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International Research Collaborations Provide Research Training Opportunities for Students, Postdocs, Staff, and Faculty

Donald B. Thomason, PhD

As highlighted elsewhere in this issue, international collaborations between UTHSC and entities in China are developing. These provide unique opportunities for training both members of the UTHSC team and our international collaborators. The highlighted discussions that took place in February with groups from Chengdu, PRC, noted unique support activities that UTHSC can provide to advance the research and potential products. These are not simple “hand-off” collaborations, but instead, require an integration of teams from both sides. This means that the collaborative teams must educate each other in their technologies and roles. In addition to exchanges of research team members, a curriculum is being developed to fast-track investigators on cutting-edge biotechnologies that will be used in the projects including 3D Bioprinting. The curriculum will use faculty expertise from both teams, be managed by the College of Graduate Health Sciences, and provide graduate credit. Given the time difference between the US and China, the portion of the curriculum that is not laboratory work will be provided online; laboratory instruction is anticipated in both China and the US. Eventually, the curriculum may develop into a certificate program and provide CME credits.

Another research collaboration between UTHSC investigators and investigators at Harbin Medical University is establishing a formal program for training PhD graduate students. This fall we anticipate matriculating several Masters degree students from Harbin Medical University into the College of Graduate Health Sciences PhD programs. Several years in the making, this collaboration is expected to provide both long and short-term exchanges of trainees as research projects develop between investigators. These exchanges strengthen the research ties and allow access to and education in many of the resources that are available to both institutions.

-Donald B. Thomason, PhD, Dean, College of Graduate Health Sciences