I was honored to co-chair the first two Sino-American Symposia on Clinical and Translational Medicine. The first was held in Beijing, in June 2010, and the second in Shanghai, in June 2011. Both symposia illustrated the potential for bringing investigators from China and the United States together to pursue opportunities for new partnerships. At these sessions it was clear that the Chinese are committed to improving their clinical research infrastructure and becoming leaders in the international clinical research community. This commitment was demonstrated by attendance of Chinese leaders, including the Minister of Health, Dr. Zhu Chen (see preface on page 3); joint co-sponsorship by the Chinese Academy of Engineering and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences; and participation by leaders and translational investigators from many Chinese hospitals and academic institutions.
The United States had representatives from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and senior investigators from the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine. Many participants came from American universities, academic medical centers, industry, and non-profit organizations. The relatively new U.S. Society of Clinical and Translational Sciences was also well represented by its membership and the first two Presidents of the Society, Dr. Barry Coller and Dr. Harry Selker. The first Lasker Foundation Chinese lecture, which paired Lasker Laureate Dr. Brian Druker from the United States and Dr. Sijuan Chen from China, featured exciting presentations of the latest approaches to treating chronic myeloid leukemia. The Lasker lecture was followed by vibrant open discussion with young Chinese investigators led by Dr. Zhu Chen.
It has been gratifying to witness the recent progress made by the Chinese scientific community in translational research. The quality of science, as reflected by the articles in this supplement to Science, is first rate. I was very impressed by the progress in training clinical investigators (see article by Ognibene et al. on page 8) and to learn that in 2011, the first accreditation of a Chinese hospital by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs was awarded to Beijing's YouAn Hospital led by Dr. Ning Li. The second Sino-American Symposium on Clinical and Translational Medicine was a significant step in promoting Chinese and U.S. partnerships, as highlighted in this supplement. The shared hope is that these partnerships will lead to better and faster discoveries to improve human health and serve as examples of how to build academic partnerships across the world.
John I. Gallin, M.D.
Director of the NIH Clinical Center
Bethesda, MD, USA