Dr. Zheng elevated to UNMC associate vice chancellor for academic affairs

Oversees Asia Pacific Rim Development Program

Jialin Zheng, M.D., has been named associate vice chancellor for academic affairs overseeing the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Asia Pacific Rim Development Program (APRDP).

The appointment was announced by Dele Davies, M.D., vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies.

“Dr. Zheng has clearly set a very high bar in terms of establishing mutually beneficial UNMC international relationships in the Asia Pacific Rim,” Dr. Davies said. “It’s a model for our collaboration with other partners around the world. Best of all, he has been able to accomplish many of his goals while maintaining a successful research portfolio.”

Dr. Davies praised Dr. Zheng for a number of his accomplishments:

  • The recruitment of five visiting scholars and 72 graduate and postdoctoral students to train at UNMC. The students were selected from some of China’s top educational institutions through the prestigious Chinese Science Council. 
  • Developing solid partnerships with four prominent Chinese institutions: Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an Jiao Tong University Health Science Center and Tongji University.
  • Creating an exchange of almost 200 students in medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy and dentistry between UNMC and Tongji University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
  • Tapping UNMC faculty members to help develop the Shanghai Sino-U.S. Joint Family Medicine Training and Exchange Center in China at Tongji University.
  • Organizing several joint international educational and research symposia involving Chinese, Australian, Japanese and UNMC students and faculty.
  • Being part of several delegations between UNMC, the State of Nebraska and China, including the 2012 China-Nebraska trade mission led by Gov. Dave Heineman.
  • Playing a pivotal role in organizing the first-ever conference in China for the Association of Academic Health Centers.  

Dr. Zheng joined UNMC in 1993 as a postdoctoral fellow after a stint as visiting scholar at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Since 2005, he has served as director of APRDP. In addition, he is associate dean for graduate studies and professor of pharmacology/experimental neuroscience, pathology/microbiology, genetics, cell biology and anatomy, and family medicine.

An active researcher, Dr. Zheng is the principal investigator on two National Institutes of Health grants generating more than $700,000 annually in funding. He oversees 12 researchers in the Neuroimmunology and Regenerative Therapy Laboratory. His research work is aimed at gaining better understanding and treatments for neurodegenerative disorders attributable to HIV-1 associated dementia and Alzheimer’s disease through induced neural progenitor/stem cells.

The recipient of the Gilmore Outstanding Young Investigator Award in 2005 and the Outstanding Investigator Award in 2008, Dr. Zheng has published more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and serves as an editor on several scientific journals.

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Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
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