Peking University and University of Michigan celebrate 10th anniversary of Joint Institute

Peking: Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) and the Medical School of the University of Michigan (Michigan Medicine) held an online event on September 24 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Michigan Medicine-PKUHSC Joint Institute for Translational and Clinical Research.

During the virtual celebration, both sides looked back on the accomplishments of the past decade and envisaged more bilateral cooperation in the future. Moreover, renowned medical experts from China and the United States took part in a panel discussion online and exchanged views on areas like medical research and cooperation.

Zhan Qimin, executive vice president of Peking University and president of PKUHSC, and Marshall Runge, executive vice president for Medical Affairs of the University of Michigan and dean of the Medical School, attended the virtual celebration and delivered welcome remarks. Zhan and Runge both spoke highly of the bilateral cooperation and envisioned an even brighter future for the Joint Institute in the next decade.

Zhang Ning, vice president of PKUHSC and director of the Office of Scientific Research at PKU, and Joseph Kolars, co-director of the Joint Institute, gave reports at the virtual celebration, elaborating on the development trajectory of the Joint Institute and the achievements in terms of research projects, publications, and patent application. They also mapped out a blueprint for future development.

At the virtual celebration, Peking University President Hao Ping said the success of the Joint Institute provides an example and inspiration for international cooperation in higher education. He believes that the collaboration between both universities will certainly benefit the endeavor to contribute to a better world for all. President Hao also hopes to build a stronger partnership with the University of Michigan through exploring more areas for cooperation.

Mark Schlissel, president of the University of Michigan, is impressed by the outcome of the Joint Institute. President Schlissel firmly believes that international partnerships not only make universities stronger but also make nations stronger and more secured. He expects to see additional faculty from both universities extend their reach into new areas for research at the Joint Institute.


The Joint Institute was established in 2010 to connect top researchers from both institutions to collaborate on joint research to improve the health of people from around the globe. Researchers from the Joint Institute have launched 59 projects across a variety of fields, including cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, renal diseases and more.

Beyond research, both sides have strengthened their partnerships through timely support amid the coronavirus pandemic.

PKUHSC reached out to Michigan Medicine to offer perspectives on treating COVID-19 patients. More than 40 people from Michigan, Beijing and Wuhan participated in a video conference on March 26 to discuss the best practices of fighting against COVID-19 and lessons learned from China’s experience.

Moreover, PKUHSC also contacted Michigan Medicine to arrange the donation of personal protective equipment (PPE), after which a large shipment of PPE arrived in Michigan in April, including tens of thousands of items like masks, protective clothing, and goggles.