Philadelphia — Reaffirming its strong and growing engagement in China, Penn Dental Medicine’s Board of Overseers recently held its fall Board meeting in Beijing, taking place at the Penn Wharton China Center (PWCC) there. The meeting was led by Board Chairman Dr. William Cheung (D’81, GD’82), who lives and practices in Hong Kong, with eight of the 19-member board at the meeting in China and other Board members participating remotely. Also attending from Penn Dental Medicine was Dean Denis Kinane; Dr. Syngcuk Kim, Associate Dean for Global Affairs & Continuing Education; and Elizabeth Ketterlinus, Senior Associate Dean for Development.
“It was a pleasure to bring the Board together at PWCC and also to engage with alumni from the region,” says Dr. Cheung.
In conjunction with the Board meeting, a forum was held on the topic of oral care and dentistry in China with Penn alumni along with students and faculty from partnering Chinese dental schools invited to attend. Chaired by Dr. Kim, the forum featured presentations on the oral disease/systemic health connection by Dean Kinane; recent developments in dentistry by Dr. Cheung; oral care delivery in China by Prof. Yu Guang-Yan, President of the Chinese Stomatological Association and Former Dean of Peking University School of Stomatology; and trends in private dental practice in China by Robert Zhou, a member of the Penn Dental Medicine Board of Overseers and CEO of Arrail Dental Group in China.
Over the past six years, the University of Pennsylvania overall and Penn Dental Medicine individually have been building and strengthening partnerships in China. Penn Dental Medicine was among the Penn delegation to Beijing led by Penn President Amy Gutmann in 2010, and again in 2015, Penn Dental Medicine joined with other Penn schools to celebrate the launch of PWCC in Beijing and also to mark the first 100 days of PWCC, holding research symposia in conjunction with each of these gatherings.
In addition, Penn Dental Medicine presently has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with seven schools to facilitate faculty and student exchange and foster collaborative research. They include Peking University School of Stomatology in Beijing; Wuhan University School and Hospital of Stomatology; West China School of Stomatology, Sichuan University in Chengdu; Fourth Military Hospital in Xi’an; Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou; Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai; and University of Hong Kong Faculty of Dentistry.
And last year, Penn Dental Medicine was among the inaugural recipients of Penn’s China Research and Engagement Fund (CREF) awards, designed to stimulate and support activity in China and engagement with the PWCC. Penn Dental Medicine’s CREF grant, Advancing Research and Clinical Practice, includes three research symposia – the first one on bone biology was held November 12, one on the topic of biofilm will be held in 2017, and the third on stem cells will be in 2018. The CREF grant will also fund a conference on dental care to China, where a variety of approaches to delivering care are evolving.
“Through these CREF symposia and our MOUs with partnering schools throughout China, I foresee our research collaborations continuing to grow,” says Dr. Kim. “China is a key part of our global engagement.”
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