Today, Ambassador Kelly C. Degnan joined NCDC Director Dr. Amiran Gamkrelidze and Deputy Director Dr. Paata Imnadaze to attend the graduation ceremony and Internship Capstone Exercise for two Georgian students participating in the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAID) – San Diego State University (SDSU) internship program.
Following a presentation about the research in which the interns participated, Ambassador Degnan congratulated Natia Inadze and David Khutsishvili on their successful completion of the WRAIR-SDSU internship program. The U.S. Government remains committed to contributing to the education and professional development of emerging student leaders, including in the biomedical research sciences. The current crisis has demonstrated the importance of investing in biomedical capabilities and empowering professionals for years to come.
The Ambassador also toured the Lugar Center with senior NCDC leadership and Minister of Health Tikaradze, in order to personally view the vital work conducted by dedicated health professionals in support of the Georgian people. The Ambassador noted that recent disinformation attacks should be recognized for what they are: an attempt to undercut the life-saving work that the NCDC has been steadfastly performing.
Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks made at the NCDC
Today’s graduation of two impressive young Georgian scientists reflects the U.S. – Georgia partnership and our shared commitment to working together in this very important field of public health research. The NCDC has done a really impressive job, a world-recognized job, of managing the COVID emergency, and I have seen for myself, with my own eyes today, the important work that is going on here to save lives, to protect Georgians’ health, and to contribute to global research of this virus, as well as Hepatitis C, HIV AIDS, and a number of other important viruses. This is again a sign of the United States – Georgia cooperation. It is a sign of Georgia’s regional importance in the field of public health research. The United States looks forward to continuing our close partnership and contributions in support of Georgia’s work in this area. As we have seen with COVID, just one example of the kind of challenges that we have coming ahead. This is an ideal time for Georgia to expand its capabilities even further and develop its capabilities as a regional center of excellence.