We are having a very good visit to Nanjing.
This city of several million is filled with trees and green spaces. It was the capital of China for a time in the past.
After traveling here yesterday by train from Shanghai, we were met by Dr. Chen Xiang-Sheng, deputy director of the National Center for STD Control, Mike Cohen’s long-time collaborator here in China. Their joint work in Sexually Transmitted Disease research has gained world-wide recognition, particularly in the area of syphilis control.
Mike told me I would enjoy Dr. Chen and Nanjing — and I certainly have. The joint work that UNC is doing with Dr. Chen and his colleagues is the basis for much future collaboration. A rich opportunity is the exchange of students and other learners.
Last evening, over dinner, we met Dr. Wang Bao-Xi, the director of the National STD Control Center, and also director of the National Institute of Dermatology. He told me of this time in Chapel Hill about ten years ago. He spent six months at UNC as a visiting scholar in our department of dermatology.
I also met many other of their colleagues, and was impressed by their enthusiasm and hospitality. I think there is a wide set of opportunities for collaboration for us, well beyond what is currently in place.
Also, we have met with Dr. Joe Tucker, a recent UNC School of Medicine grad who is now a fellow in infectious disease at Harvard. He continues his work with Mike Cohen, Gail Henderson and with Dr. Chen. I heard the story of Dr. George Hatem, another UNC School of Medicine grad who played a major role in STD control and public health here in China in the 50s and 60s. I told Joe he is the next George Hatem!
Also here is Kate Muessig, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health doctoral student. She is a Fogarty Scholar and is working under Dr. Chen and Drs. Cohen and Henderson.
This morning I spent several hours touring the clinical, research and administrative facilities of the Center. I was greatly impressed by what all I saw.
We have had a bit of time to see the beauty and history of Nanjing.
This has been a great Global Health visit. UNC is very much a presence in Nanjing, China — and what we learn here will be of great benefit — not only here, but around the world, including benefiting the people of North Carolina. Global Health in action!