As our world becomes increasingly interconnected via technology, opportunities for universities to collaborate across the globe also increase.

On Friday, July 12, the University of Kentucky (UK) hosted a visit by the Sri Lankan ambassador to the United States, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, and his wife, Priyanga Wickramasuriya, to explore the development of academic affiliations between UK and one or more universities in Sri Lanka, an island country of just over 20 million people located in the northern Indian Ocean, near India.

Ambassador Wickramasuriya and UK officials discussed proposals for joint cancer research projects between UK and the University of Peradeniya and the National Cancer Institute of Sri Lanka and, potentially, opportunities for mutually beneficial education and training programs in the two countries. The partnership might later be extended to include infectious diseases and equine management or other disciplines related to agriculture and equine science.

The proposed affiliation between institutions in the two countries was initiated at the request of Frederick de Beer, MD, dean of the UK College of Medicine, with the goal of expanding UK's international outreach program to developing countries in Asia. He requested that Marcus E. Randall, MD, FACR, FASTRO, professor and Markey Foundation Endowed Chair in Radiation Medicine in the UK College of Medicine, and Udeni Balasuriya, BVSc, MS, PhD, professor of virology at the Gluck Equine Research Center in UK's Department of Veterinary Science in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, establish a link with academic and research institutions in Sri Lanka. Both are scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in August, when they will meet with collaborators and discuss research projects involving UK.

During the visit, the ambassador also stopped by the Gluck Equine Research Center for a tour and to meet with Balasuriya and Mats Troedsson, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, director of the Gluck Center and chair of the department of veterinary science at UK. Following the tour, Balasuriya, a native of Sri Lanka, hosted a dinner at his home.

More information about the visit is available online.

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