Academics from the University of San Francisco d’Quito in Ecuador were introduced to biomedical innovations taking place in Roanoke and beyond from Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC.

The professionals from Ecuador were hosted by Aimée Surprenant, dean of the Graduate School, as part of the Future Professoriate Group from Latin America. Suprenant arranged the visit with scholars across Virginia Tech and joined them on a tour of Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s newest facility before the group closed out the evening at the Hotel Roanoke.

They also heard from Naren Ramakrishnan, the Thomas L. Phillips Professor of engineering at Virginia Tech. Ramakrishnan is the founder and director of the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics and director of the Amazon-Virginia Tech Initiative in Efficient and Robust Machine Learning.

“We have so much to learn from one another,” said Friedlander, who is also Virginia Tech’s vice president for health sciences and technology. “By sharing ideas, not only across disciplines, but across continents, we will be able to draw on a wide range of perspectives toward a better understanding of the role of education.”

The Future Professoriate is a collaborative program between Universidad San Francisco d’Quito and Virginia Tech. The five-day program invites academic scholars to examine the role of higher education from a global perspective. It includes a series of professional development experiences in Virginia, such as the visits to Blacksburg and Roanoke, where faculty engage in reflections and deep conversations regarding the future of higher education.

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