As you have learned from this issue of the Research Rainmaker, a delegation of UTHSC research education leaders visited Sichuan University in Chengdu, China in mid-February 2017. The group included Drs. Steph Cormier, Gabor Tigyi, Jeff Towbin, Ryan Yates, Don Thomason, Weikuan Gu and me. We were visiting an old friend of mine, Dr. James Kang, who I have known for more than 10 years as we both serve on the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine (SEBM) Council, James has been an Associate Editor of the journal that I lead, Experimental Biology and Medicine (EBM), and directs the EBM/SEBM China Outreach office.
While the friendship between James and myself initiated the interaction between UTHSC and Sichuan University, it was not the reason for the visit. James moved from the US to China as one of its first 1000 Talents, a program that drew many outstanding scientists of Chinese origin back to that country. In Chengdu, James Directs the Sichuan University West China Hospital Regenerative Medicine Research Center; and is Chief Scientific Officer of Sichuan Revotek Co., Ltd, that produces 3D bio-printed blood vessels. Our delegation discussed Research Collaborations with Sichuan University that includes a UTHSC-Sichuan University CORNET program to stimulate collaborations and a faculty/post doc/student research exchange program. We discussed a program where UTHSC students can take a course in 3D bio-printing from Dr. Kang and his colleagues. Of great importance, we discussed Revotek Inc. opening its first USA production site for 3D bio-printed blood vessels at UTHSC, leading towards future human trials.
From April 17th through the 19th, Dr. James Kang and his colleague Nathan Kangpan, CEO of Revotek-North America visited UTHSC to continue all, and to finalize some, of these important discus- sions. We welcomed James Kang and the Chengdu delegation to Memphis and UTHSC. While it was mostly sunny this week, for their visit, the Rainmaker predicts “The Rain is Coming” when it comes to successful new research, educational and entrepreneurial collaborations between UTHSC and Sichuan University/West China Hospital. We have layed the groundwork for UTHSC in Memphis to become the first site for Revotek USA’s production of 3D bioprinted blood vessels.
-Steven R. Goodman, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research