School establishes education and research program with leading Chinese university

The UCSF School of Pharmacy has entered into a five-year collaborative education and research agreement with Tsinghua University School of Medicine in Beijing, China.

The agreement will establish a joint Tsinghua School of Medicine-UCSF School of Pharmacy program for pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences education and research at Tsinghua University, which is one of China’s top science and engineering schools.

In each UCSF academic year between 2014 and 2018, Tsinghua will send five to ten students from the new program to San Francisco as visiting scholars for a two-year term. Their research training, mentored by UCSF School of Pharmacy faculty members, will include developing and completing a specific project.

“We are beyond excited about this relationship,” says Kathy Giacomini, PhD, chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine. She played a key role in establishing the new program along with James Wells, PhD, chair of the School’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, who visited Tsinghua University in October.

“Having highly qualified and enthusiastic students in our faculty members’ laboratories is a great advantage for furthering our research programs,” Giacomini notes.

“Also, scientists increasingly interact and do their research in a global community, which very much includes China,” she says. “It will be great to train the excellent students from Tsinghua, so that when they eventually become independent scientists, they will have natural interactions with our school.”

From the perspective of Tsinghua University School of Medicine, “a collaborative program with the top pharmacy school in the world is the best way to train our students’ thinking and problem-solving abilities, via working with cutting edge concepts and technologies,” says Gang Liu, PhD, chair of Tsinghua’s Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

In addition to research training, the program will hold joint research symposia to introduce faculty members and students from both institutions to each other’s research and to identify opportunities for collaboration.


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About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.