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A Day in the Life: Experiencing ‘China Nice’

By Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | December 1, 2014

Chinese-dancer-500

China might have 1.3 billion of the nicest people in the world.

At every point during my 10-day trip with the UNMC delegation to this beautiful country, I was met with enthusiastic smiles, heartfelt hospitality and the warmest welcome, all of which I eagerly reciprocated.

It’s no wonder UNMC’s Asia Pacific Rim Development Program has been so successful. From Gang Pei, Ph.D., president of Tongji University in Shanghai, to Le Kang, Ph.D., president of Beijing Institutes of Life Sciences, the people who have signed agreements with UNMC establishing faculty and student exchanges, enhanced clinical training of family medicine physicians and new programs in nursing and physical therapy among others, have done so with open arms.

With my friend Alice, a student from the Chinese Scholarship Council who helped our group in Beijing.

With my friend Alice, a student from the Chinese Scholarship Council who helped our group in Beijing.

With my friend Alice, a student from the Chinese Scholarship Council who helped our group in Beijing.

The excitement of being a part of UNMC was evident when it was announced at our first formal dinner in Beijing that there is now a new alumni chapter in China of Chinese students who have attended UNMC.

“Welcome to the family,” said Don Leuenberger, vice chancellor of business and finance at UNMC, as he toasted the announcement made by Jialin Zheng, M.D., associate vice chancellor for academic affairs.

The celebratory dinner was capped off with a performance by a Szechuan dancer who surprised us all when he changed his face mask more than a dozen times right before our eyes. It was a treat provided courtesy of our new Chinese alumni chapter president, Dr. Kang.

UNMC’s Don Leuenberger and Liu Jinhui, M.D., Ph.D., general secretary for the Chinese Scholarship Council, sign a student exchange renewal with the CSC.

UNMC’s Don Leuenberger and Liu Jinhui, M.D., Ph.D., general secretary for the Chinese Scholarship Council, sign a student exchange renewal with the CSC.

Our entourage was joined by Mindy Ruffalo, international business development director for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, who happened to be in Beijing on other business and wanted to learn more about what UNMC is doing in China. As well she should, because everywhere we went it seems UNMC has a growing reputation in China – one of genuine commitment and excellence in education.

It was evident at a signing ceremony that renewed the partnership between UNMC and the Chinese Scholarship Council at which Liu Jinjui, M.D., Ph.D., and general secretary for the CSC, said: “The collaboration with UNMC is an exemplary model in how to train medical professionals and one we highly value.”

It was evident during a visit to the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when officials shared details about the surveillance techniques they use to monitor illness and infectious diseases throughout the country. They had many questions for UNMC officials about the response in caring for two patients with Ebola and the educational materials developed from those experiences. The entire delegation was then taken on a tour of a Chinese CDC infectious diseases laboratory.

And it was evident at the Shanghai Institute of Health Sciences, where a memorandum of understanding was signed to form collaborations in nursing education, faculty and student exchanges — and interest was expressed to someday form new partnerships in clinical laboratory science.

Hongmei Tang, M.D., president of Shanghai Institute of Health Sciences, proudly hosted the delegation, a few of whom she knew from 10 years ago, when she spent six months at UNMC training in hospital administration.

“Dr. Tang is proof that what began 10 years ago is clearly working in forming the next generation of leaders in China,” said Dr. Zheng.

To that I would like to add – we are part of a larger human family. Reaching out and sharing expertise and ideas with those in China only makes our family stronger. Way to go UNMC for being a leader in this endeavor.

UNeMed opens office in Shanghai

by Charlie Litton, UNeMed

Chinese and University of Nebraska Medical Center officials cut the ribbon to UNMC-China on Oct. 29, 2014. UNMC-China is a subsidiary of UNeMed, the technology transfer office for UNMC. Pictured from left are Deloitte’s Maria Liang; UNMC vice chancellor for business and finance Don Leuenberger; UNeMed’s director of international and domestic business affairs D.J. Thayer; and UNMC’s director of the Asia Pacific Rim Development Program, Jailin Zheng. (UNMC Photo: Lisa Spellman)

