Schools in China, US team up for world-class medicine

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By WANG HONGYI in Shang­hai wanghongyi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Shang­hai Jiao Tong Univer­sity and Yale Univer­sity es­tab­lished a joint re­search cen­ter in Shang­hai on Wed­nes­day that will fo­cus on so-called trans­la­tional medicine to ben­e­fit hu­man health.

Trans­la­tional medicine (or sci­ence) is a rapidly grow­ing dis­ci­pline in the bio­med­i­cal and pub­lic health fields. It aims to ex­pe­dite the dis­cov­ery of new di­ag­nos­tic tools and treat­ments by us­ing a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary, highly col­lab­o­ra­tive, “bench-to-bed­side” ap­proach.

It also deals with per­son­al­ized medicine — med­i­cal so­lu­tions based on pa­tient-spe­cific con­di­tions.

The SJTU-Yale Joint Cen­ter aims to lead the world in trans­la­tional medicine re­search, striv­ing for break­throughs in cancer, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and meta­bolic dis­ease by trans­lat­ing lab­o­ra­tory find­ings into di­ag­nos­tic tools, medicines, pro­ce­dures, poli­cies and ed­u­ca­tion.

“For a coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion of 1.3 bil­lion, how to ef­fec­tively im­prove pub­lic health is of great con­cern,” said Zhang Jie, pres­i­dent of SJTU. “It’s the joint cen­ter’s core mis­sion.”

“Per­son­al­ized medicine has great po­ten­tial to help im­prove out­comes, and we should speed up progress in this field.”

The im­me­di­ate task for the cen­ter is to es­tab­lish a re­search body for bi­o­log­i­cal sta­tis­tics, a pil­lar of trans­la­tional medicine.

“Yale Univer­sity has great strength in bio­med­i­cal sta­tis­tics, and the col­lab­o­ra­tion will help boost our level of ap­pli­ca­tion,” Zhang said.

Ac­cord­ing to SJTU, com­ple­men­tary work will be car­ried out based on the part­ners’ in­di­vid­ual strengths. More ba­sic re­search and lab­o­ra­tory work will be done at Yale, while SJTU will fo­cus more on clin­i­cal prac­tices.

SJTU is No 1 in the coun­try for clin­i­cal medicine. The univer­sity has a rich data­base based on its 14 af­fil­i­ated hos­pi­tals. In 2013, those hos­pi­tals re­ceived more than 26 mil­lion out­pa­tients and 680,000 in­pa­tients. They per­formed nearly 500,000 op­er­a­tions .

As part of the col­lab­o­ra­tion, the two uni­ver­si­ties will ex­change staff for sci­en­tific re­search, ed­u­ca­tion and talen cul­ti­va­tion. A doc­toral pro­gram on bi­o­log­i­cal sta­tis­tics will be es­tab­lished within five years.

Mean­while, var­i­ous sem­i­nars and short-term cour­ses will be given at the cen­ter, such as re­search de­sign and data anal­y­sis.

The SJTU-Yale Joint Cen­ter is a good ex­am­ple of syn­ergy, lev­er­ag­ing the ex­per­tise and high-qual­ity re­sources of two im­por­tant in­sti­tu­tions. Their com­ple­men­tary work will pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant boost to trans­la­tional medicine, Peter Salovey, pres­i­dent of Yale, said.

CHEN ZHENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Peter Salovey, pres­i­dent of Yale Univer­sity, at­tends com­mence­ment ex­er­cises for post­grad­u­ates at Shang­hai Jiao Tong Univer­sity on Wed­nes­day. He was con­ferred with an hon­orary doc­tor­ate.

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