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Chinese officials explore joint center at Marshall

Aug. 16, 2010 @ 07:16 PM

HUNTINGTON — Five Chinese researchers and directors from the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences visited Marshall University Monday to learn more about the biomedical and biotechnology academic and research programs.

It was the first formal visit of a China delegation since two Marshall officials signed a memorandum of understanding in December in China to form a joint research center for microbiology and biotechnology, along with an exchange program for students and scholars.

The two Marshall officials were Hongwei Yu of the Marshall’s Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, and Richard Niles, senior associate dean for research and graduate education.

They joined Todd Green, biomedical sciences graduate program director, and Diana Maue, graduate recruitment and communication coordinator for biomedical sciences, on Monday morning to talk about their roles in the graduate programs.

The delegation later met with officials at the Marshall University Research Corporation and Technology Transfer Office.

Among those in the delegation was Wang Xin, who also served as the translator. Wang, a research fellow at the Zhengjian Academy, met Yu in 2004, while he was visiting his parents in his native country.

The two have backgrounds in microbiology and discussed ways to collaborate on research.

In 2008, Wang spent three months working in Yu’s lab at Marshall, as what can be now be described as the first official venture of the partnership.

Monday was the first trip for the other four in the delegation, which included You Linxiong, the vice president of the academy; Zheng Kefeng, the deputy director of the Institute of Digital Agriculture; Zhang Dongqing, a research fellow at the Institute of Crops and Nucleus Technology; and Shi Lingrong, the deputy director at the Institute of Citrus.

Yu said he hoped the trip would promote collaborative research in the rapidly developing fields of microbiology, biochemistry, bioengineering and biotechnology, and to facilitate cultural exchanges and international friendships.

The next step is encouraging students from both countries to look at spending three to six months working overseas in another research facility.

Yu said he has given three talks in China about Marshall University and the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Center. He said he’s glad they could come and see it for themselves.

Through their translator, the members of the delegation told Marshall officials how impressed they were with the programs and the facilities.



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