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Collaboration Platforms in China for Translational and Clinical Research: The Partnership Between Peking University Health Science Center and the University of Michigan Medical School

Kolars, Joseph C. MD; Fang, Weigang PhD; Zheng, Kai PhD; Huang, Amy Y. MD, MHSA; Sun, Qiudan MA; Wang, Yanfang PhD; Woolliscroft, James O. MD; Ke, Yang MS

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001202
Innovation Reports

Problem Clinical and translational research is increasing in China, attracting faculty-to-faculty collaborations between U.S. and Chinese researchers. However, examples of successful institution-to-institution collaborations to facilitate this research are limited. The authors describe a partnership between Peking University Health Science Center (PUHSC) and the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) designed to enable faculty-initiated joint translational and clinical research projects.

Approach In 2009, UMMS leadership identified PUHSC as the most appropriate institutional partner, and the Joint Institute for Translational and Clinical Research was established in 2010. Each contributed $7 million for joint research projects in areas of mutual interest. A shared governance structure, four thematic programs (pulmonary, cardiovascular, liver, and renal diseases), three joint research-enabling cores, and processes for awarding funding have been established along with methods for collaborating and mechanisms to share data and biomaterials.

Outcomes As of November 2015, 52 joint faculty proposals have been submitted, and 25 have been funded. These projects have involved more than 100,000 patients in the United States and China and have generated 13 peer-reviewed publications. Pilot data have been leveraged to secure $3.3 million of U.S. extramural funding. Faculty and trainee exchanges take place regularly (including an annual symposium), and mechanisms exist to link faculty seeking collaborations. Critical determinants of success include having co-ownership at all levels with coinvestment of resources.

Next Steps Each institution is committed to continuing its support with a repeat $7 million investment. Next steps include initiating studies in new clinical areas and pursuing large clinical intervention trials.

J.C. Kolars is senior associate dean for education and global initiatives and Josiah Macy Jr Professor of Health Professions Education, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

W. Fang is professor of pathology and vice president for research and international cooperation, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China.

K. Zheng is associate professor of health management and policy, School of Public Health, and associate professor of information, School of Information, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A.Y. Huang is adjunct clinical assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine and director for China programs, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor Michigan.

Q. Sun is professor of English and director, Office of International Cooperation, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China.

Y. Wang is professor of epidemiology and assistant director, Peking University Clinical Research Institute, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China.

J.O. Woolliscroft is Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine and dean, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Y. Ke is professor of oncology and executive vice president, Peking University, and executive vice president, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at http://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A350.

Funding/Support: None reported.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.

Correspondence should be addressed to Joseph C. Kolars, University of Michigan Medical School, 4122 Medical Science Building I, 1301 Catherine St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5624; telephone: (734) 615-5552; e-mail: jckolars@umich.edu.

© 2017 by the Association of American Medical Colleges