(L-R) Professor Javier Escobar, Associate Dean for Global Health (Rutgers), Emmeline Searson GEMS International, Professor Paul McCutcheon UL Vice President, Eugene Griffin, Limerick City & County Council, Professor Vicente Gracias, Medical School Dean (Rutgers),Christy O’Connor, Limerick City & County Council, Professor Michael Larvin Head of the GEMS and Sharon Nolan GEMS
(L-R) Professor Javier Escobar, Associate Dean for Global Health (Rutgers), Emmeline Searson GEMS International, Professor Paul McCutcheon UL Vice President, Eugene Griffin, Limerick City & County Council, Professor Vicente Gracias, Medical School Dean (Rutgers),Christy O’Connor, Limerick City & County Council, Professor Michael Larvin Head of the GEMS and Sharon Nolan GEMS

The University of Limerick has signed a Memorandum of Understanding between its Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) and one of North America’s leading comprehensive medical schools, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, located in New Brunswick, New Jersey and part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  The agreement will facilitate the exchange of undergraduate and postgraduate students studying Medicine between both institutions. It will open up opportunities for UL medical students to study overseas as part of their programme at GEMS.  It is also hoped to develop research collaboration.

There is an added dimension to this new agreement as Limerick and New Brunswick are sister cities, linked by direct flights daily between Newark and Shannon airports. This agreement is particularly important for the city of Limerick as it builds on relationships initiated through Limerick City and County Council and the City of New Brunswick. Key in the development of the emerging relationship were Eugene Griffin at Limerick City & County Council, and Professor Bill Shannon, UL GEMS Director of International Liaison.

The agreement was signed on behalf of UL by Professor Paul McCutcheon, Vice-President Academic & Registrar,  he commented:  “The University is moving forward later this year with its new five year Strategic Plan, ‘Broadening Horizons’, one of the aims of which is to further strengthen the institution’s international profile.  This MOU presents exciting opportunities for co-operation, not only of benefit to both medical schools, but also for wider collaboration between our Universities.”

The MOU was signed during an official visit to UL by leading faculty at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, including Professor Javier Escobar, Associate Dean for Global Health and Professor Vicente Gracias, Medical School Dean and Chief Executive for the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital group.  Commenting on this new agreement, Professor Michael Larvin, Head of the GEMS, said, ‘We are delighted to have concluded this new agreement with Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers University.  We are all looking forward to developing the relationship between both institutions, and to realising the significant opportunities this offers both our students and research staff.’

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School encompasses 20 basic science and clinical departments, hosts centres and institutes including The Cardiovascular Institute, the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, and the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey. The medical school maintains educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels on its campuses in New Brunswick and Piscataway and provides continuing education courses for health care professionals and community education programs. In addition, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has 34 other hospital affiliates and ambulatory care sites throughout the region.