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  • South Carolina and China delegation signing documents

Visit to China creates new partnership for two South Carolina colleges

For the first time in the history of the Arnold School of Public Health, leaders traveled to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Public Health on July 21. The visit allowed Arnold School of Public Health Dean Tom Chandler, College of Pharmacy Dean Stephen Cutler, Vice Provost Cheryl Addy, and Arnold School of Public Health Professor and SmartState Endowed Chair Xiaoming Li, Ph.D., to discuss potential areas of collaboration in research and education. Additionally, the delegation met with a graduate student who conducted research at UofSC in Spring 2019, and two incoming graduate students.  “Jiao Tong University has an excellent school of public health faculty – highly skilled in all aspects of health policy in China – which is an area of interest to our faculty and students in the Arnold School.  We hope to do more student and faculty exchange to Shanghai, and also deliver classes there through virtual classroom technologies in the near future,” said Chandler.

The delegation participated in a research symposium at Nanjing Medical University, the symposium was previously hosted at South Carolina. The visit also served as a review of the progress of academic collaborations and opportunities for a dual Ph.D. program in public health between South Carolina and Nanjing Medical University.  “The Nanjing Medical University School of Public Health is the top-ranked program in China, and the Arnold School is their primary U.S. academic partner for joint education and research programs.  In only two years, we have hosted more than 30 graduate students, postdoctorals and faculty for research and training experiences here in Columbia. On this most recent visit to Nanjing, Arnold School of Public Health faculty Saurabh Chatterjee and Guoshuo Xiao presented invited talks about their research programs in environmental health,” said Chandler.  “These annual cross-country visits have produced remarkably gifted graduate students for our doctoral programs, and have opened unique research opportunities in China for population health studies unlike anything we are able to do here in the United States,” according to Chandler.

Cutler adds, “Our trip to China afforded many opportunities to interact with key administrators from several outstanding universities as we forged new relationships and strengthen current collaborations. Feng Han, Dean of the Nanjing Medical University School of Pharmacy, and I are launching new partnerships with our pharmacy programs. We are exciting with this new partnership, which will increase the University of South Carolina’s global footprint as well as expand the educational opportunities for our pharmacy students and faculty members.

For the final stop of the trip, the delegation met with the leadership of Nanjing University of Information Technology and Science. This was the second time academic leadership from South Carolina met with the deans and directors from Nanjing University of Information Technology and Science to discuss potential areas of collaboration, including a focus on areas of environment and health.  “Nanjing University of Information Technology and Science is often referred to as the MIT of China. It has a very strong STEM faculty with advanced expertise in environmental science and engineering in particular. They are interested in working more with USC at the interface of environment and health, and particularly with regard to air and water quality, and ocean health issues,” said Chandler.

Addy notes, “The rapid expansion of our partnership with Nanjing Medical University and the number of faculty and students involved at both institutions demonstrates both the importance and potential of partnerships with international universities.  While the focus of this visit was more about health sciences, the broader conversations also identified potential collaborations with other disciplines.  The university is also delighted to welcome a delegation from  Shanghai Jiao Tong to South Carolina in the next few weeks.”

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