Checking out Beijing

by Tom O'Connor, UNMC public affairs | October 15, 2008

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Rod Markin, M.D., Ph.D., takes in the spectacular site of the Great Wall of China. The wall is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
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Checking out the Great Wall of China are (left-right): Paul Paulman, M.D., Audrey Paulman, M.D., Connie Harrison and Jeff Harrison, M.D. The Paulmans and Dr. Harrison will be among the presenters at a short course in public health, rural and family medicine in Xi'an, China, on Oct. 19-20.
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Tina Anderson and Jayme Nekuda pose in front of a mannequin display depicting some of the costumes worn at the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The display is in the Bird's Nest, where track and field events were held. Anderson is a nurse anesthetist for the UNMC Department of Anesthesiology, while Nekuda is division director for UNMC's benefits & work life programs.
BEIJING - It's not every day that you get to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a historical Olympic venue in the same day. But, such was the case Tuesday as the UNMC Chinese contingent toured the Great Wall of China and walked through the Olympic Village in Beijing.

The work portion of the trip begins Wednesday, as the first symposium of the China-U.S. Research Center for Life Sciences kicks off. The symposium will focus on neuroscience and immunology.

Don Leuenberger, UNMC vice chancellor for business and finance, will deliver the opening address and five UNMC faculty will make presentations or lead portions of the symposium. These faculty include: Dan Monaghan, Ph.D., professor, pharmacology and experimental neuroscience; Jeff Harrison, M.D., associate professor, family medicine; Kai Fu, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, pathology and microbiology; Rod Markin, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO, UNMC Physicians; and Jialin Zheng, M.D., professor, pharmacology and experimental neuroscience.

Dr. Zheng is director of UNMC's Asia Pacific Rim Development Program (APRDP) and Dr. Fu serves as associate director. Both are natives of China and their connections have been invaluable in moving UNMC's partnerships forward with three Chinese universities -- the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center.

"We hear from these universities that UNMC is their best U.S. partner," Dr. Zheng said. "They say Nebraska people treat their students and faculty better. When Nebraska people say they are going to do something, they do it."

Earlier this year, UNMC and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine initiated a joint M.D./Ph.D. program that would allow medical students from the Chinese university to come to UNMC to earn a Ph.D. degree after their M.D. training in China. It's the first such program between a U.S. and Chinese university.

It was a memorable day for all of us. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.