Last week, Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) welcomed Professor of Peking University Jianzhong Xi to campus. He had been invited to give the 141st lecture in the SUSTech Lecture Series, in which he gave a fascinating lecture entitled, “Mini-Tumour Chip as a Robust Tool for Precision Cancer Therapy.” Professor Jiang Xingyu, Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering hosted the lecture. Professor Jianzhong Xi In his lecture, Prof. Xi talked about a novel personalized drug testing platform named patient-derived tumor-like cell clusters (PTCs) chip or mini-tumour chip. He made comparision of mini-tumour chip with 3D cultures and organoids.
Chris Edwards | 07/31/2019 Last week, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Timothy M Swager came to Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) to give the 232nd lecture in the SUSTech Lecture Series. Professor Swager is a member of both the US National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His lecture, entitled “Liquid Colloids for the Detection of Enzymes and Pathogens,” was hosted by Professor Jiang Xingyu, Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Timothy M. Swager is an internationally renowned colloidal & polymer chemist and a pioneer in chemical sensors. He is the John D. MacArthur Chair Professor of Chemistry and the Director of the Deshpande Center of Technological Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has published more than 450 high-quality papers and more than 90 patents so far. His honors include the Linus Pauling Medal, the Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation, the American Chemical Society Prize for Creative Invention and the Carl S. Marvel Creative Polymer Chemistry Award (ACS). In his lecture, Timothy M. Swager talked about the synthesis and application of dynamic droplets. He compared the dynamic droplet to the blinking of the smart eye. The synthesis of the droplet can be used as a sensor to detect bacteria and viruses. The team also applied it to the detection of bacteria on the surface of smart phones. Timothy M. Swager also highlighted how complex liquid emulsions (droplets) can be reconfigured chemically or biochemically. The purpose of these configurations, he said, is to generate new transduction mechanisms to develop chemical and biological sensors. He pointed out that complex droplets behave like optical lens systems, in that small changes in surface tension can change focal length, or induce systems to switch between states. He believed that induced optical changes can be triggered by chemical, photochemical or biochemical stimuli to produce a new generation of sensors.
Chris Edwards | 07/31/2019 Last weekend, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) welcomed Professor of Pharmacology and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada Moshe Szyf to campus. He had been invited to give the 231st lecture in the SUSTech Lecture Series, in which he gave a fascinating lecture entitled, “The Signature of Liver Cancer in Immune Cells DNA Methylation.” Professor Jiang Xingyu, Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering hosted the lecture. Professor Moshe Szyf received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University and did his postdoctoral fellowship in genetics at Harvard University. He holds a James McGill Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and is the GlaxoSmithKline-Canadian Institute of Health Chair Professor of Pharmacology at McGill University in Canada. Professor Moshe Szyf is a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is the co-founding director of the Sackler Institute of Epigenetics and Psychophysiology at McGill University and a researcher at the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research Experience-based Brain and Biological Development Program. In 1994, as a co-founder of the epigenetic Sackler project, Professor Moshe Szyf first proposed the significance of medical transformation in DNA methylation. He founded Methylgene Inc., the first enterprise in the world to develop epigenetic drugs, in Montreal, Canada. He is the founding editor of the world’s first epigenetics journal, Epigenetics. So far, Professor Moshe Szyf has published more than 280 research papers on the biological role of DNA methylation in a wide range of areas. In his lecture, Professor Moshe Szyf introduced the role of epigenetics in the development of tumors, the influence of a child’s living environment on their genomes, and advances in epigenetic research. He pointed out that DNA methylation diagnosis is done by early detection. By comparing the differences of genome-wide methylation sites in healthy people, different diseases and patients at different stages of disease, early diagnosis of disease and prediction of stage diagnosis and treatment can be achieved. Professor Moshe Szyf also elaborated the principles of molecular changes in DNA of host immune cells in HCC. The DNA methylation diagnostic technologies introduced by Moshe Szyf are of great significance to understand the mechanisms of disease and their treatment. The Q&A session at the end of the lecture was very lively, with many attending students and faculty members asking intelligent questions of Professor Moshe Szyf.
