word, but, ‘Very highly likely.’”


Original source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Read the complete story here.

The Pennsylvania Ballet takes on Swan Lake

The Pennsylvania Ballet takes on Swan Lake, the classic tale of dark versus light.

Despite the dramatic confusions of this “Swan Lake,” which unfolds as if happening not only at an enchanted lakeside but also in a Parisian ballet studio, [Christopher] Wheeldon adds consistent choreographic touches that are fresh, engaging and rewardingly reminiscent of the work of Britain’s great Frederick Ashton, whose aesthetic helped shape Mr. Wheeldon’s career at its start in England. Pennsylvania Ballet’s dancers render the choreographic admixture of this “Swan Lake” smoothly and convincingly.

While the swan maiden ensemble may not display the sometimes signature, deeply arched torso often associated with the dancing and groupings of the ballet’s lakeside scenes, Pennsylvania’s 20-strong corps de ballet performs the iconic swan choreography with cohesive coordination and caringly detailed accents. Even if the men are not presented here in quite so concentrated a way as the women, the company’s male dancers make marks of their own. Craig Wasserman, for one, stood out with springing energy and a bright manner in the Act 1 Pas de Trois.


Original source: Wall Street Journal
Read the complete review here.

Two Philly spots make GQ's top 25 restaurants list

Two Philadelphia restaurants have earned a place of honor of GQ's list of the country's 25 best restaurants.

Laurel at #8: The room might well be a shotgun apartment: front door leading to a tiny area (seating twenty) leading straight back to an undersized kitchen. There's not much decor, save for a few black iron sconces and hanging lamps. The chairs are exceedingly comfy, the service attentive, the stemware pleasing—all enhancements to a BYOB dining experience with a style of cooking I loved back when it was called “modern French.” Yet the most stunning dish was pure Americana, catfish in a coconut-clam broth. Hard to imagine a kitchen in Philly accomplishing what the South has been trying to do for centuries: make catfish elegant. Chef Nicholas Elmi does it gracefully. His meat dishes are intensely flavorful, particularly duck magret and foie gras. Stylishness has come to East Passyunk Avenue, once ground zero for cheesesteaks, now fast emerging as Philly's premier dining locale.

Lo Spiedo at #24: Come here for a little history and a lot of meat. Lo Spiedo is located just inside the old navy yard, where the battleship New Jersey was built. Almost as sturdy is the reginette bolognese. “Too much meat,” I griped. “Marc Vetri knows what he's doing,” argued a friend. He always does. Here you'll find glorified Americanized Italian food, including a gutsy celery-root milanese sandwich. If vegetarians gave out medals, it deserves the Navy Cross.
 
Original source: GQ
Read the complete list here.

The Philadelphia Flower Show celebrates the movies

The Philadelphia Flower Show pays tribute to Disney and Pixar films with the theme "Celebrate the Movies." The show runs through March 8.

Meticulously landscaped exhibits have been inspired by more than a dozen features, from "Frozen" and "Finding Nemo" to "Cars" and "Cinderella."

Visitors enter through a huge, art deco theater facade as if they were attending a red carpet premiere. Palm trees, roses and lilies help recreate the ornate interior of a 1920s movie palace, while moss, jewels, fabric and other blooms cascade down from "chandeliers" overhead.

Billed as the nation's largest and longest-running flower show, it covers 10 acres and dates back to 1829. Organizers hope this year's family-friendly theme will help a new crop of gardening enthusiasts establish roots at the annual extravaganza, which runs through March 8.

"Introducing that new generation, that younger generation to the flower show is something that we want to do," said Drew Becher, president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, which sponsors the show.


Original source: The Associated Press (via The New York Times)
Read the complete story here.

Drexel student starts feeding frenzy in the 'Shark Tank'

A Drexel student-entrepreneur started a feeding frenzy in the Shark Tank, eventually earning a deal with two sharks for his app SchollyCheck out the video here.

