GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences Participates in Scientific Research Summit in Spain

GW and Spanish GW and Spanish researchers will participate in scientific discussions in the areas of oncology and neuroscience

WASHINGTON (Nov. 30, 2017) - The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) will participate in the First International Scientific Research Summit of the GW-Spain Consortium in Madrid on Dec. 1-2.

The summit was created in partnership with the GW Cancer Center, SMHS researchers, the school’s Office of International Medicine Programs, and key partners in Spain to bring researchers together from across GW and Spanish institutions, including co-sponsors Puerta de Hierro Hospital and Research Institute and the Universidad de Autonoma. Researchers from the Cajal Institute and the Catholic University of Valencia will also participate in the summit.

“International scientific summits represent a key strategy of our Global Research Initiative," said Huda M. Ayas, EdD, MBA, MHSA, associate dean for international medicine and executive director of the Office of International Medicine Programs at SMHS. “Our goal for this summit is to establish joint research projects and to provide research training platforms for students, faculty, and staff from participating institutions."

Approximately 15 faculty and staff from GW will travel to Madrid for the summit, including Eduardo Sotomayor, MD, director of the GW Cancer Center and Robert H. Miller, PhD, senior associate dean for research and Vivian Gill Distinguished Research Professor at SMHS. Researchers will participate in scientific discussions in the areas of oncology and neuroscience.

“Opportunities like this support our vision to drive research innovation and cancer care globally," said Sotomayor. “Through these partnerships, we are able to find novel approaches to today’s most urgent questions."

The summit will include sessions on translational research activities in oncology and neuroscience.

“Collaboration is the key to scientific innovation," said Miller. “A major aim of the summit is to promote joint translational research projects. Working with our partners in Spain will lead to growth in these research areas and allow us to take discoveries from the bench to the bedside more effectively."

Another major aim of the summit is to create platforms for training and exchange. A key driver of this summit is the GW Global Physician-Scientists (GPS) Pathway, which the Office of International Medicine Programs’ leadership created to respond to the shortage of physician-scientists in the U.S. GW GPS provides motivated and qualified students with opportunities for longitudinal hands-on research experience, mentorship, a summer research internship in Spain after the first year of medical school, and a one-year research fellowship in Spain after the second or third year of medical school. The GW-GPS was developed in consideration of the medical student perspective and critical input from SMHS leadership and Spanish colleagues, namely Fernando Vidal-Vanaclocha, MD, PhD, chief science officer at the Catholic University of Valencia’s School of Medicine.

To learn more about initiatives from the Office of International Medicine Programs, visit

Media: For more information, please contact Lisa Anderson at or 202-994-3121.


About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences:
Founded in 1824, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities.

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