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May 22, 2007

ULM COP invited to partner with associate institutions in Jingzhou, China

The University of Louisiana at Monroe's College of Pharmacy has been invited to explore the possibilities of academic and research collaboration with a sister Chinese medical institution and hospital in Jingzhou, China Tuesday, May 22.

The invitation was extended as College of Pharmacy Dean Lamar Pritchard guided a delegation from Jingzhou Municipal Government, Hubei Province, China on a tour of the new pharmacy building, located at 1800 Bienville Dr. Monroe City officials accompanied the honored visitors.

“In our city, we have a Chinese [medical] institution and a Chinese [medical] hospital,” said Sheng Guoyu, vice mayor of the Jingzhou Municipal Government. “We will have a lot that we may share with you.”

Sheng invited the ULM representatives to visit Jingzhou with the next Monroe City delegation. He also expressed an interest in developing communication between both groups.

“As soon as I return back to China, I would love to talk to the institution and the hospital and be able to set up a certain way of communicating between both parties…and start working together.”

“We’re very interested in pursuing other potential products that are taken from ancient Chinese herbal medicine and translating those into Western products,” said Pritchard, who has also studied Chinese medicine. “We’re very proud of our research program in the College. We collaborate and work with many other universities in Louisiana and throughout the United States. We would like to include Chinese research collaborations in the future, so we would be interested to further discuss that potential.”

Pritchard spotlighted Chinese methods of delivering healthcare to rural districts, acknowledging the corresponding concern for Louisiana’s own rural areas.

Also included in the delegation were: Liu Zhilong, bureau chief, and Zeng Jing, interpreter, for Jingzhou Municipal Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Bureau; Guan Qingun, vice secretary general, and Tang Hantao, vice department chief of united front work, for the Jingzhou Municipal Government; Xu Ping, bureau chief for the Jingzhou Municipal Science and Technology Bureau; and Hao Baozhi, vice bureau chief for the Jingzhou Municipal Finance Bureau. Additional interpretation was provided by Aaron Wang, the owner of the Peking Restaurant located on DeSiard Street in Monroe.

The successful visit reflects the expressed purpose of developing a keener understanding between the two cities, peoples, cultures, and economies.

In 2002, Paul Sylvester, Pfizer Endowed Professor of Pharmacology and director of Graduate Studies and Research in ULM’s College of Pharmacy, traveled with Monroe Mayor James Mayo and other delegates to the People's Republic of China on a 10-day Trade and Economic Development Mission.

During the visit to China, the Monroe delegation explored trade, economic and academic development opportunities in several areas, including pharmaceutical research and educational partnerships. Possible collaboration between ULM’s College of Pharmacy and the Jingzhou Medical Community could include the investigation of chemistry, pharmacology and therapeutic efficacy of natural products used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

China’s recent ascension into the World Trade Organization (WTO) manifests important changes that could result in enhanced economic and academic interactions among the City of Monroe, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and the City of Jingzhou, China.

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