Georgia Institute of technology Professor Xia Younan was a recent visitor to Southern University of Science and Technology. Prof. Xia Younan gave the 206th lecture in the SUSTech Lecture Series, with an illuminating lecture entitled “Putting Nanomaterials to Work for Biomedical Research.” Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering Jiang Xingyu presided over the lecture. Xia Younan is an outstanding scholar in the field of nanomedicine, Brock Family Chair and Georgia Rearch Alliance, Department of Bioengineering and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). His main research interests are nanostructured materials and their applications in biomedical research. In the lecture, Xia Younan first introduced the research direction of his research group, which mainly includes nanocrystalline synthesis, Structure-Performance relationship, catalysis, nanomedicine, and regenerative medicine. In recent years, he has focused on the application of nanomaterials in biomedicine. In his lecture, he shared many excellent and representative work cases. For example, mixing simple and cheap fatty acids can lower the phase transition temperature (40 degrees Celsius), which is conducive to drug release in vivo. Xia Younan also introduced a micro-drop reactor designed by his team for the automation and large-scale production of precious metal nanocrystals. The system can be automated through online separation and purification functions, providing a simple and reliable way for the industrial production of precious metal nanocrystals. After the lecture, Xia Younan answered the questions raised by the teachers and students.
December 12th, our department hosted the SUSTech Macromolecular Biomaterials Summit. SUSTech President Chen Shiyi, Academician Tang Benzhong of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Professor Liu Bin, Fellow of Academy of Engineering Singapore joined more than 30 experts and scholars in macromolecular biomaterials at the summit. Department Head Jiang Xingyu chaired the summit. Chen Shiyi welcomed everyone and thanked them for supporting the development of SUSTech. In his speech, Tang Benzhong said that Shenzhen is the capital of innovation and hoped that exchanges between experts and scholars would lead to sparks of innovative ideas. The two-day conference consisted of four parts. Topical issues included tissue engineering, controlled drug release, regenerative medicine, biomedical imaging, gene therapy, and nanobiotechnology. Experts at the summit focused on the exploration of polymeric biomaterials and their applications in biomedical engineering. They discussed the latest research results, with a view to promoting the innovation and application of new generation of polymeric materials in translational research. After the forum, experts and scholars attended the Cryo-Electron Microscopy Center and explored the SUSTech campus. Source: Department of Biomedical Engineering Translated and Adapted: Chris Edwards Proofread: Xia Yingying
Our Department and Department of Chemistry co-worked to hold the Biomedical-Chemometrics Frontier Symposium. The Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemistry were the co-sponsors of this forward-looking symposium. Academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Third World Academy of Sciences were joined by more than 30 experts from China and abroad, in fields such as biomedical engineering, chemical measurement, and analysis. The symposium sought to discuss and promote the development of the interdisciplinary research between these two fields in Shenzhen and China. SUSTech Vice President Lu Chun attended the symposium and Dean of the College of Sciences Yang Xueming was the chairperson. Lu Chun welcomed everyone to the symposium. He hoped that a variety of academic ideas would collide, resulting in more innovations in scientific research and related applications. Lu Chun also presented Zhang Yukui, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, with a letter of appointment as an adjunct professor. The two-day symposium discussed four major topics: bio-mass spectrometry, microfluidic chips, nanotechnology, and biomedicine. Department Head Jiang Xingyu from Biomedical Engineering and Chair Professor Zheng Zhiping from Chemistry were some of the SUSTech faculty members that attended the symposium.
The morning of September 21 saw academician Yan Xiyun of the Chinese Academy of Sciences give an enthralling lecture on the “Nanozyme: New Strategy for Cancer Therapy” for our students and faculty members. The lecture was hosted by chair professor Xingyu Jiang, the head of our department. Professor Yan Xiyun was made an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015 and is currently a researcher at the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She has published more than 150 research papers, and her research results in nano-enzyme applications won second prize of the National Natural Science Award. In the lecture, Yan Xiyun first introduced the discovery process of nano-enzymes. She described it as a “cross-border” and “by chance” process. Inorganic nano-materials are multi-functional molecules, with enzyme activity and nano-effect, that is, the smaller the diameter, the higher the activity, and the activity is similar to the natural enzymes. She specifically mentioned that Fe3O4 is a class of mimetic peroxidase. This phenomenon was discovered in 1993, but in 2007 Yan Xiyun first published an article from the enzymatic point of view and established a systematic method. The use of the Fe3O4 nano-enzyme test strip to detect Ebola virus solves the problem of limited local conditions and is a hundred times more sensitive than the traditional method. Ferritin-loaded drugs can target tumor cells and cross the blood-brain barrier. For the first time, Yan Xiyun’s research group defined the nanozyme activity unit and established standardization. The nanozyme activity unit is the amount of enzyme required to catalyze the conversion of 1 μmol of the substrate to product per minute under optimal reaction conditions. After the lecture, the teachers and students asked many questions, which Yan Xiyun answered professionally in the lively atmosphere.
