Even as it sets its sights on leading the United States into a new
era in medicine, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC)
is moving beyond those ambitious borders to forge a groundbreaking
partnership with the
leading health sciences center in China.
In October, officials from Emory and
WHSC signed a memorandum of understanding with counterparts at Peking
University Health Sciences Center (PUHSC) in Beijing. Researchers
from both centers will collaborate on a number of long-term projects
related to genetics and cancer.
The WHSC actually has a long history
with Peking University. Professor Qi-de Han, dean of PUHSC, once
served a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology
at Emory School of Medicine and has subsequently returned for three
months out of each year to conduct joint research in the lab of
Emory pharmacologist Kenneth Minneman.
Peking University Professor Zhu Li
also has collaborated for many years with investigators at Emory
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on research related
to the epidemiology of birth defects.
Emory geneticists Joseph Cubells and
Michael Zwick are planning to work with Li and his colleagues to
collect large numbers of DNA samples in China. The data will allow
them to study genetic differences in susceptibility to infectious
diseases, birth defects, and mental illness.