The MoU involves collaboration between the Departments of Epidemiology from Harvard (USA) and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens on educational and research issues. It calls for the establishment of a summer course in Clinical Epidemiology and a collaboration among academics and students on topics including medical research, epidemiology of cancer, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases, nutritional epidemiology, and epidemiology of infectious diseases.
The Memorandum was announced by the Rector of the NKUA, professor Gerasimos Siasos:
The fact that Harvard University decided to collaborate with a public University in Greece, even if this is the oldest and biggest such Institution nationwide, is the strongest argument for the quality of studies provided by our country’s public Universities. American top Universities, as we all know, are very reluctant to create partnerships beyond the borders of the United States (...) Through this collaboration, Greek students will have the opportunity to get training in their field from the best in the world, while our academic staff will be able to participate in joint research projects with Harvard University in both Greece and the United States.”
The document was signed by the Chair of the NKUA’s School of Medicine, professor Nikolaos Arkadopoulos, and the Dean for Academic Affairs at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, professor Jane J. Kim.
Professor Arkadopoulos noted that his School has a long history of collaboration with Harvard University, in which the late leading professor Dimitrios Trichopoulos played a catalytic role. The Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Professor Albert Hofman, expressed his satisfaction with the signing of the Memorandum and stated that "it offers unique opportunities for important research collaborations and exchanges of students and young scientists in the fields of Medicine and Public Health".
The Director of the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics at the NKUA’s School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, dr. Pagona Lagiou, highlighted that the project was successful thanks to the support of the University's authorities and the administration of the Schools at Harvard and NKUA:
The Memorandum formalizes in the best way a long-standing collaboration between the Departments of Epidemiology of the two Universities and lays solid foundations for the strengthening and expansion of this relationship."
The MoU signed with Harvard is just another step NKUA is taking, following its continued policy of internationalization.