UNMC activity with Russian colleagues ramps up

by Chuck Brown, UNMC public relations | August 20, 2009

Emerging relationships


A photo slide show featuring images of recent activity between UNMC and colleagues in Russia. Double click on the images to see more about the photos.

Three recent developments are indicative of increased efforts by UNMC to build relationships with colleagues in Russia.

The developments are:

  • The signing of an agreement with Russian State Medical University -- that nation's largest medical school -- which calls for research collaboration and faculty exchanges;
  • Members of UNMC's Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine (CDDN) co-organizing a weeklong nanomedicine school in Moscow; and
  • A planned trip to Moscow in October by UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., to meet leaders from Russian State and Moscow State Universities.

"Russia is home to some of the finest scientific minds in the world," Dr. Maurer said. "As a medical center, we can only benefit from allying ourselves with these scientists and the country's major academic and health care institutions."

Agreement a significant first step

The agreement with Russian State -- which was signed by Dr. Maurer and Russian State Rector Nikolai Volodin, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci. -- is the first step in the establishment of a joint scientific education program between the schools.

The partnership could include joint ventures in the areas of nanomedicine, cancer care and brain diseases, said Vladimir Chekhonin, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc. a professor at Russian State and full member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, who visited UNMC with Dr. Volodin.

Odds and ends

  • The CDDN hosted a similar school in the Summer of 2008 at UNMC.

  • The school in Moscow was actually the second of the summer for UNMC's Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine. CDDN members also helped present a school in June in Lisbon, Portugal.

The first medical student exchange could take place this fall, said Alexander "Sasha" Kabanov, Ph.D., Parke-Davis Chair in Pharmaceutics and director of the CDDN, whose efforts were key to the agreement's completion.

UNMC co-sponsors nanomedicine school in Moscow

In July, Dr. Kabanov and others from the CDDN helped instruct nearly 230 students from around the world during a weeklong nanomedicine school in Moscow. The UNMC group co-sponsored the school along with Moscow State University and Rossnano -- a nanotechnology company owned by the Russian government.

Among those who joined Dr. Kabanov on the trip to Moscow were:

  • Howard Gendelman, M.D., chairman of the department pharmacology and experimental neurosciences;
  • Tatiana Bronich, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences;
  • Elena Batrakova, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences; and
  • Natasha Nukolova, a graduate student in the Polymer Science Program at Moscow State University who conducts her studies at UNMC under supervision of Dr. Bronich.

"The school was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Dr. Gendelman said. "Without a doubt, global connections between UNMC and world-leading universities such as Moscow State elevate the stature of UNMC.

"It was a joy also to speak Russian and meet old and make new friends. The lectures were exceptional and served to increase my knowledge breadth."

School thrilled to have UNMC experts on hand

Natasha Klyachko, Ph.D., D.Sc., a professor at Moscow State University, helped organize the school and said it was a great coup to have Dr. Kabanov -- a world leader in nanomedicine research -- and the UNMC team present at the seminar.

"Interest in nanomedicine is very high right now and we were very fortunate to have Sasha and his team provide their expertise for the students," said Dr. Klyachko, who this summer came to Omaha to visit Dr. Kabanov's laboratory as part of an exchange agreement between UNMC and Moscow State University.

Renewing that exchange agreement will be one of key points of Dr. Maurer's October trip. The chancellor also will meet with Russian State's Dr. Volodin, who invited Dr. Maurer to Moscow.

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