Dr. Bayles on research collaboration with China

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC public relations | August 06, 2012

Ken Bayles, Ph.D., professor of pathology and microbiology, director of the UNMC Center for Staphylococcal Research, and associate vice chancellor for basic science research, is understandably excited about the International Student Research Forum and Joint Research Symposium, which will be held this week on campus.

There will be presentations, from established investigators and students alike. There will be camaraderie, opening and closing ceremonies, and even a trip to a baseball game. And all of that is good.

picture disc.
Ken Bayles, Ph.D.
But Dr. Bayles is most excited that this is just the latest large step in the solidification of relationships between UNMC and the international scientific community, most notably, with China.

A team of rivals

And why is that relationship so exciting? Because the United States is, well, the United States (and UNMC is UNMC). And China is a no-longer-sleeping giant.

If these two ever got together? Look out.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

"The United States has excelled for the past century in research," Dr. Bayles said, "and we do so in part because of the way we train our scientists. We allow them to really be creative. We allow our students to explore questions that really take a lot of imagination."

It's a proven formula.

"In doing that you're allowing researchers to probe new innovative areas of research that are untapped," Dr. Bayles said. Not every country works this way.

In China: Boom times for science

But in times of economic slowdown and spending cuts, the U.S. is contracting its research enterprise.

Meanwhile, "Right now there's an incredible amount of investment in research in China," Dr. Bayles said. "They're expanding their research enterprise."

Expanding so fast they almost can't keep up.

Collaborative opportunities

China has had its share of top scientists. Several of them will present at the Joint Research Symposium, here at UNMC.

But as China pours resources into science, its scientists are also curious about America's creative, imaginative style.

And researchers at UNMC and throughout the U.S. are eager to work with a country with world-class resources about to get into science full-bore.

"As China's scientific community grows it presents unprecedented opportunities for collaboration and investigation among its international partners," Dr. Bayles said. "It's an exciting time to be at UNMC, where we have forged strong partnerships with top Chinese institutions."

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