Chinese and University of Nebraska Medical Center officials cut the ribbon to UNMC-China on Oct. 29, 2014. UNMC-China is a subsidiary of UNeMed, the technology transfer office for UNMC. Pictured from left are Deloitte’s Maria Liang; UNMC vice chancellor for business and finance Don Leuenberger; UNeMed’s director of international and domestic business affairs D.J. Thayer; and UNMC’s director of the Asia Pacific Rim Development Program, Jailin Zheng. (UNMC Photo: Lisa Spellman)

SHANGHAI, China (November 7, 2014)—The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s relationship with China formed a stronger bond with the official opening of a satellite office in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 29 officially opened the door to deeper biomedical cooperation between UNMC and Chinese sectors in biomedical industry and healthcare education.

“Collaboration with China’s biomedical industry and higher education is really the essence of our strategy,” said D.J. Thayer, UNeMed’s Director of International and Domestic Business Affairs, who oversaw the creation of UNMC-China.

UNMC-China will focus on three core areas: Improve international collaborations, share knowledge, and commercialize UNMC innovations in a vast Chinese marketplace that lives in the world’s second largest economy.

“This is taking what we do best, and combining it with what they do best,” Thayer said. “We’re good at a lot of things, but not everything. Everyone benefits from this. Nebraskans, Americans, the Chinese. Everyone.”

D.J. Thayer

D.J. Thayer

UNMC recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its relationship with China, which has been based largely on educational exchange and research collaborations.

Opening a fully-staffed operation in Shanghai expands that relationship for greater collaborations with Chinese medical schools and hospitals. The new office opens a path to a wider range of possibilities for commercializing UNMC technologies and developing partnerships with industrial partners in China.

UNMC already has a long track record of successful student and faculty exchanges, as well as several UNMC inventions licensed to Chinese companies.

But UNMC will also expand its focus abroad to consulting with Chinese officials and developers who are increasingly trying to provide more Western-styled healthcare options. Already, UNMC-China is meeting with Chinese architectural and engineering firms on a $3 billion project that would create a massive health care facility for a piece of the growing medical tourism market.

UNMC-China is a subsidiary of UNeMed Corporation, the technology transfer and commercialization office for UNMC. UNMC-China is known officially as UNeMed Health Consulting Shanghai, or UHCS for short.

Symposium marks 10 years of UNMC-China collaboration

OMAHA, Neb. (June 12, 2014) — Officials and researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center highlighted recent and ongoing research Thursday while commemorating 10 years of UNMC-China collaborations during the Asia Pacific Rim Development Program’s fifth annual Joint Research Symposium, an international biomedical research forum held Thursday at the Durham Research Center.

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., greets attendees during opening remarks at the Asia Pacific Rim Development Program’s fifth annual Joint Research Symposium at the Durham Research Center in Omaha.

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., greets attendees during opening remarks at the Asia Pacific Rim Development Program’s fifth annual Joint Research Symposium at the Durham Research Center in Omaha.

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., opened a full day of seminars and presentations with brief remarks to illustrate the value of UNMC-China research collaboration. UNMC has a four-part mission, he said, that is equal parts education, research, quality clinical care and community engagement.

“This symposium underscores all parts of this mission,” he said.

He added that research doesn’t end when results are published, when a grant ends or when funding runs out. “Research is completed when it changes some human life,” he said.

Dr. Gold was followed by remarks from Le Kang, Ph.D., the director-general of the Institute of Zoology and president of the Beijing Institutes of Life Sciences, which are part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Kang was presented with an admiralty in “The Great Navy of the State of Nebraska,” a fictional position used by the governor’s office since 1931 to honor esteemed guests and citizens of a landlocked state.

Dr. Kang presented UNMC with a gift of a four-panel mural depicting traditional Chinese artistic paintings of a plum blossom, an orchid, a bamboo blossom and a chrysanthemum. Known as the “four gentlemen,” the four plants symbolize strength, humility, moral character and resilience. In Chinese culture, presenting them as gift is a significant demonstration of friendship.

The remainder of the symposium featured UNMC and Chinese research partners presenting and discussing their most recent findings in areas including cell-death mechanisms, schizophrenia, the Epstein-Barr virus, and stem cells.

Le KaAng, Ph.D.The Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Le Kang, Ph.D., discusses the value of UNMC-China research collaborations during the fifth annual Joint Research Symposium on June 12, 2014.

