KAIST said on April 29 that it has signed MOUs with Massachusetts General Hospital and Moderna at the Langham Hotel in Boston, MA, United States on April 28.
Massachusetts General Hospital is a founding member of the Mass General Brigham health care system and a world-class research-oriented hospital.
Moderna is a biotechnology company that developed a COVID-19 vaccine.
KAIST plans to develop programs to foster physician-scientists based on cooperation with Mass General and help KAIST Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering (GSMSE) students carry out local experiments and research.
KAIST also plans to join hands with Moderna to nurture physician-scientists.
The signing ceremony was attended by officials from each institution and headed by Minister Lee Young of the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS), and Commissioner Lee In-sil of the Korean Intellectual Property Office.
Mass General is the first and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and it is one of the most innovative hospitals in the world, being the alma mater of more than 13 Nobel Prize winners and the home of the Mass General Research Institute, the world’s largest hospital-based research program that utilizes an annual research budget of more than $1 billion.
KAIST signed a general agreement to explore research and academic exchange with Mass General last September and the latest MOU is part of steps to follow up the previous deal.
Mass General works with Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as local hospitals, to help students learn the theories of medicine and engineering, and gain rich clinical research experience.
Through this MOU, KAIST will explore cooperation with an innovative ecosystem created through the convergence of medicine and engineering.
In particular, KAIST’s goal is to develop a Korean-style training program and implement a differentiated educational program when establishing the science and technology-oriented medical school in the future by further strengthening the science and engineering sectors, like a curriculum on artificial intelligence (AI).
To foster innovative physician-scientists, KAIST plans to pursue cooperation to develop programs for the exchange of academic and human resources, including programs for student and research exchanges and a program for students of the science and technology-oriented medical school at KAIST, to have a chance to take part in practical training at Mass General.
Meanwhile, an MOU between KAIST and Moderna was also signed on the same day. Its main focus is to foster medical experts in cooperation with KAIST Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering (GSMSE).
They plan to cooperate in various ways, including collaboration on the development of vaccines and new drugs, virus research, joint mRNA research, and facilitation of technology commercialization.
In over 10 years since its inception, Moderna has transformed from a research-stage company advancing programs in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA) to an enterprise with a diverse clinical portfolio of vaccines and therapeutics across seven modalities.
The Company has 48 programs in development across 45 development candidates, of which 38 are currently in active clinical trials.
“We are grateful to have laid a foundation for collaboration to foster industry experts with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, a leader of science and technology innovation in Korea,” said Arpa Garay, Chief Commercial Officer, Moderna.
“Based on our leadership and expertise in developing innovative mRNA vaccines and therapeutics, we hope to contribute to educating and collaborating with professionals in the bio-health field of Korea,“ she said.
President Lee Kwang-hyung of KAIST, said, “We deem this occasion to be of grave significance to be able to work closely with Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the world's best research-oriented hospitals, and Moderna, one of the most influential biomedical companies.”