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The Pontifical University of Rio Grande do Sul visits St Mary's to Discuss Partnership Opportunities

The Rector of the Pontifical University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) Prof Joaquim Clotet and Director of Space Medicine and founder of the PUCRS Microgravity Center Dr Thais Russomano visited St Mary’s University, Twickenham at the end of January, to discuss partnership between both institutions as well as collaboration and joint development in the fields of Education, Bioethics, Nanotechnology, and Medical Physics. PUCRS was established in 1931 in the city of Porto Algre and is widely recognised in Latin America, and the world, as a key player in Scientific and Technological innovation through its Technological Park (TecnoPUC). PUC-RS is one of the largest and most distinguished higher education institutions in Brazil, recognised as the best private university in the South of Brazil. The university’s mission was founded on human rights, the principles of Christianity and traditional Marist education. Prof Joaquim has a distinguished career as a bioethicist and has sat on the Brazilian Ministry of Health’s National Committee on Access and Use of the Human Genome, and the National Committee for Ethics in Research (1997-2001). He was also President of the Riograndense Society of Bioethics (1999-2001). Dr Russomano is the only Doctor of Space Medicine in Brazil. She is considered an internationally distinguished authority on Space Life Sciences and is a leading member of the Brazilian Society of Aerospace Medicine and the Brazilian Space Agency. Prof Joaquim and Dr Russomano met with the Vice-Chancellor Francis Campbell, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement Prof Anne Moran and Dr David Reggio, International Partnerships and Enterprise. A round-table discussion was had with Dr Maureen Glackin, Prof Geoffrey Hunt, Dr Trevor Stammers, Dr Matt James and Elisabetta Canetta to survey funded alliances in the fields of technological innovation and education. Identified was the contemporary need for joint innovation to be hallmarked by scientific, industrial and social impact. The visit to St Mary’s was part of the PUCRS international mission to the UK. Oxford University, Cambridge University and Kings College also hosted Prof Joaquim and Dr Russomano. The University of Miami, Rice University in Houston and the University of South Florida were visited the week before. The visit was hailed by leaders of both Catholic institutions, as the first step to building a high-profile, high-impact, international partnership, framed by tradition and strengthened by the excellence offered by both.  

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