Lunar New Year Report: School of Medicine on the fast development track
Chris Edwards | 02/17/2020

Since the first days, the School of Medicine at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) has set the explicit goal of becoming an internationalized first-class medical academic institution, with the integration of science, technology, and medicine, rooted in Shenzhen and China. The School of Medicine will carry on the SUSTech mission of cultivating the best young medical minds with a global outlook for the strategic health care needs of the nation. It will learn from top medical schools around the world as it works towards developing its own model for a first-class international talent pipeline.

2019 was a groundbreaking year for the School of Medicine at SUSTech. As an emerging research university focusing on science, engineering, and medicine while maintaining concentrations in business and the humanities, SUSTech has paid particular attention to the development of its medical disciplines, the establishment of the School of Medicine, and the construction of its affiliated hospitals. These are vital measures for the promotion of SUSTech while providing a long-term plan towards the provision of first-class medical care for Shenzhen and the region. 

Disciplinary construction started, and teaching and research results are remarkable

On 28th March, the Ministry of Education issued a notification about filing and approval results of 2018 undergraduate majors in colleges and universities. Three undergraduate majors were approved at SUSTech. The approval of Clinical Medicine represents a new stage of comprehensive development of science, engineering, and medicine for SUSTech. Both the clinical medicine and biomedical science majors have students studying within them, with the School of Medicine having sixty-five undergraduates and thirty-five postgraduates, the latter working towards a Doctor of Biology.

In November, the 2019 International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) came to an end at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston, and the students of Southern University of Science & Technology (SUSTech) continued their tradition of medaling at this prestigious event. The SUSTech team won their fifth goal medal in SUSTech history, as well as being nominated for the Best Software, Best Hardware, and Best Model Awards. These nominations ranked the SUSTech students 3rd among participating mainland Chinese universities, while they competed against 375 teams from over 40 countries on five continents.

Faculty and students from the School of Medicine published 69 academic papers in 2019, of which 56 were published in high-impact SCI journals. 15 scientific research projects were approved, including 8 national-level projects, along with 2 patents, and 4 monographs.

Undergraduate students build foundation for the future

Undergraduate students started enrolling in the two different majors of the School of Medicine, with students enrolling in biomedical science in September 2018 and clinical medicine in 2019. There are currently 65 undergraduate students and 35 graduate students (Doctor of Biology) studying in the School of Medicine, training under 108 faculty members.

In September, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) welcomed the inaugural Dean of the School of Medicine, Xing Mingzhao, after he assumed his post in July.

It has been said that the development of a world-class medical school is akin to the construction of a nest that would attract the mythical phoenix. With that in mind, SUSTech and the School of Medicine have spent a considerable period bringing scholars from around the world that will train the next generation of medical talents with outstanding research and clinical experience. The School of Medicine will play a vital role as a talent pipeline for the healthcare providers across the Greater Bay Area that will support the improvement of medical standards across the region.

Carry out inter-school exchanges and innovate cooperative school running models

Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) and King’s College of London have signed an agreement to work towards establishing a joint medical school in Shenzhen, China. This agreement represents, for the first time, an expression of interest in developing a dual degree offering in medical education between the UK and China and would bring King’s 800-year history and a world-renowned reputation in training doctors and medical professionals to the dynamic Greater Bay Area in China.

The new School of Medicine would be part of the SUSTech campus in Shenzhen and would help establish the city as the place to go to for high-quality medical education, healthcare, and cutting-edge research.

Cooperative hospital networks develop high-quality healthcare

SUSTech’s affiliated hospital network expanded rapidly throughout 2019. There are now seven affiliated hospitals, including affiliated hospitals, co-constructed district hospitals, and teaching hospitals. The affiliated hospitals are the First Affiliated Hospital (Shenzhen People’s Hospital) and the Second Affiliated Hospital (Shenzhen Third People’s Hospital). The two co-constructed district hospitals are SUSTech Hospital and SUSTech-Yantian District Hospital. The SUSTech-Yantian District Hospital was opened in September 2019. 

October saw SUSTech and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Cancer Hospital (CAMS Cancer Hospital) Shenzhen Center sign an agreement to jointly build the SUSTech Clinical Teaching Hospital. Under the agreement, both sides will establish a cooperative partnership of mutual support, mutual benefit, and joint development, and at a new starting point, promote the potent combination of high-quality medical resources and educational resources, which will bring new opportunities for the development of medical disciplines. SUSTech also signed an agreement with Shenzhen Kangning Hospital (Kangning Hospital) to jointly build the Mental Health Center of the SUSTech Affiliated Hospital. It will work towards further cultivating mental health professionals and improve the level of mental health care across Shenzhen and the region, through the application of complementary advantages.

Recently, SUSTech also signed an agreement with Shenzhen Children’s Hospital around teaching and research cooperation. Both parties will carry out top teaching and research cooperation in pediatrics while drawing on international medical pedagogic models to develop a first-class medical talent pipeline for the Greater Bay Area and China. On January 2, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) and Shenzhen Maternity & Child Healthcare Hospital (SZMCH) unveiled the signing of an agreement to establish a clinical teaching hospital together. The SUSTech-SZMCH clinical teaching hospital would develop new mechanisms and models for women’s and children’s healthcare while promoting first-class international competitiveness in the Greater Bay Area with world-class scientific research achievements and medical services.

The School of Medicine has established its “Medical, Teaching, and Research” interconnected relationship with its directly affiliated, affiliated, and cooperative hospitals. Through this relationship, it has organized multiple visits and interactive activities as part of the development of “physician-scientist” pairing and cooperation relationship in clinical and scientific research. The School of Medicine has started to cooperate with affiliated hospitals to build clinical teaching and research offices and platforms to help them adapt to the clinical education and internship of clinical medical students in 2020.

In 2020, the School of Medicine will continue to build on the foundation of SUSTech’s interdisciplinary roots to fuse science, technology, and medical sciences through its primary discipline of clinical medicine. By focusing on cutting-edge frontiers of medicine such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data in health-care, and nanomaterials in medicine, the School of Medicine and its network of affiliated hospitals will become an international health-care professional training base of renown that supports the medical needs of the Greater Bay Area within the broader ambit of national, provincial and municipal strategic policy requirements. Further to that, the School of Medicine will promote innovation within China’s medical education system as part of SUSTech’s mission of reform and innovation. All of this together will meld together into the School of Medicine at SUSTech becoming a first-class international and culturally innovative medical education center.

2020, 02-17
By Chris Edwards

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Chinese New Year Special Report

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