UCL News


UCL biomedical staff visit Cuba

6 May 2005

A group from UCL recently spent a week in Cuba visiting key scientific institutes and Havana's Medical School at the invitation of the Head of the Cuban Academy of Sciences, who - together with a number of biomedical scientists - visited UCL in 2004.

UCL’s delegation visiting the William Soler Hospital for Cardiological Diseases of Childwood

As with all biomedical research undertaken in Cuba, these institutes focus on basic and applied research that will ultimately be of value in improving the health of the population. The group saw research in basic immunology and cancer together with facilities to take new therapies and vaccines into production. In addition, a number of centres dedicated to neuroscience, neurology and neurosurgery were visited, which are making outstanding contributions in the fields of autism, deafness and neurodegenerative diseases.

In the areas of both neuroscience and infection and immunity there were many synergies between the work being undertaken in Cuba and that at UCL, and steps will be taken to build on these. Although a developing country, Cuba has a medical service on a par with many in the developed world and visits were made to primary care facilities and a tertiary hospital specialising in cardiology for children and adolescents.

Discussions were held at the medical school regarding medical education and it was agreed that further two-way exchanges of both students and teachers would be mutually beneficial.

In February 2006 the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education will be hosting the 5th Congress of Higher Education, focusing on distance education and e-learning.

Image: UCL's delegation - pictured visiting the William Soler Hospital for Cardiological Diseases of Childwood - comprised (left to right) Professor Anne Johnson (Primary Care & Population Sciences), Professor Mary Collins (Immunology & Molecular Pathology) and Professor Peter Mobbs, Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, as well as Dr Mary Phillips, Director of Research & Planning for Biomedicine. The delegation was received by Professor Cazenove and Dr Cardenas.