Roswell Park Establishes Partnership with Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has formed an academic cooperation agreement with the Jagiellonian University (JU) in Kraków, Poland.

BUFFALO, N.Y. and KRAKÓW, Poland — Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has formed an academic cooperation agreement with the Jagiellonian University (JU) in Kraków, Poland. JU is the oldest higher education institution in Poland, and one of the oldest in Europe. The collaboration will see the two centers exchanging staff, students and scientific resources to jointly undertake basic, translational and clinical research in order to advance the development of cancer therapies to benefit patients worldwide.

The agreement grew out of a July 2018 visit by Polish Secretary of State Anna Maria Anders to Roswell Park, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based cancer center that was the first institution in the world to focus exclusively on cancer research. The two organizations will work collaboratively to develop innovative clinical trials aimed at advancing the science around the treatment, detection and prevention of cancer.

Four Roswell Park faculty leaders, joined by Senator Anders, recently traveled to Kraków to initiate the collaboration: Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, Deputy Director, Chair of Gynecologic Oncology and Executive Director of the Center for Immunotherapy; Pawel Kalinski, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Translational Research and Rustum Family Professor for Molecular Therapeutics and Translational Research; Agnieszka Witkiewicz, MD, Director of the Center for Personalized Medicine and Chief for Research in the Department of Pathology; and Danuta Kozbor, PhD, Associate Professor of Immunology and Microbiology.

“We’re very excited to be launching this partnership,” says Dr. Odunsi. “There are many areas of shared interest and complementary strength between Roswell Park and Jagiellonian University, and we see the opportunity to align some of our efforts in areas like personalized medicine, immunotherapeutics and population science for the benefit of both our students and cancer patients.”

“The Medical College of our university is recognized as the best medical teaching institution in Poland,” says Professor Stanisław Kistryn, Vice-Rector for Research and Structural Funds at Jagiellonian University. “We find it very important to extend our contacts in the fields of teaching and research to new areas by initiating closer contacts with the renowned Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. I am sure that this will bring many profits for students and staff members from both institutions.”

“Roswell Park is a world-class institution and this collaboration with Jagiellonian University will support strategic collaborations for students and researchers both here and in Poland, while also advancing the development of new cancer therapies to benefit patients around the world,” says Howard Zemsky, President, CEO and Commissioner of Empire State Development, which facilitated this collaboration by helping to link the two organizations.

The agreement is effective immediately, and could see exchange of students and faculty between the two centers as early as spring 2019.

Founded in 1364, the Jagiellonian University is the oldest university in Poland and one of the oldest continually operating universities in the world. Notable alumni include mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Teaching and research at JU are organized under 16 distinct faculties including schools dedicated to the study of medicine, pharmacy and medical analysis, health care and biochemistry, biophysics and biotechnology.