NIEHS signs agreement with Nanjing Medical University
By Robin Arnette
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.