Leaders from Wake Forest University and the University of Strasbourg in France signed a letter of intent in March 2022, to explore opportunities for education and research collaborations that include Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist.
It marks the first time the University of Strasbourg, established in 1621, has participated in this type of academic collaboration with a US university.
During his visit, University of Strasbourg president, Michel Deneken, received an overview of Innovation Quarter, toured the School of Medicine’s Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education, and saw the latest in simulated surgical training, medical robotics and regenerative medicine research.
The meeting included Susan Wente, PhD, president of Wake Forest University; Rogan Kersh, PhD, provost of Wake Forest University; Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), DFSVS, dean of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, CEO of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and chief academic officer of Atrium Health; and Mary Hall, MD, senior vice president and senior associate dean of education and faculty affairs at Atrium Health.
“It was really exciting to have our visitors here from the University of Strasbourg in France,” Dr. Freischlag said. “It’s great to see the partnership that we could do not only in undergraduate education, but in scientific discovery, working with the medical school and the Innovation District. I can see that it is really going to help us accelerate that research corridor from Winston-Salem to Charlotte.”
Atrium Health recently established a relationship with IRCAD, a training facility for minimally invasive surgery based in France that trains more than 7,200 surgeons from around the world each year, across the full range of specialties. IRCAD’s president also has a relationship with the University of Strasbourg, and the connection with Wake Forest was made.
Following the letter of intent, the 2 universities and the School of Medicine began discussing what a collaborative agreement would include.