Seven members of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC) visited Notre Dame last week to strengthen developing research partnerships and plan upcoming workshops in biochemistry and chemistry, the latest in a partnership between the universities started in 2013.
Notre Dame and PUC signed a memorandum of understanding in 2013 that formalized research partnerships, as well as faculty and student exchange programs. Much of the work and collaborations have been possible through the Luksic Grants Program through Notre Dame International.
“The department has fully embraced the opportunity to work with PUC Chile,” says Ken Henderson, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Notre Dame. “The latest visit by PUC Chile faculty to Notre Dame demonstrates the enthusiasm for building this relationship.”
Since the universities formally partnered, they have held joint graduate summer schools in Santiago, Chile, along with the University of Heidelberg, which Notre Dame entered into a similar agreement with in 2014. Last year, the three schools organized the Santander International Summer School on molecular catalysts in Chile, focused on fundamentals and developments in molecular catalysts. Students from Germany, France, Chile, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland and the United States attended.
Notre Dame has hosted PUC graduate student research visits, and nine Notre Dame faculty have visited Chile over the past two years.
The universities are working to develop a dual doctoral program over the next few months, and there will be a graduate workshop on X-ray crystallography and a joint symposium on drug discovery in Chile in the next academic year.