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Visiting International Scholars Program

Visiting International Scholars Program (VISP)

Fall Cycle: October - December 2018
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Winston-Salem NC

Applications for the Fall Cycle are now closed.  Spring Cycle applications will open October 1, 2018. 

The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) places the highest priority on education and training and is committed to facilitating global knowledge exchange and collaborative networks. WFIRM regards the presence of visiting scholars as being of strategic importance to fostering international education and the advancement and internationalization of the field to result in the development of new regenerative medicine therapies, products and support technologies. The WFIRM Visiting International Scholar Program (VISP) enables international scientists, clinicians and physician-scientists to participate as Visiting Scholars at WFIRM, an internationally recognized leader in regenerative medicine with more than 450 scientists and staff in areas such as biomedical and chemical engineering, cell and molecular biology, surgery, and medicine. It is also where the first implanted laboratory grown organ was produced. The program’s objectives include:

  • Exposing international scientists, clinicians and physician-scientists (ranging from MS, PhD, MD, postdoctoral fellows to established senior investigators) to multidisciplinary research projects that address real-world clinical needs,
  • Developing ability to interact with other disciplines by providing training in a strong team-based environment,
  • Encouraging and developing the next generation of regenerative medicine global scientists and clinicians to explore the potential applications of regenerative medicine,
  • Develop and establish an innovative model for international collaborative research and education and strengthen regenerative medicine research and training relationships internationally,
  • Engender new knowledge and discoveries and promote development of a globally-engaged regenerative medicine workforce.

2018 Spring International Scholars and their Mentors

2018 VISP and mentors

Scholars (left to right): Emine Tural Dag, MD (left), Simone Castagno (fourth left), and Rafael Carandina (sixth left)

Rafael Carandina, PhD Candidate in Biotechnology, Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP), Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil; Mentor: Khalil Bitar, PhD; Broad Research Focus: Intestinal Tissue Engineering - Arrives on 4/7

Emine Tural Dağ, MD, Research Assistant, Department of Histology and Embriyology, Faculty of Medicine Pamukkale, Turkey; Mentor: Yuanyuan Zhang, PhD. Broad Research Focus: In Vitro 3D Renal Tubule Organoids with Urine-Derived SCs

Simone Castagno, Medical Student, Imperial College, London, UK; Mentors: Emmanuel Opara, PhD, Graca Almeida-Porada, MD, PhD and Christopher Porada, PhD; Broad Research Focus: Regeneration of pancreatic β-cell in Autoimmune Diabetes

VISP & You

VISP provides should-to-shoulder research collaborations and training in the state-of-the-art tools and approaches with WFIRM scientists in the field of regenerative medicine that address real-world clinical needs. An alignment of interests between visiting scholars and WFIRM researchers contributes to the richness of the experience for visiting scholars as well as providing valuable contributions to advancing both the field and the intellectual life of the visiting scholar and their respective host institution, WFIRM faculty, staff and students. Collaboration is possible in a wide range of areas including biomaterials, cell and molecular biology, physiology, biomedical engineering, controlled release systems, biochemistry, stem cells and their progenitors, and gene therapy, and tissue engineering. Visiting scholars are welcome to participate fully in the intellectual life of WFIRM and will participate in a variety of didactic activities, attend regenerative medicine seminars to learn more about the different areas of the field.  View list of faculty with their areas of research expertise.

Length of Stay

The VISP provides short-term, scientific training and research rotations for eligible applicants. Visiting scholars work closely with and learn from their jointly selected faculty mentor on topics of mutual interest for a three month period. The short-term research rotations occur each Fall and Spring. Specific program dates, deadlines and notification regarding acceptance are provided in the table below. The Visiting Scholar designation is dependent upon individuals securing a J-1 visa.

2018-2019 Deadlines

Program Cycle
and Dates
E-Applications OpenDeadline E-Application SubmissionE-Notification of
Spring 2019
April 15, 2019-
June 28, 2019
October 1, 2018November 30, 2018January 18, 2019
Fall 2018
October 1, 2018-December 14, 2018
April 1, 2018Extended to July 1, 2018August 1, 2018



The VISP is open to outstanding international scientists, clinicians and physician-scientists (ranging from MS, PhD, MD, postdoctoral fellows to established senior investigators) who express strong interest in regenerative medicine research. Previous research experience in a biological and /or regenerative medicine laboratory is highly desirable, but not required.

How to Apply

Applications for the Spring cycle are closed. Applications for the Fall 2018 cycle will open April 1, 2018.  In order to be considered for the Visiting International Scholar Program, interested applicants must complete an on-line application which consists of the following:

  • Completed on-line E-Application and associated materials including:
    • Full curriculum vitae
    • Most recent academic transcript
    • Short statement of research interests and professional goals
    • Minimum of two letters of recommendation
    • Up to three reprints of publications

VISP Expectations

  • Applicants must also be able to understand and possess verbal and written fluency in English. Student applications whose first language is not English must submit their TOEFL or an equivalent test score or verification of this competency.
  • Visiting Scholars are responsible for their own financial arrangements, including travel and housing
  • Must obtain leave from the home institution
  • Assume financial responsibility for visa processing fees


Visiting International Scholars Program Contact/Information:

Joan F. Schanck, MPA; 336-713-1201


Quick Reference

Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Phone 336-713-7293
Fax 336-713-7290

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