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Drexel and Shanghai Advanced Research Institute Announce Research Collaboration

SHANGHAI, October 19, 2011

A handshake marks the partnership between Drexel and the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute.
Dr. Feng Songlin, president of the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (SARI) and Drexel President John A. Fry shake hands to mark the partnership between Drexel and SARI.

Drexel University and the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (SARI) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have signed a collaboration agreement that will bring together researchers from the two institutions for pioneering work in scientific and technological innovation, Drexel President John A. Fry announced in Shanghai today. Drexel alumnus and Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and President of the Shanghai Branch Dr. Jiang Mianheng ’91 was instrumental in establishing the research connections that have led to the Drexel-SARI Center.

“Drexel is proud to launch this collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a driving force in China’s development as a great hub for high-tech innovation,” said Fry. “Together, our institutions can expand opportunities for groundbreaking research, outstanding education and the translation of new technologies to commercial applications. Our distinguished alumnus Jiang Mianheng played a key role in establishing this partnership, and I thank him on behalf of the University.”

Jiang Mianheng said, "The Drexel-SARI partnership forges the conditions that will result in solutions to today's global challenges. Based on cooperation, innovation and hard work, we will contribute importantly to society."

The Chinese Academy of Sciences is China’s leading national comprehensive research and development center in natural sciences and innovative technologies. SARI is a research organization jointly established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Shanghai municipal government to promote sustainable economic and social development, interdisciplinary exploration and innovation, and advanced platforms for technology development.

Drexel President John A. Fry and other members of the delegation tour the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences.The Drexel-SARI Center will be a permanent home for Drexel’s research collaborations and educational partnerships with SARI and other institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, offering Drexel faculty insight into the latest technology and innovation in China. The Center will also serve as a base in Shanghai for other Drexel educational endeavors including internships and co-ops, and provide staging space for a wide range of programs, symposia and executive training for scientists and engineers covering all aspects of technology commercialization strategy.

Located in the Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Park, the Drexel-SARI Center will be managed by an advisory board, a steering committee, and a lead scientist. Both Drexel and SARI will fund the Center’s operations and research projects. The advisory board will meet annually to monitor the implementation of the mission of the Center.

Among the first research collaborations at the Drexel-SARI Center will be a joint research initiative led by Dr. Wei Sun, Albert Soffa Chair Professor in Drexel's College of Engineering and School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, and scientists from SARI’s Life Science Department to apply 3D cell assembly technology to generate in vitro cellular cancer models used for drug screening testing.

Engineering professor Dr. Yury Gogotsi, director of the A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute, has also proposed expanding his study of nanomaterials for biomedical applications with SARI colleagues at the Drexel-SARI Center.

In May 2011, Fry led a Drexel delegation to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where he and SJTU Vice President Lin Zhongqin signed an agreement for a dual doctoral program in biomedical engineering, building on Drexel’s already strong partnership with SJTU. Fry also signed agreements with Gu Binglin, president of Tsinghua University in Beijing, promoting student exchanges and faculty collaboration.

Jiang Mianheng received a doctoral degree in electrical and computer engineering from Drexel’s College of Engineering in 1991.  His father, Jiang Zemin, former president of the People's Republic of China, made a major international visit to Drexel during his presidency in 1997.

About the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Dr. Jiang Mianheng and John A. Fry sign the agreement between SARI and Drexel.Founded in Beijing in 1949, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is a leading academic institution and comprehensive research and development center in natural science, technological science and high-tech innovation in China.CAS strives to build itself into a scientific research base at an advanced international level, a base for fostering and bringing up advanced science and technology talents, and a base for promoting the development of China’s high and new technology industries.

About Drexel University

Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Drexel is the nation’s 14th largest private university and is ranked among the best national universities by U.S. News & World Report. Drexel is widely recognized for its focus on experiential learning through its cooperative education program and translational research initiatives. Drexel and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia recently entered a historic affiliation that will promote discovery, learning and civic engagement in the natural and environmental sciences.

View more photos from the Drexel visit to SARI on Flickr.

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