Hellenic Diaspora Medical Forum (HDMF)

The School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki initiates the HDMF integrated to its strategic plan of collaborating with other Universities as well as with the industry and the open market. The HDMF aims to take advantage of the eminent Greek Professors of USA and UK who have been awarded of Doctor Honoris Causa by the School of Medicine, Aristotle University and launch a close cooperation with them as Ambassadors of their Universities so as to create a network between our Schools regarding research, educational, scholarships, fellowships, administrative, professional activity and connection with the industry.

What it consists of

The Forum will be organized under the auspices of the American Chamber of Commerce and the Pan- Hellenic Union of Pharmaceutical Industry. The School of Medicine, Aristotle University will ask to attend the HDMF with initiatives, proposals, projects and various forms of collaboration all the stakeholders of the relevant activities, such as: the Rectorate Authorities and  the Research Committee Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, its relevant Faculties and Schools (i.e. the Schools of the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Schools of the Faculty of Engineering, the School of Biology), research organizations (Center for Interdisciplinary Research  and Innovation of the Aristotle University, The Centre for Research and Technology – Hellas, the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation, The Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, The General Secretariat for Research and Technology, etc), Foundations (Niarchos, Onassis, Bodosakis, Latsis, Papageorgiou, etc), Governmental authorities (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Prefecture of Central Macedonia, General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad, Municipality of Thessaloniki, State Scholarships Foundation , etc), productive organizations (i.e. the Union of Greek Ship-owners), representative from the industry (American Chamber of Commerce, Pan-Hellenic Union of Pharmaceutical Industry), diplomats  (USA, UK), the research group of ΙΒΜ and the American College of Surgeons.

The scopes of this initiatives are

  • The direct communication and collaboration of the School of Medicine, Aristotle with other Schools of USA and UK
  • The enhancement of mobility of undergraduate and postgraduate students, Professors as well as administrative staff
  • The exchange of views and protocols for implementing novel educational, clinical and administrative programs
  • The facilitating and granting scholarships and fellowships and any form of bidirectional visits, collaboration to research forming consortia, groups, spin-off companies and other initiatives
  • The co-organization of educational undergraduate, postgraduate as well as clinical programs
  • The overall communication and the networking of the University with the industry and the open market internally and abroad.

Creation of the Hellenic Diaspora Medical Forum (HDMF)

As a result of these efforts, and as part of the strategic planning of the Aristotle University School of Medicine (AUSoM) with the goal of increased collaboration and interaction with other top academic centers outside Greece, as well as with the medical and pharmaceutical industry, in order to achieve innovations, and be able to bring them to our patients in the fastest and safest possible manner.  In order to advance this planning on December 6-7, 2019, in Thessaloniki, the Hellenic Diaspora Medical Forum took place for the first time.  The initial goal was using esteemed professors from the Medical Greek Diaspora in the USA and Europe, to create a network with active collaborations between themselves and their institutions and the Aristotle University School of Medicine. This effort was warmly embraced and supported by the Rector of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Dean of the Medical School, as well as the students and faculty of the AUSoM, who saw it as an opportunity to create meaningful international collaborations and to inaugurate a new age of academic “extroversion”.  This meeting became the initial seed for the steady creation through several subsequent teleconferences of a forum whose basic pillars were research, education, administrative organization and an interface with industry and society.  The role of several of the international Faculty such as Professor Anna Greka from Harvard University, Professor Mimis Cohen from the University of Illinois in Chicago, Professor Demetrios Vavvas from Harvard University, Professor Aristidis Moustakas from the University of Uppsala, Professor Andreas Tzakis from Cleveland Clinic, Professor Vassilios Papalois from the Imperial College in the UK, Professor George Velmahos from Harvard University, Professor Nikos Stergiopoulos from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Professor Panagiotis Giannoudis from the University of Leeds in the UK, Professor Dimitris Stefanidis from the University of Indiana and Professor Konstantinos Drosatos from Temple University was and remains critical in the success of this effort. Through their continued contributions they have become part of the AUSoM family.

Given the different clinical and research interests of our International Faculty, there has been the creation of several working groups which have fostered and encouraged the direct interaction between the members of the HDMF and the faculty of the AUSoM on areas of common interest.  There are additional collaborations involving the home institutions of the international faculty, creation of resident exchanges, fellowships, research collaborations and institution of international protocols, creation of registries, collaborations on undergraduate and post-graduate clinical and research educational programs, and, in general, broader communication between Academia and the industry and society.  That was the first step on a long road, where the success of this endeavor will depend largely on the active participation of our students, faculty, administrative staff and alumni.

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