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June 9, 2011

Pitt, Beijing to collaborate on med education research

Pitt’s School of Medicine and Tsinghua University School of Medicine in Beijing have entered into a first-of-its-kind collaborative education and research agreement to bring Chinese medical and graduate students to Pittsburgh for training in biomedical research. The agreement was signed by officials of both universities in Beijing.

For each academic year beginning in 2013, Tsinghua University will send 25-45 students to Pitt for two years as visiting research scholars. The students also will have opportunities to observe health care activities at UPMC. They already will have completed three-and-a-half years of university education in China.

Tsinghua University has 155 research institutes, nearly 26,000 students and more than 7,000 faculty in 14 schools and 56 departments.

At Pitt, the new education program will be guided by Jeremy M. Berg, who will leave the directorship of the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the end of June to become associate senior vice chancellor for science strategy and planning.

While the focus of this collaboration is on the students, faculty will be able to apply to spend up to a year at the other institution as a visiting scholar to conduct projects in a host laboratory.

This endeavor aims to expand scholarly ties and facilitate academic, scientific and cultural exchanges between the institutions and comes at a time of increased activity by Pitt and UPMC in China more generally.

An annual research symposium, intended to build relationships and educate each site about the other’s work, will be held in alternating years at each university.

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