Academic & economic exchange in France

L-R: Dr. Chris Anderson, Dr. Mike Jackson, Dr. Tiina Kauppinen, James Schellenberg (CEO Cubresa), Dr. Jean-Eric Ghia, Dr. Jude Uzonna, Dr. Xavier Gromaitre. Photo credit. Dr. Tiina Kauppinen

An academic and economic exchange between leading researchers in immunology and neuroscience  took place in Strasbourg, France in December 2019.   The workshop was a collaborative meeting aimed at establishing a scientific partnership between Canada and France. This exchange connected European scientists in the Neurex network with University of Manitoba Faculty, including Dr. Chris Anderson [Professor, Dept. of Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Director, Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine (KIAM)], Dr. Michael Jackson (Associate Professor, Dept. of Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Principal Investigator, KIAM), Dr. Tiina Kauppinen (Associate Professor, Dept. of  Pharmacology and Therapeutics; Principal Investigator, KIAM), Dr. Jean- Eric Ghia (Associate Professor, University of Manitoba; Director, Gastrointestinal Basic Biology), and Dr. Jude Uzonna (Professor, Dept. of Immunology).  Neurex is the leading neuroscience research network in Europe. Originally established in 2001, the Neurex network represents one-hundred-and-ten laboratories and over one thousand scientists  across universities in France, Switzerland, and Germany.

The purpose of the exchange was to discuss opportunities that would support international training, increase scientific mobility and promote collaboration between institutes in different countries.  Strasbourg neuroscience trainees are eligible to participate in exchange programs with other Universities in the Neurex network; however, no exchange program currently exists for neuroscience graduate students in Manitoba.  Investing in cross-border training advances a trainee’s scientific career because it makes them more desirable and competitive for the job market.  An exchange program between the Universities of Strasbourg and Manitoba, would create training opportunities internationally, where Canadian trainees could do part of their program in France and possibly across the Neurex network, and vice versa.  In addition, this partnership would create international teaching opportunities for professors, with opportunities to teach graduate courses or lectures to students in an institute from another country. Cooperation between University of Manitoba and other international institutes would further broaden professional networks, promote international scientific exchange, and support collaborative research projects.