MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University Health Sciences Center signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Technical University of Ukraine “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” (NTUU “KPI”) to encourage educational and scientific cooperation, effective Jan. 1 of this year.
The five-year agreement provides administrative structure for research collaboration among faculty from both universities as well as the exchange of undergraduate and graduate students for short-term study.
The relationship between WVU and KPI began when WVU assistant professor of exercise physiology and neuroscience Sergiy Yakovenko, Ph.D., was invited to lecture at the KPI Summer Institute two years ago, returning last year to co-direct the neuroscience course. He developed collaborative relationships with several professors in Ukraine and initiated talks with WVU administration to formalize the affiliation.
“The goal is to create educational opportunities between the two places, and they need us as much as we need them, in my view,” Dr. Yakovenko said. “It’s not a one-way street; it’s really a connection that is beneficial to both places, and we have already benefited from engagement with the polytechnic university there.”
One student from the KPI Summer Institute is already studying at WVU, and a second KPI student is expected soon. A program was approved last year for WVU students to travel to Ukraine, but due to the unrest in that country, the program has been placed on hold.
Right now, collaboration with KPI is concentrated in the WVU Center for Neuroscience, where researchers are developing neuroengineering techniques, exploring the human brain, and examining the impact of nanoparticles in the air on the health of West Virginians.
The agreement aims to not only sustain those existing relationships but also create opportunities for faculty and students in the WVU schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Public Health, and Dentistry.