Fellows from Coburg research in Georgetown

Tuesday. 08. October 2019 (Corinna Tübel)
Marina Gaida and Jana Huber
The two scholarship holders presented their results on modern neurotechnologies at an interdepartmental seminar at GUMC.
Marina Gaida and Jana Huber with Prof. Giordano
Marina Gaida and Jana Huber with Prof. Giordano

For one month two students of Coburg University were allowed to research at Georgetown University Medical Center. They are engaged with the effect of modern neurologics, like Brain-Computer-Interface, for the human cognitive performance. This research- and exchange- cooperation between both universities exists since 2016 and is supported well.

Research in vacation: Coburg students Jana Huber of Master’s program Health Promotion and Marina Gaida of Bachelor`s program Integrative Health Promotion of the Program in Integrative Health Promotions have completed a one month fellowship as Visiting Scholars of the Neuroethics Studies Program of the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, at Georgetown University Medical Center, GUMC, Washington DC, USA. Their fellowships were supported by the International Office as well as the Division Integrative Health Promotion at Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

“We took part in the research programm because it is a unique opportunity to live in a foreign country, to do research on a very interesting, self-chosen topic and to improve our English. These expectations were exceeded by far and we were able to gain very valuable experience that we would not want to miss anymore”, the two students looked back.

How to optimize the cognitive performance of the human being?

Working under the co-mentorship of  Prof. Dr. Niko Kohls of Coburg University and Prof. Dr. James Giordano from Washington, Ms. Huber and Ms. Gaida studied the use of pharmacological agents and new technologies to target neurological systems to optimize human cognitive performance.

Their work addressed critical issues of definitions of treatment, prevention, and enhancement as relevant to ethical, legal and social considerations for international health promotions practice. Ms. Huber and Ms. Gaida presented their work at an interdepartmental seminar at GUMC on 28. August, 2019. They will continue working with Profs Kohls and Giordano to develop a manuscript for submission to the international peer-reviewed biomedical literature.

Prof. Giordano as a pioneer for international cooperation

The fact that this remarkable research opportunity at one of the world leading neuroethics institutions has been offered to Coburg students of integrative health promotion is mainly due to the remarkable commitment of Prof. Giordano – he is both fluent in English and German language - and who has agreed to serve as a visiting professor in Coburg for the last five years. Consequently, on the basis of this lecturing engagement Coburg University and Georgetown University Medical Center have developed a joint research and exchange program in2016 that has since then been successfully maintained and developed. For the time being, more than a dozen students from Coburg have visited the Pellegrino Center and worked under the mentorship of Prof. Giordano in Washington as junior research fellows. Additionally, two international symposia have been organized, and several peer reviewed articles have been published dealing with the ethical intricacies of health promotion. Coburg students report to have tremendously profited both from the lectures Prof Giordano delivered in Coburg and the exchange program. "All Georgetown University staff have always been very courteous, open and supportive. The cooperation with Prof. Dr. Giordano was also very pleasant and appreciative. We had a very exciting, instructive and eventful time and can only recommend the summer exchange to other students", Jana Huber and Marina Gaida recently reported. In order to pay tribute to his outstanding academic services for Coburg University, Prof. Giordano was awarded the goldmedal last year in December by the president, Prof. Dr. Christiane Fritze. Prof. Kohls and his colleagues are very grateful for the longstanding and remarkable academic commitment Prof Giordano has been exhibiting by supervising the Coburg students. “I think Prof Giordano`s efforts for our institution are invaluable as he is not only teaching our students a very important topic in health promotion but also acting as professional and personal role model of academic integrity, mentorship and steward of international cooperation.”