UNMC professor honored for strengthening U.S. – China relations


By Ed Watkins, Senior Staff Writer

A University of Nebraska Medical Center professor met with China’s President Hu Jintao during the president’s official visit to Washington D.C.

Jialin Zheng, Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience and Pathology and Microbiology, was one of forty Chinese – Americans selected by the Chinese Embassy to be honored by President Hu. The event recognized those in attendance for improving relations between the U.S. and China.

In addition to his duties as a UNMC professor, Zheng is also director of the Asia Pacific Rim Development Program. Since 2005, the program has sought to increase UNMC’s research scope and efficiency, as well as assist in meeting China’s growing need for top-level medical care.

One aspect of the program includes a student exchange between UNMC and several universities in China, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

“We have our medical students go into China,” Zheng said. “They help them open their mind, open their eyes to see different global health issues and challenges.”

In addition to benefitting UNMC’s medical students, the university can also see potential gains.

“I think it a very good benefit for our students at UNMC to be exposed to a global stage and those things help our university to attract the best and bright students from all over the world,” Zheng said.

Zheng said that many students who participate in the program build relationships with other students from their home universities, making future collaborations possible.