RELIGION

Travel ban throws research, academic exchange into turmoil

  • Iranian-born bioengineer researcher Nima Enayati works on a robotic surgery machine during an interview with the Associated Press at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. An Iranian researcher at Milan's Polytechnic University, Enayati was refused check-in Monday at Milan's Malpensa Airport for his U.S.-bound flight on Turkish Airlines after the Trump administration's executive order came down. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

    Iranian-born bioengineer researcher Nima Enayati works on a robotic surgery machine during an interview with the Associated Press at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. An Iranian researcher at Milan's Polytechnic University, Enayati was refused check-in Monday at Milan's Malpensa Airport for his U.S.-bound flight on Turkish Airlines after the Trump administration's executive order came down. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iranian-born bioengineer researcher Nima Enayati stands as he works on a robotic surgery machine during an interview with the Associated Press at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. An Iranian researcher at Milan's Polytechnic University, Enayati was refused check-in Monday at Milan's Malpensa Airport for his U.S.-bound flight on Turkish Airlines after the Trump administration's executive order came down. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

    Iranian-born bioengineer researcher Nima Enayati stands as he works on a robotic surgery machine during an interview with the Associated Press at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. An Iranian researcher at Milan's Polytechnic University, Enayati was refused check-in Monday at Milan's Malpensa Airport for his U.S.-bound flight on Turkish Airlines after the Trump administration's executive order came down. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)  (The Associated Press)

Universities across the U.S. say President Donald Trump's ban on travelers from seven Muslim countries is disrupting research projects and academic exchanges in such fields as medicine and engineering.

For example, collaboration between HIV researchers at Harvard and in Iran is now in question. And a new engineering program for Iranian students is on hold in Indiana.

Meanwhile, thousands of academics abroad have called for a boycott of conferences in America.

Some fear the travel ban could undermine vital research and cost the U.S. its role as the world leader in innovation.