Partnerships with China
On September 17, U-M SPH Dean Martin Philbert and Xiaofeng Liang, deputy director-general of China's CDC in Beijing, signed a memorandum of understanding as a basis for research collaboration, joint publication, and training exchanges between the two institutions. It's believed to be the first such agreement between China's national CDC and a U.S. school of public health. Shortly after the signing, the two institutions submitted their first joint grant application to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
The agreement with China's CDC is the latest in a series of U-M SPH partnerships with Chinese public health institutions. Earlier in the month, Philbert and Meng Qingyue, dean of Peking University's School of Public Health, signed a memorandum of understanding and scholar exchange agreement formalizing researching and training collaborations between the two schools. U-M SPH also has formal agreements with the Tianjin and Shanghai CDCs. Led by U-M SPH Associate Professor Matthew Boulton, the school's institutional collaborations in China are part of its expanding global health initiatives.
Last March, a team of U-M SPH faculty spent a week in China meeting with officials in three Chinese cities. William Foreman, global communications manager for the U-M News Service, accompanied the delegation. Having spent ten years covering China for the Associated Press, Foreman is well-acquainted with the scope and significance of the country's public health issues. He covered the threat of avian flu, the out- break of SARS, and the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Key issues today, Foreman discovered while traveling with the U-M SPH team, are seasonal influenza, geriatric care, tobacco control, chronic disease, and environmental pollutants.
For more on the school's China work, visit the Public Health in China blog.