Argentine Government Appoints Sylvester Researcher

Enrique A. Mesri, Ph.D., was appointed to Argentina Scientific Advisory Committee

Enrique A. Mesri, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the Miller School and a member of the Viral Oncology Research Program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been appointed to Argentina’s Committee of Advisors for Scientific and Technological Cooperation in Foreign Countries. The prestigious honor recognizes Dr. Mesri’s leadership among prominent Argentine scientists living in the United States and his success at forging collaboration among the group’s members, organizations in Argentina and around the world, and the Miller School and Sylvester.

The two-year renewable ad honorem appointment, from the Argentina Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCyT), is bestowed upon Argentine scientists living abroad who have been recognized for their contributions to the international research community. Dr. Mesri will function as a scientific ambassador of Argentina to the United States and will work closely with the Consulate General of Argentina in Miami.

“This recognition crowns 10 years of work in international cooperation among numerous organizations and the many successful Argentine scientists living and working in the United States,” said Dr. Mesri. “The collaboration and exchange of scientific ideas have been good for both countries and particularly for the Miller School and Sylvester, evidenced by the exciting scientific cooperation project we launched with Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., in 2008.

“This cooperation included the creation of a joint biomedical institute in the areas of genomic medicine and molecular epidemiology applied to cancer, cardiology, AIDS and endemic infectious diseases. This led to productive trips to Argentina implemented through the invaluable collaboration of Eduardo de Marchena, M.D., and the International Medicine Institute; Bart Chernow, M.D., and UM Innovation; and Alejandra Collarte, director of international and corporate affairs for UM Information Technology. The University will benefit from our continuous interaction with the MINCyT and the Argentine consulate.”

The appointment, Dr. Mesri says, continues the Miller School’s tradition of cooperation in Latin American that was initiated 30 years ago by The William J. Harrington Medical Training Programs for Latin America and the Caribbean, created by William Harrington Sr., M.D. The program has trained Latin American physicians who later returned to their countries to become leaders in health care. Similarly, in developing scientific cooperation programs with Argentina, the goal is to build state-of-the-art research capacity in order to retain young scientists and attract promising Argentine scientists after their training abroad. In this way the collaborations contribute to the technological development of the country as well as to its public health.

As part of his official duties, Dr. Mesri will identify other programs at the University and across the country that have the potential for cooperation with researchers and others in Argentina. He will also help organize and update information on technology transfer and intellectual property to be disseminated through the Argentina Office of International Affairs.

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