Dr. Jerzy Jankun and Dr. Ewa Skrzypczak-Jankun, both faculty members in The University of Toledo Department of Urology and Urology Research Center, hope to collaborate with highly ranked King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.Recently, the husband-and-wife team traveled to Saudi Arabia following an invitation from Dr. Abdulrahman M. Al-Senaidy, associate professor of biochemistry, chair of the Department of Biochemistry and director of the recently established Protein Research Chair at King Saud University.
The Jankuns have an international reputation in protein research, with applications in urological diseases and treatment of cancer or bleeding disorders. They spent 10 days in the kingdom, lecturing and completing the first step in establishing possible collaboration.
“The initial visit was to inform them what we are doing, have them explain what they are doing, and discuss what might be done,” Jerzy Jankun said.
According to King Saud University, the Jankuns were among the first on Al-Senaidy’s international visitors list because of their reputation in the field of protein research.
“[Jerzy Jankun] is looking forward to a strong and fruitful partnership with the PRC,” Al-Senaidy said in a statement. “He understands our vision.”
This Protein Research Center is new, but has well-established goals in the medical research field. Protein research is solving many secrets of diseases by linking proteins to their action within the human body and providing directions how to control and maintain good health.
Jankun said he believes that King Saud University’s goal of developing a top international medical program is very reasonable, and Ewa Skrzypczak-Jankun said that the University is going in the right direction by investing in the kingdom’s research and youth education.
Ewa Skrzypczak-Jankun’s experience at King Saud University was unique because she commuted between the women’s and men’s campuses. The new facilities for women are under construction and will be a part of the expansive and modern new joint campus.
The ultimate goal of the collaboration between UT and King Saud University is to develop a world-class research program that will benefit both universities.
“What I hope UT can gain from this venture will be joint grants, joint research, and hopefully establishing a King Saud University satellite laboratory at UT,” Jankun said. “There is also a strong possibility of exchanging faculty and graduate students.”
The Jankuns are working to establish an official partnership, after which they plan to travel to Saudi Arabia a few times a year. Jankun said the trip was very pleasant and they found the Saudis to be very polite, cheerful and hospitable people who are proud of their country and accomplishments.