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Preface: A healthier future for all through enhanced China-U.S. cooperation on translational medicine

On June 24 this year, scientists, physicians, and officers from the United States and China gathered in Shanghai for the 2011 Sino-American Symposium on Clinical and Translational Medicine.

The per capita expenditure on health in China is much less than that in the United States, and the two nations' health care systems are quite different. However, both countries face the same challenge: To meet the growing health needs and expectations of their citizens, while facing an increasingly restrictive financing environment. We think that translational medicine is one of the best solutions to tackle this challenge.

Thanks to the efforts of the journal Science and the Global MD Organization (GlobalMD), the ideas and recommendations of the participants in the clinical and translational medicine symposium can be presented in this special supplement. The content covers all phases of translational medicine, including policy and decisionmaking related to capacity and formation of a "constraint-free" environment, synergism of collaborations and partnerships between all stakeholders, examples of successful translational research on different specific diseases and within a variety of disciplines, and the commercialization of different products. Also discussed is the development of translational medicine over the next 5 to 10 years and what measures will be effective in breaking through the major barriers between basic research and clinical application as well as how best to foster international cooperation.

This is the second Sino-American Symposium on Clinical and Translational Medicine. I believe the timely and close cooperation and exchange between colleagues from China and the United States will promote the development of translational medicine not only in our two countries, but also in other parts of the world. I sincerely hope that the U.S.-Sino cooperation on clinical and translational medicine soon will bring about true results and make lasting contributions to the healthy future of the world.

Zhu Chen, Ph.D.
Minister of Health, China

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