Medical partnership with China earns national award

August 9, 2012  |   |  Comments
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2 men standing in a lab

University of Hawaii at Manoa's Peter Hoffmann, right, and Jinan University's Zhi Huang

A research partnership between the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Jinan University in China was selected for a U.S./China Collaborative Award. John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Associate Researcher Peter Hoffmann and Jinan University’s Zhi Huang were honored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation of China.

The award comes with funding for the two countries to continue investigating chronic inflammation, which is believed to be a significant cause of cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel syndrome and other health problems. The researchers hope to learn whether some people are more susceptible to inflammation and how to target therapies to treat or prevent inflammation-related illnesses.

The work is fueled by a $1.25 million grant awarded to Hoffmann from the NIH’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease.

Hoffmann’s published research into the role of selenoprotein K in regulating inflammation came to the attention of Huang about two years ago.

“He contacted me via email, after reading some of our papers,” said Hoffman. “He said he wanted to work as a visiting scholar in our lab.” As you might expect, a certain amount of red tape (including visa approvals) followed, and the partnership was launched.

Huang frequently visits JABSOM and also works on the project in his own lab in Guangzhou.

Their research has led to four published papers in peer-reviewed medical journals as well as the collaboration award, which provides about $100,000 in additional funding.

Adapted from a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa news release.

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