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UT Southwestern and University of Cape Town announce 5-year affiliation agreement

DALLAS Oct. 12, 2011 UT Southwestern Medical Center and the faculty of health sciences of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, signed a five-year affiliation agreement today to collaborate on faculty and student exchanges, joint research and training activities and other educational opportunities.

The agreement, UT Southwestern's first with an African university, is the third international affiliation agreement for the medical center. UT Southwestern leaders previously signed agreements with Sun Yat-sen University and First Affiliated Hospital in China, and Rabin Medical Center in Israel. UT Southwestern also has an agreement with the University of Paris for an international medical student exchange program. These relationships serve to support the medical center's strategic effort to develop global health programs worldwide.

Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern, signed the agreement with Dr. Bongani Mayosi, head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town, on behalf of Dr. Marian Jacobs, dean of the university's medical school. The agreement was announced during UT Southwestern's first global heath symposium, "Global Health 3.0: The Role of Academic Institutions," a UT System effort to bring together health care leaders to examine global health initiatives and opportunities.

"The agreement between UT Southwestern and the faculty of health sciences of the University of Cape Town extends our leading research and educational footprint to a critical region of the globe," Dr. Podolsky said. "This will substantially enrich the collaborative opportunities available for students, trainees and faculty at both institutions and will ultimately benefit the generations of patients for whom they will care."

Dr. Mayosi, who is also chief physician of University of Cape Town's affiliated Groote Schuur Hospital, said, "We face numerous challenges in global health and it is imperative that more emphasis be placed on development and implementation of practical solutions, from the basic sciences, to the bedside and clinical medicine, to policy and community application. This agreement is well suited to the global health initiative we also designed to generate innovation in the social and technological dimensions in health."

The joint agreement calls for UT Southwestern and the University of Cape Town to collaborate in several areas, including:

  • research to include joint submission of grant applications and sharing access to clinical research materials and modern techniques in basic and clinical investigations;
  • reciprocal exchange of postgraduate trainees or faculty in the areas of medicine, collaborative research projects, as well as exchange of publications, reports and other academic information;
  • joint research conferences and symposia; and
  • professional development.

Currently, collaborative research exists between the University of Cape Town and UT Southwestern to study the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anti-tuberculosis drugs in pulmonary and pericardial tuberculosis, as well as mechanisms of multidrug resistance in TB.

Dr. Podolsky announced the affiliation agreement on the UT Southwestern campus, where he was joined by Dr. J. Gregory Fitz, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost and dean of UT Southwestern Medical School; Dr. Fiemu Nwariaku, associate dean for global health; Dr. Angela Mihalic, associate dean for student affairs; Dr. David Johnson, chairman of internal medicine; Dr. Tawanda Gumbo, associate professor of internal medicine, administrative director of research programs for the Office of Global Health and a Mellon Visiting Scholar at the University of Cape Town; and Wendeline Jongenburger, director of the Office of Global Health.

Dr. Mayosi, a cardiologist whose research includes the genetics of cardiovascular disease, is president of the South African Heart Association, president of the College of Physicians of South Africa, chairman of the National Health Research Committee, vice president of the Pan African Society of Cardiology (PASCAR) and chairman of the Rheumatic Fever Council of the World Heart Federation. In November 2009, President Jacob Zuma bestowed upon him South Africa's highest honor, the Order of Mapungubwe in Silver, for excellent achievements in medical science.

Among those instrumental in establishing the new relationship is His Excellency Ebrahim Rasool, the Ambassador of South Africa to the United States and alumnus of The University of Cape Town, who met with representatives of each university.

"UT Southwestern is particularly grateful for the assistance provided by His Excellency," said Dr. Nwariaku.


Contact: Russell Rian
UT Southwestern Medical Center

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