July 3, 2019

New agreement will bring more visiting scholars from Taiwan

An extended partnership agreement between Michigan Medicine and Taiwan’s Chang Gung Memorial Hospital promises to bring select Chang Gung faculty to Ann Arbor for extensive research training.

A delegation of Michigan Medicine leaders recently visited Taiwan and the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou to finalize the arrangement, which calls for as many as 20 Chang Gung faculty to come to Michigan Medicine over the next five years. Each will spend two years working alongside Michigan Medicine mentors in their respective fields.

Interim Executive Vice Dean for Research Steven Kunkle and Executive Vice Dean for Academic Affairs Carol Bradford celebrate a new institutional agreement with leaders from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan.

The agreement, part of a Chang Gung Memorial effort to bolster its research capacity, builds on a well-established partnership with Michigan Medicine that already includes more than a dozen ongoing joint-research projects across several disciplines. Michigan Medicine students have also begun participating in clinical elective rotations at Chang Gung Memorial as well.

“We have established a strong relationship with our colleagues at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and this new training program will strengthen that collaboration,” said Interim Executive Vice Dean for Research Steven Kunkel, who was part of the group to visit Taiwan in May. “We’re honored that our partners have placed their trust in us as they seek to expand an already impressive research portfolio. We look forward not only to sharing what we know about conducting research, but also continuing to pursue joint projects of mutual interest.”

Taiwan’s largest healthcare institution, Chang Gung Memorial is contributing $3 million to fund the new training program, with Michigan Medicine providing equal in-kind contributions to support the trainees’ activities while in Ann Arbor. The first four Chang Gung faculty are expected to arrive at Michigan Medicine next year.

Chang Gung also included dedicated lab space for the Michigan Medicine partnership in a brand new biomedical research building on its Linkou campus. One floor of the eight-story facility has been earmarked for researchers working on joint projects with Michigan Medicine collaborators. Kunkel and others, including Executive Vice Dean for Academic Affairs Carol Bradford and Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives Joe Kolars, were able to tour the building in May, a few days ahead of its grand opening.

“Their facilities are state of the art. More important, their passion for patient care and for the science that drives it is evident,” said Bradford. “Our two institutions share a commitment to advancing science and improving health. Because of that, ours is a natural partnership that will yield benefits not only for researchers at both institutions, but patients as well.”