Original source: ABC

Buzz Bissinger lists some Dos and Don'ts for the arriving DNC hordes

The curmudgeonly author of 'Prayer for the City' shares some tips with Politico readers. Some of our favorites:

DON’T come near a cheesesteak. They are gnarly and fundamentally deranged in conception. Until you eat one. Then they are almost worth the guilt you will inevitably feel because you just ate one and likely ingested fifty or sixty thousand calories. Instead satisfy your cravings in what is America's most interesting and diverse culinary city. Try one of the many BYOBs. They are small and intimate and the food stunning and the cost reasonable.

DO drive on the Schuylkill Expressway one night to see the twinkling lights of Boathouse Row against the backdrop of the art museum and the Fairmount Water Works and the city skyline. It is the single most spectacular view in the city. Then be prepared to die since the expressway is the worst engineered highway in history (for a real death thrill, take the South Street exit heading east and try to merge).

DO be prepared to have a ball. The city is truly divine and you will feel pampered. Now if only there was no convention …


Original source: Politico
Read the complete story here.

The 2016 Democratic National Convention comes to the Keystone State

Philadelphia has been awarded the 2016 Democratic National Convention. It's a huge boon for the area and a symbol of its progress.

Maybe it was the private nighttime visit to Independence National Historical Park, where the Democrats’ top national official got to touch the Liberty Bell.

Whatever it was that sealed the deal, Democrats on Thursday chose Philadelphia for their 2016 national convention, looking ahead to Independence Hall and other symbols of America’s birth bathing their presidential nominee in a patriotic aura.

"In addition to their commitment to a seamless and safe convention, Philadelphia’s deep-rooted place in American history provides a perfect setting for this special gathering," Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, who had caressed the Liberty Bell, said in her announcement.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.


 

Philadelphia University basketball coach passes tremendous milestone

This Pennsylvania legend recently became only the second NCAA men's basketball coach to win 1,000 games. 

[Philadelphia University coach Herb] Magee hit the milestone with the Rams' 80-60 win over Post on Saturday. He has won all 1,000 games over 48 seasons at the 3,600-student private Division II university in Philadelphia.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is the only other NCAA men's coach to win 1,000 games. Krzyzewski won his 1,000th game on Jan. 25 against St. John's at Madison Square Garden. He is the fourth men's coach in all divisions to reach the milestone.
Magee needed two tries after the Rams (15-6, 9-3 Central Athletic Collegiate Conference) lost this week to Wilmington.

"Relief. I don't make that up," Magee said. "That's the way I felt. Ask my wife, she'll tell you. It's been a tough situation because the hype is there and everyone is pulling for us as a team but they're really pulling for me to get 1,000 wins because they know how important it is. It means a lot."


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

The New York Times reviews the Pennsylvania Ballet under new director

The New York Times visits the Merriam Theater to check out the Pennsylvania Ballet under new director Angel Corella.

On Saturday, I watched two performances of a triple bill at the attractive Merriam Theater (to be a century old in 2018). My particular interest was in “Shift to Minor,” a world premiere by Matthew Neenan, whose position as resident choreographer Mr. Corella recently extended by three years, and in a revival of George Balanchine’s “The Prodigal Son.” The audience loved both, as well as Christopher Wheeldon’s opening “Polyphonia.” But it is not from these pieces that we can judge Mr. Corella’s taste; for that, we’ll have to wait until he announces his 2015-16 season. The most immediate shifts of emphasis lie in dancers beneath principal level.

In Philadelphia, the program was advertised with a poster image of a newly promoted soloist, Alexander Peters, as the Prodigal. Mr. Peters and a corps dancer imported by Mr. Corella this summer, Mayara Pineiro, were also prominent in “Shift to Minor.” And Saturday’s performances also gave important breaks to two other dancers added by Mr. Corella: the soloist Oksana Maslova and the corps dancer Etienne Diaz. Ms. Maslova and Ms. Pineiro have unusually glamorous presences, considerable poise and technical flair; Mr. Diaz has a boyish charm and athletic energy that somewhat recall Mr. Corella’s own.



Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete review here.
646 Philadelphia Articles | Page: | Show All
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