AUC and the Magdi Yacoub Foundation Inaugurate a Collaborative Program on Higher Education and Research

February 26, 2015, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) and the Magdi Yacoub Foundation (MYF) inaugurated today a collaborative program on higher education and research, by signing two agreements that aim to advance technologies that support cardiac procedures and heart surgeries in Egypt. The agreements were signed by Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub and AUC President Lisa Anderson at AUC New Cairo campus.AUC and MYF have selected two programs from the School of Sciences and Engineering to initiate their partnership program. "The School of Sciences and Engineering is delighted to collaborate with the distinguished Magdi Yaaqoub Foundation to develop academic and educational cooperation on the basis of equality and reciprocity and to promote sustainable partnerships and mutual understanding between both institutions,” said Tarek Shawki, dean of the School of Sciences and Engineering at AUC. “We expect this collaboration to benefit many students and faculty while producing state-of-the-art research outputs". Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub said in the signing ceremony that the collaborative research effort between Aswan Heart Centre, MYF, and AUC,  in his view, represents a lot more than the component parts and should be pursued with vigor. Researchers from the Mechanical Engineering Program at AUC will work with the Engineering Research Department in MYF to develop patient-specific biomechanical analyses of the cardiovascular system for a deeper understanding of heart diseases, to better assess patient operability. Researchers from the Biotechnology Graduate Program at AUC will work with the Life Sciences Research Department in MYF to identify the genetic causes of heart diseases in the Egyptian population via large-scale genomic studies. This partnership will leverage some of the natural strengths of both institutions. Under the joint guidance of researchers from AUC and MYF, high-caliber PhD and Masters students enrolled in AUC will utilize and develop biomechanical models, and bioinformatics methods and tools to conduct genome-wide analyses on the High Performance Computing (HPC) platform, which evolved recently as part of a broader initiative of the School of Sciences and Engineering, with operational support from the IT department. These bioinformatics and computational approaches will complement the cutting-edge genome sequencing and clinical facilities of the Aswan Heart Center, MYF, to accelerate potential improvements to patient care. Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation (MYF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization providing free world-class medical services to the less privileged in Egypt and throughout the region in the field of cardiovascular diseases. It was founded in 2008 by the world renowned surgeon Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub along with the Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Ahmed Zewail and Ambassador Dr. Mohamed Shaker. The Aswan Heart Centre (AHC) established by MYF has started operation in the first quarter of 2009 to provide free medical services to all those in need.

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The American University in Cairo (AUC) was founded in 1919 and is major contributor to the social, political and cultural life of the Arab Region. It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly research, partnerships with academic and research institutions, and study abroad programs. An independent, nonprofit, apolitical, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.