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June 05, 2018

Thomas Jefferson University establishes global center in Israel

Higher Education Universities
Stock_Carroll - Thomas Jefferson Hospital Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

An entrance to a Thomas Jefferson University Hospital building on South 10th Street.

Thomas Jefferson University has officially opened its third global center in Jerusalem on Tuesday, joining the ranks of similar educational networks in Italy and India.

The expanded global relationship comes nearly a year after the Philadelphia-based medical school merged with Philadelphia University, whose professions-based programs include architecture, design, textiles, fashion, engineering and business.

“Israel today is what Silicon Valley was in the late 1990s. It’s an ecosystem of innovation that has more technology start-ups per capita than anywhere in the world right now,” said Mark L. Tykocinski, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs at Jefferson. “In an increasingly global academic ecosystem, the opportunities are unbounded for leveraging international institutional partnerships to innovate science and professional training, and in so doing, to give life to our vision for ‘redefining humanly possible.’”

Jefferson will build on its existing research and educational relationships with Israeli institutions including Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School and the Weizmann Institute of Sciences. The Jefferson Israel Center will reflect the wider academic offerings that have become available since Philadelphia University entered the fold.

“We foresee giving an industrial design or smart textiles project to our students in those disciplines and the very same project to students at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design or Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and having them work across continents on solutions that are powered by diversity of thought, experience and culture,” said Zvi Grunwald, who will serve as executive director of the Jefferson Israel Center.

Other aspects of the new hub will include support for private sector biomedical innovation and efforts to address health disparities in both Israel and the United States.