Categorized | Education

Pharmacy agreement to aid China, U.S. collaborations


Pharmacy students and faculty in China and the U.S. will have more opportunities to work together, thanks to an agreement signed July 26 at The Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Officials met at one of DKICP’s administrative locations on Rainbow Drive to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) intended to encourage the exchange of scholarly pursuits.

Lei Fu, associate dean at Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s (SJTU) School of Pharmacy, met with several DKICP faculty members, including Rose Tseng, professor and director of international programs.

“We are uniquely positioned to influence the future of pharmacy in China because there is no comparable degree program for pharmacists there,” said Tseng, who is UH Hilo chancellor emerita and also serves as international advisor to current Chancellor Donald Straney, who met Fu in Hilo.

“At the same time, their science programs are very strong, giving our researchers even more opportunities to develop projects that will improve health care worldwide,” Tseng said.

The collaboration began through a network of industrial connections with DKICP faculty, Tseng said. “The University has a wonderful reputation, and I knew of the quality of Dr. Fu’s education, who received his Ph.D. from Stanford, so I thought this was a good opportunity.”

With 41,000 students, SJTU is about twice the size of the UH Manoa campus. The School of Pharmacy, which opened in 2000, occupies about 160,000 square feet of building space on the campus in Shanghai.

The School of Pharmacy, which was called “a rising star” in pharmacology and toxicology programs by ScienceWatch, has 70 students enrolled each year in its masters and Ph.D. programs, according to Fu, who has been a principal investigator with SJTU since 2006.

“We look forward to the potential exchange of students and faculty because of the close proximity of our universities, but also because of the many common interests we share, including natural products,” Fu said. “We are hoping to co-develop a PharmD program, as well as create favorable circumstances for postdoctoral associates and visiting scholars.”

Researchers from the Chinese University collaborate with many international institutions, including facilitating exchanges with scholars in Germany, France and Switzerland.

In the U.S., SJTU has MOUs at several universities, including the University of Pittsburgh and the University of the Pacific.

“Because we are the only school of pharmacy in the Pacific area, it’s critical to reach out as the first line of communication in order to give students in this region a level of training never before available,” said DKICP Dean John M. Pezzuto. “This has the potential to spin off into a variety of directions, and we are excited and prepared to meet the challenge.”

UH Hilo currently has another MOU with China’s Zhejiang University. Spearheaded by Tseng in 2008, the MOU was expanded for another three years last fall.

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