The University and Yale-New Haven Hospital are entering into a transatlantic biomedical research alliance with University College London and UCL Partners, UCL’s affiliated research network, the University announced in a press release Monday.
The agreement, which will be formally signed in a ceremony this coming Thursday, will put both universities’ resources toward common goals, the first of those being translational research — a growing medical field that focuses on the application of basic scientific discoveries at the clinical level.
A representative from each of the four institutions will sign the agreement on Oct. 8 in Woodbridge Hall. In addition to University President Richard Levin, who will represent Yale, the presidents of UCL and Yale-New Haven and the managing director of UCL Partners will attend. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is now in his second year as a visiting professor at Yale, will also attend.
Unlike typical research partners, both Yale and UCL are associated with extensive hospital networks, the press release said.
Yale spokeswoman Helen Dodson declined to comment, deferring questions to the press conference that will take place after Thursday’s signing.
Dr. David Hafler, the chief and chair of neurology at Yale-New Haven and the Yale School of Medicine, said while he was not familiar with the details of the new transcontinental agreement, he recognized the essential importance of collaborative research.
“It’s absolutely critical,” he said. “The silos that previously existed around universities won’t work. What’s required is building bridges with other universities.”
While serving as director of molecular immunology at Harvard Medical School, Hafler was a member of the international team that discovered the genetic foundation of multiple sclerosis. Hafler, who began working at Yale last month, said this 40-member international consortium was fundamental to the eventual success of the research.