This four-panel mural of traditional Chinese art was a gift to UNMC from Le Kang, Ph.D., of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Known as the “four gentlemen,” the four depicted plants symbolize strength, humility, moral character and resilience.

This four-panel mural of traditional Chinese art was a gift to UNMC from Le Kang, Ph.D., of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Known as the “four gentlemen,” the four depicted plants symbolize strength, humility, moral character and resilience.

A decade of success

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | June 10, 2014

Jialin Zheng, M.D., speaks at a gathering of Asia Pacific Rim Development Program colleagues during a recent visit to China by UNMC faculty and leadership.

Jialin Zheng, M.D., speaks at a gathering of Asia Pacific Rim Development Program colleagues during a recent visit to China by UNMC faculty and leadership.

For Jialin Zheng, M.D., it’s all about friendships.

This week, Dr. Zheng will see the Asia Pacific Rim Development Program, the institutional collaboration he helped develop in 2004 between UNMC and universities in China, celebrate its 10th anniversary.

For a program timeline, click here.

“Time really flies,” said Dr. Zheng. “When you reach the 10-year mark, it gives you the opportunity to look back at what’s been achieved and look ahead to how you can achieve more.”

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., said UNMC is committed to continuing to strengthen the collaboration.

Dr. Gold said goals going forward will include a focus on joint education, particularly enhancing the new joint family medicine program and the soon-to-be-established physical therapy program.

“We also look forward to potentially advancing our collaborations in dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and public health, strengthening the global impact of our health professions programs,” Dr. Gold said.

Joint research in translational research program development will remain a focus as well, he said — promoting joint research proposal applications and facilitating technology development.

For information on the fifth annual APRDC Joint Research Symposium, to be held Thursday, click here.

In an era when it is increasingly important to be global thinkers, the collaboration has been and will continue to be very important to UNMC, said Dele Davies, M.D., vice chancellor of academic affairs.

“The full value of the economic, sociologic and other intangible benefits of these ties cannot be easily quantified and may not be totally evident until a much later date,” he said.

As Vice Chancellor of Research Jennifer Larsen, M.D., noted, decade-long relationships are not built overnight.

“The growth of our programs and interactions with multiple institutions and leaders in China are a testament to our commitment as well as our vision and desire for this relationship to grow,” she said.

The relationships are the key to the program’s success, Dr. Zheng agreed.

“If there’s one thing I value, it’s the friendships which have been built among the leaders, students and faculty of the Chinese institutions and the leaders, students and faculty of UNMC as a whole,” Dr. Zheng said.

Those friendships, he said, are the foundation of 10 years of achievement, as well as the foundation “for what we can achieve many years beyond.

“We have so many people who really provide support, from the leadership side, from the faculty perspective, from the student perspective,” he said. “This is truly a team effort.”

Program architects

Three people Dr. Zheng credits as being among the program’s architects offered their congratulations on the 10th anniversary:

“The partnership between UNMC and its sister universities in China is an excellent example of international cooperation at its best. From the first exploratory visit, UNMC has stood by its claim of always doing what it says it will do, and our friends in China have reciprocated in kind. I look forward to seeing what the next 10 years will bring.”

– Thomas Rosenquist, Ph.D., former vice chancellor for research

“The strong ties that have developed over the years through these exchanges has been of mutual benefit for students, faculty, patient care and community engagement. In addition, it has fostered enduring friendships between and among institutions, and mutual respect and admiration between the peoples. Although cultures may be different and distances are great, our human needs are the same and overcome all obstacles to collaboration.”

– Harold M. Maurer, M.D., chancellor emeritus

“I doubt any of us making our first visit to China in 2004 would have forecast the close relationships that have developed between UNMC faculty, staff and students and our Chinese counterparts. . . . Today, our relationship with China goes beyond education and includes research, clinical care and business relations. Nothing could be more satisfying than to have had the opportunity to witness the growing strength of these many relationships. I am confident that the next 10 years will deepen these relations, and the 20-year anniversary in 2024 will have even more to celebrate.”

