The new year is off to a great start for the partnership between University of Maryland (UMD) and Shanghai’s East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST). This partnership began five years ago when Prof. Greg Payne, from UMD’s Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR) and Fischell Department of Bioengineering, was appointed a Chaired Professor in ECUST. The goal of this partnership has been to integrate UMD’s expertise in biofabrication with ECUST’s translational research in biomedical materials. Prof. Changsheng Liu, ECUST’s Vice President and a member of the Chinese National Academy of Sciences, initiated this collaboration as part of ECUST’s efforts to attract international participation in their research programs. “Our work with Maryland has been one of our most successful examples of international collaboration and has led to numerous technical advances while enhancing our graduate student training,” noted Liu.
On January 8, 2018, UMD-ECUST hosted their first graduate student Elevator Pitch competition. Twelve of the top students from ECUST’s Medical Biomaterials Research Center were selected to compete in this competition, which included a one-minute description of their research that could be accompanied by a single slide. According to Liu, “the focus on efficient communication has been one of the most important benefits of our collaboration with Maryland.” Xue Qu, an Associate Professor in ECUST and co-organizer of the competition, remarked that “this has been a great learning experience for our students who seldom have such opportunities to improve their communication skills.”
There have already been two additional successes in 2018. Ms. Jinyang Li, who is currently a PhD student in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering, was awarded ECUST’s Outstanding Alumni Award for her Master’s research on a nanotechnology-based system for the targeted delivery of anticancer drugs. Ms. Huan Liu, a PhD student in ECUST’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, learned that her research on a biomimetic antimicrobial wound healing bandage was accepted for publication in the premier journal Biomaterials (DOI10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.12.027).
“It has been great to work with some of the brightest young people in China at a time when China is committed to expanding its scientific research enterprise,” said Dr. Payne.