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UMSOD Joins Forces with Chinese Dental College

Written by Adam Zewe

The University of Maryland School of Dentistry has formed a partnership with the West China College of Stomatology. Six leaders from the Chinese dental school visited UMSOD on Aug. 12 to discuss strategic opportunities for research collaboration.

During a meeting with UMSOD researchers and department chairmen, the delegation established a timeline for achieving collaborative goals. "Education is becoming a global matter. Having this collaboration connects us with the best minds in China," declares Dean Christian S. Stohler, DMD, DrMedDent.

The partnership makes sense because the West China College of Stomatology has so much in common with UMSOD, Dr. Stohler says. The college, which was founded in 1912, is the first dental school in China and remains the nation's premier dental education institution, as well as the home of the Chinese national dental museum.

The scope of the Chinese clinics will offer UMSOD vast opportunities for collaborative translational research projects, explains Associate Dean for Research Li Mao, MD. The West China College of Stomatology treats more than 400,000 patients annually in outpatient clinics and inpatient wards. Researchers and patients at both institutions could benefit from joint studies on pain, oncology, biomaterials and pathogens. "We are going to join forces to ultimately set new standards for patient care," Dr. Mao says.

UMSOD, which maintains an investigator exchange with the Chinese college, is preparing to launch a dental student exchange program in 2012. Both institutions also plan to periodically invite key faculty members to be guest lecturers, states Dr. Mao.

Joining forces will bring many benefits to the West China School of Stomatology, states Dean Xuedong Zhou, PhD, DDS. The Chinese delegation was impressed by the high-tech dental curriculum, which includes education through remote access. "Our schools need to collaborate to develop and promote dentistry throughout the world," Dr. Zhou remarks.

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