– Don Leuenbeger, vice chancellor, business & finance

Regents approve appointment of Jeffrey Gold, M.D., as chancellor

by Melissa Lee, University of Nebraska | December 02, 2013

Jeffrey Gold, M.D., is the new chancellor of UNMC.

Jeffrey Gold, M.D., is the new chancellor of UNMC.

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents Friday approved the appointment of Jeffrey Gold, M.D., as the new chancellor of UNMC. His start date will be Feb. 1.

Dr. Gold currently serves as chancellor and executive vice president of biosciences and health affairs and executive dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Toledo in Ohio. He has been at that university since 2005.

“I’m delighted to welcome Jeff Gold to the University of Nebraska. Many share my view that Dr. Gold’s achievements and experience make him the right person to serve as UNMC’s next chancellor,” said University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken. “I’m looking forward to his leadership of an enterprise that is so critical to the future of Nebraska and the health of its people.”

Tim Clare, chairman of the NU Board of Regents, said: “We are extremely pleased to have someone as talented, passionate and experienced as Dr. Gold to lead UNMC. We are confident that, with his proven track record in health care, he can build on the successes of his predecessor, Dr. Hal Maurer, and lead UNMC to new heights in the competitive health care industry of the 21st century.

“We believe, through Dr. Gold’s leadership, UNMC will continue to enhance its reputation as an international leader in health care by affording its students an outstanding education, conducting outstanding research and providing top-quality health care for its patients.”

Dr. Gold will serve as UNMC’s chief executive officer, with responsibility for all aspects of campus administration. UNMC has an annual operating budget of about $600 million, a staff of more than 5,000, and about 3,700 students.

Gold will be expected to lead the development of a vision and plan for UNMC’s future; continue the important work of creating an integrated clinical enterprise; continue to strengthen the work of UNMC and its partners in offering the highest-quality health care; enhance UNMC’s research and academic profile and capacity; cultivate a highly collaborative, supportive and diverse workplace; represent and advocate for the campus within the University of Nebraska and more broadly; represent UNMC in the private sector; and attract and develop the financial resources necessary to achieve the campus’ ambitions, among other duties. Gold will chair the board of the recently announced integrated clinical enterprise.

Gold also will hold a health professions appointment in the department of surgery.

Jeffrey Gold, M.D.


Dr. Gold has served at the University of Toledo, the third-largest public university in Ohio, since 2005. In that role, Dr. Gold has full leadership responsibility of the clinical, education and research programs of the university’s health sciences, the faculty practice plan and the clinical delivery system.

Dr. Gold graduated from the Cornell University College of Engineering, where he majored in theoretical and applied mechanics. He earned his M.D. from the Weill Cornell College of Medicine and completed his general surgery residency at The New York Hospital and Memorial Hospital, where he served as the administrative chief resident; and his cardiothoracic residency training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Prior to joining the University of Toledo, Dr. Gold served at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Weill Cornell Medical College.

At cancer center groundbreaking, new names unveiled

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | May 08, 2013

Donors and supporters, including from left Jim McClurg, Ph.D., Amy Scott, Pamela Buffett, Gov. Dave Heineman, Susie Buffett, CL Werner and Rachel Werner, prepare for the ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday.

Donors and supporters, including from left Jim McClurg, Ph.D., Amy Scott, Pamela Buffett, Gov. Dave Heineman, Susie Buffett, CL Werner and Rachel Werner, prepare for the ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday.

Under a sunny sky, the first shovelfuls of earth were turned Tuesday morning, symbolically beginning construction of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center.

A large group of UNMC dignitaries, cancer center donors and guests gathered under a tent in front of the Durham Research Center II to thank donors and supporters, as well as to unveil the names of:

The C.L. Werner Cancer Hospital;
The Suzanne and Walter Scott Cancer Research Tower; and
The Yanney Conference Center.

CL Werner, honorary chairman of the CL Werner Foundation Board, said he is honored to support the project, saying it would be “a leading cancer center in the world.

“I am proud the Cancer Hospital is in Omaha and hope everyone shares my excitement about this state-of-the-art initiative,” he said.

Werner serves as chairman emeritus of Werner Enterprises, Inc., one of the largest truckload motor carriers in the nation.

Mike Yanney reacts to the announcement of the Yanney Conference Center.

