UTMB  is working on an agreement with the University of Palermo that eventually could offer a Ph.D. program recognized in America and Europe.

In the meantime the two universities are setting up an exchange program between students, residents, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in various areas of medicine and surgery.
Dr. Luca Cicalese, professor of surgery and director of the Texas Transplant Center at UTMB, led a delegation of UTMB to Palermo to begin implementing the exchange of students and professors.
“This program will open a gateway of knowledge between America and Italy, and of course, Europe,”  Cicalese said. “As a native-born son of Italy who has put down his roots in Texas, I am extremely proud that UTMB will be participating in the program.”  
The first phase of the Ph.D. program would be in the biomedical science field. Cicalese said that he is hopeful that the program would grow to include medical students.
“This international program will greatly enhance the ability of America and Europe to collaborate on research to help people everywhere.  This truly is a global effort,” said Cicalese, who grew up in Rome.
Dr. Cary Cooper, interim provost and dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UTMB, said that the exchange will be a great benefit for both institutions.  “We live in a global society and this agreement can eventually result in an intellectual pipeline that flows both ways,” Cooper said.  
Cicalese will direct the program at UTMB and Francesco Cappello, associate professor of human anatomy at the University of Palermo, will serve in that same capacity in Italy.