Published: 28-11-2011 00:00 | Updated: 07-07-2014 08:32

Karolinska Institutet and Mayo Clinic strengthen their cooperation

The scope of Karolinska Institutet's cooperation with one of the world's leading health organisations, Mayo Clinic, is now being extended through a formal contract. A delegation from Mayo Clinic is coming to Stockholm, and the cooperation is being marked by a major international conference.

Journalists are welcome to attend the Mayo-KI Meeting conference, where the cooperation contract will be signed and world-leading research in regenerative medicine, diabetes and metabolism will be presented. It will also be possible to interview Dr Robert Rizza, who is Executive Dean for Research at Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Terrence Cascino, Mayo's Executive Dean for Education.

The conference will run from Thursday 1 December to Saturday 3 December. For precise times and venue, please see the attached programme.

Mayo Clinic is an American organization in the fields of medicine and health, a model for its clinical research and organization of healthcare. More than a million patients receive care through Mayo Clinic every year, and the organization contains a five-school medical college, hospitals, tertiary, secondary and primary care facilities and laboratories across the United States.

"Mayo Clinic has succeeded in combining world-leading research with world-leading care, and we have much to learn from them organizationally and administratively, how to adapt our activities to first-class healthcare while conducting point-of-care research. They can learn from us too. We have a long tradition of clinical research here, and it is more common for doctors to carry out research and have research training here than it is the United States," says Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, President of Karolinska Institutet.

Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's most renowned medical universities, recently ranked fifth in Europe for its high quality. The cooperation with Mayo Clinic forms part of a new strategy to increase exchange with other countries in order to give Karolinska Institutet a further boost in international competition. The objective is to cooperate with a small number of strong partners.

"The cooperation with Mayo Clinic will be broader than usual. As well as exchanges of undergraduates and doctoral students, there will be cooperation between administrative staff and innovation platforms. It is likely that this cooperation will grow deeper with time," says Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson.

"We look forward to working with our colleagues at the Karolinska Institutet to advance the science of health care for everyone," says Robert Rizza, M.D., Kinney Executive Dean for Research. Far beyond a simple academic agreement, this is an historic framework by which we will transform medicine, and for us at Mayo Clinic, extend our humanitarian mission to the world."

"Karolinska Institutet and Mayo Clinic will be working together to share and develop innovations in education and train the next generation of health care providers and scientists, worldwide," says Terrence Cascino, M.D., Juanita Kious Waugh Executive Dean for Education. "This agreement is an exciting and significant milestone."

It is natural for the two organizations to come closer together. It was around 15 years ago that the first contacts were made between Karolinska Institutet and Mayo Clinic in the areas of diabetes and nutrition. The scope of this is now being extended, and an exchange in the area of regenerative medicine, where both Karolinska Institutet and Mayo Clinic have prominent researchers and educators, is being added. One of these clinician/scientists is Professor Andre Terzic of Mayo Clinic, who has done much to increase understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the heart and will be coming to the conference to speak on regenerative solutions for heart failure.

Robert Rizza and Terrence Cascino will be attending the conference, as will Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson. One of the initiators of the original cooperation, Professor Sree Nair of Mayo Clinic, will also be present. His research focus is on the effects of aging on muscles.