Mike Yanney reacts to the announcement of the Yanney Conference Center.

Gail Walling Yanney, M.D., and Mike Yanney are co-chairs of the capital campaign for the cancer center, and Mike Yanney could be seen wiping tears from his eyes after the surprise-naming announcement.

Suzanne and Walter Scott Jr. are well-known Omaha philanthropists and active in community affairs. Walter Scott serves as chairman of the Board of Policy Advisors for the University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute, Heritage Services and the Omaha Zoological Society, among other leadership roles. Suzanne Scott is a director of the Omaha Zoological Society and a former director of numerous community organizations including Joslyn Art Museum, The Salvation Army and United Way of the Midlands.

Speakers took to the stage to express excitement over the transformative project and appreciation for its generous supporters, including Gov. Dave Heineman, who called it “a remarkable and historic day” for UNMC and the entire state of Nebraska.

Susie Buffett, who spoke on behalf of the lead donor Pamela Buffett, called the new center “an international beacon of light,” while Tim Clare, chairman of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, said UNMC should update its self-description from a “500-mile campus” to a “worldwide campus.”

Speakers lauded the project as a strong example of a public-private partnership.

“Every Nebraskan has made this event possible,” Walling Yanney said.

“We greatly appreciate these significant investments in the cancer center,” said NU President James B. Milliken.

The NU Board of Regents will vote on the namings at its June meeting.

A Day in the Life: Experiencing ‘China Nice’

A Day in the Life: Experiencing ‘China Nice’ By Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | December 1, 2014 China might have 1.3 billion of the nicest people in the world. At every point during my 10-day trip with the UNMC delegation to this beautiful country, I was met with enthusiastic smiles, heartfelt hospitality and the warmest welcome, all of which I eagerly reciprocated. It’s no wonder UNMC’s Asia Pacific Rim Development Program has been so successful. From Gang Pei, Ph.D.,…

Read More »

UNeMed opens office in Shanghai

UNeMed opens office in Shanghai by Charlie Litton, UNeMed SHANGHAI, China (November 7, 2014)—The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s relationship with China formed a stronger bond with the official opening of a satellite office in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 29 officially opened the door to deeper biomedical cooperation between UNMC and Chinese sectors in biomedical industry and healthcare education. “Collaboration with China’s biomedical industry and higher education is really the essence of our strategy,”…

Read More »

Symposium marks 10 years of UNMC-China collaboration

Symposium marks 10 years of UNMC-China collaboration OMAHA, Neb. (June 12, 2014) — Officials and researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center highlighted recent and ongoing research Thursday while commemorating 10 years of UNMC-China collaborations during the Asia Pacific Rim Development Program’s fifth annual Joint Research Symposium, an international biomedical research forum held Thursday at the Durham Research Center. UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., opened a full day of seminars and presentations with brief remarks to illustrate the…

Read More »

A decade of success

A decade of success by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | June 10, 2014 For Jialin Zheng, M.D., it’s all about friendships. This week, Dr. Zheng will see the Asia Pacific Rim Development Program, the institutional collaboration he helped develop in 2004 between UNMC and universities in China, celebrate its 10th anniversary. For a program timeline, click here. “Time really flies,” said Dr. Zheng. “When you reach the 10-year mark, it gives you the opportunity to look back at what’s…

Read More »

Regents approve appointment of Jeffrey Gold, M.D., as chancellor

Regents approve appointment of Jeffrey Gold, M.D., as chancellor by Melissa Lee, University of Nebraska | December 02, 2013 The University of Nebraska Board of Regents Friday approved the appointment of Jeffrey Gold, M.D., as the new chancellor of UNMC. His start date will be Feb. 1. Dr. Gold currently serves as chancellor and executive vice president of biosciences and health affairs and executive dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Toledo in Ohio. He has been…

Read More »

At cancer center groundbreaking, new names unveiled

At cancer center groundbreaking, new names unveiled by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | May 08, 2013 Under a sunny sky, the first shovelfuls of earth were turned Tuesday morning, symbolically beginning construction of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. A large group of UNMC dignitaries, cancer center donors and guests gathered under a tent in front of the Durham Research Center II to thank donors and supporters, as well as to unveil the names of: The C.L. Werner…

Read More »
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