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Environmental Factor, December 2014

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NIEHS signs agreement with Nanjing Medical University

By Robin Arnette

  • Zeldin and Shen

    Zeldin gave university President Shen an autographed photo of NIEHS. (Photo courtesy of Nanjing Medical University)

  • Zeldin and University leadership

    Zeldin, seated front left, and university leadership held several meetings. (Photo courtesy of Nanjing Medical University)

  • Darryl Zeldin, M.D.

    Zeldin signed the guest book in a room dedicated to the history of the university. Beautifully decorated with accomplishments and mementos, the room allows visitors to experience the school’s contributions to health and biomedical research. The room was completely remodeled in time for the university’s 80th anniversary celebration. (Photo courtesy of Nanjing Medical University)

  • Zeldin and Xia

    Xia served as tour guide through the university’s history room. (Photo courtesy of Nanjing Medical University)

NIEHS has entered into a partnership with one of the largest universities in China, Nanjing Medical University As a result of joining forces, the two institutions will exchange scientists and collaborate on environmental health research projects.

NIEHS Scientific Director Darryl Zeldin, M.D., traveled Oct. 27 to Nanjing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement will permit up to three early-stage university scientists to do research for two to three years at NIEHS, and allow NIEHS senior scientists to lecture at seminars, workshops, school courses, and meetings at the university.

“The goal is to enhance collaborations and interactions with our colleagues in Nanjing, in the hopes it will be a win-win for both of our institutions,” Zeldin said.

Several NIEHS scientists are looking forward to taking part in the trade. So far, Jau-Shyong Hong, Ph.D.; Leping Li, Ph.D.; Honglei Chen, M.D., Ph.D.; Xiaoling Li, Ph.D.; Humphrey Yao, Ph.D.; Perry Blackshear, M.D., D.Phil.; and Kenneth Korach, Ph.D., have signed up.

According to Zeldin, the partnership would not have been formed without Korach. He and Associate Dean of the Nanjing Medical University School of Public Health Yankai Xia, M.D., Ph.D., who are longtime colleagues, were discussing future research plans. When Xia mentioned that the university was interested in doing more environmental health studies and establishing core facilities that were similar to the ones at NIEHS, Korach thought it was an opportunity NIEHS couldn’t pass up.

“Air and water pollution are major problems in China, so the School of Public Health is in a unique position to study the impacts on Chinese citizens,” Korach said. “Because they have very large cohorts, working with them will yield a tremendous amount of knowledge that will benefit all humans.”

Established in 1934, the university has 17 schools and one independent school, 23 affiliated hospitals, and more than 50 teaching hospitals. Zeldin added that the school has an excellent record of grant funding, ranking second only to China’s largest educational institution, Peking University Health Science Center, previously Beijing Medical University.

Darryl Zeldin, M.D.

During his presentation, “A Vision for Environmental Health: Overview of the NIEHS,” Zeldin underscored the significance of environmental health research. (Photo courtesy of Nanjing Medical University)

Zeldin and Shen signing MOU

University President Hongbing Shen, M.D., Ph.D., seated left, and Zeldin, seated right, signed the MOU in the presence of several university faculty, including, from left, Xia; Shan Xu, Ph.D., director of the International Exchange and Cooperation Office; Feng Chen, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Public Health; Zhixu Wang, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Department of Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health; and Di Wu, Ph.D., deputy director of the Department of Toxicology. (Photo courtesy of Nanjing Medical University)

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