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April 26, 2011

School Continuing to Strengthen Ties with China

Chengdu, China – Continuing to strengthen Penn Dental Medicine’s academic ties with China, Dr. Denis Kinane, Morton Amsterdam Dean of Penn Dental Medicine, recently signed a renewed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sichuan University West China College of Stomatology, located in Chengdu, the capital city of the Sichuan Province of southwest China. The agreement will continue to facilitate the exchange of students, faculty, and learning resources and foster collaborative research between the two institutions.

Dean Kinane renewed the MOU when in Chengdu as part of the International Symposium on Microbial Biofilms, held April 6 and 7 and organized chiefly by the West China College of Stomatology. The symposium focused on the latest discoveries in microbial biofilm research, including the mechanism of biofilm pathogenicity, the microbial ecology and host response, the advancements in molecular techniques in biofilm research, and new approaches for poly-microbial infections management. Dean Kinane, who spoke on Biofilms in Dental Disease, was among 30 scientists invited from throughout the world to present their current studies and share their latest findings and future perspectives of microbial biofilms research.

“The symposium was a great opportunity for academic exchange and communication and enabled everyone in attendance to gain a better understanding of the current status of microbial biofilms research in China,” says Dean Kinane. “And with our renewed memorandum of understanding with West China College of Stomatology, we can continue to build even greater cooperation between our academic institutions.”

In addition to Dean Kinane, representatives from Penn Dental Medicine attending the symposium included Dr. Syngcuk Kim, Professor and Chair of Endodontics and Associate Dean for Global Affairs; Dr. William Cheung, Chairman of the Penn Dental Medicine Board of Overseers and Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, and his wife, Cathy; and Dr. Carolyn Gibson, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology. At the conclusion of the MOU ceremony, the West China College of Stomatology awarded honorary professorships to Drs. Kinane, Kim, Cheung, and Gibson.

In addition, as part of the visit, Dr. Kim gave a three-hour lecture to over 600 faculty and students about the way endodontics is taught at Penn, especially the use of the microscope and microsurgery. A department seminar for specialty graduate students was also presented following the lecture.

The MOU with Sichuan University West China College of Stomatology is one of three that Penn Dental Medicine has with schools the China. The others are with The Fourth Military Medical University College of Stomatology and Peking University School of Stomatology, the latter of which was signed in March 2010 when Penn Dental Medicine joined a delegation led by Penn President Amy Gutmann to Beijing, initiating and reaffirming Penn’s academic partnerships and agreements with universities there. Penn Dental Medicine will once again be joining President Gutmann and a group from Penn for a trip to the region May 23 – 27, 2011, with visits to Beijing, China, and Seoul, Korea.

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