From September 20th to 22nd, the 2018 Joint Conference of Biomedical Engineering Societies of China (CBME2018) was held at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center. More than 1000 experts, scholars, and young researchers gathered to discuss the interdisciplinary and integrative innovations of this academic discipline. The conference was hosted by the China Biomedical Engineering Society. Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) joined the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen University, the Key Laboratory of Health Informatics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Key Laboratory of Human-Computer Intelligence Collaborative Systems of the Chinese Academy of Sciences as sponsors for the conference. Hu Shengshou, chairman of the China Biomedical Engineering Society, welcomed everyone to the conference in an opening speech. He pointed out that the Chinese Society of Biomedical Engineering, as a national first-level and professional society, played a key role in academic innovation and medical transformation. He hoped that the conference would become a communication platform to promote the construction of biomedical engineering disciplines, promote biomedical engineering research and high-end industrial applications. Shenzhen Municipal Government Deputy Mayor Ai Xuefeng attended the meeting and addressed the conference. He expressed his warm congratulations on the successful convening of this conference. He said that Shenzhen, as a major medical device and biomedical industry in the country, attaches great importance to the role of source and technological innovation, talent development, and scientific and technological infrastructure. He welcomed the strengthening of cooperation between the China Society of Biomedical Engineering and Shenzhen to promote the sustainable, rapid and healthy development of biomedical engineering research and the industrialization of its high-tech achievements. CBME is held every two years. This is the first time it has been held in Shenzhen. CBME2018 will host innovative technologies and applications across a variety of areas such as medical and health data, medical imaging and artificial intelligence, bioelectronics and sensors, microfluidics and clinical testing, biomedical optics, medical neurology and rehabilitation engineering, biomaterials and tissue engineering, nanomedicine, biomedical ultrasound diagnosis, and treatment. More than ten academic forums, including medical ultrasound treatment, cardiovascular disease diagnosis, and treatment methods, have organized nearly 200 oral reports and nearly 300 academic exchange posters. Among them, the cutting-edge sub-forum of clinical application of gene sequencing was held at the conference hall of SUSTech. CBME2018 was chaired by academicians Cao Xuetao and Hu Shengshou of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Director of the Department of Biomedical Engineering of SUSTech Jiang Xingyu, Shenzhen Advanced Institute researcher Zheng Hairong, Shenzhen University’s Chen Siping, and Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of Chinese Academy of Sciences researcher Li Guanglin. Teachers of the Department of Biomedical Engineering of SUSTech such as Jiang Xingyu, Wu Changfeng, and Chen Fangyi, served as chairmen of several sub-forums or were invited to participate in the forum report. Academician Hu Shengshou of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, academicians Yan Xiyun and Chen Runsheng of the Chinese Academy of Sciences all gave major presentations. They were joined by professor Teng Yijun of Southeast University, professor Li Luming of Tsinghua University, researcher Zhang Xianen of the Institute of Biophysics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, professor Peng Hanchuan of the Allen Institute of Brain Science, and researcher Zheng Hairong of the Shenzhen Advanced Institute. The topics covered a diverse range of issues including cardiovascular medical devices, nanomedicine, mass spectrometry, interventional device innovation, biosensing, neuromodulation, brain science big data, and medical magnetic resonance imaging. In response to the multi-disciplinary cross-disciplinary and bio-medical engineering collaborative innovation of biomedical engineering, the conference set up a sub-forum of biomedical engineering education. Representatives from Southeast University, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, and SUSTech were invited to discuss the education in this field to try and find a solution. The conference also specially set up the “Mr. Jiang Dazong” Youth Thesis Competition and the Biomedical Engineering Journal Development Forum.
Recently, Biomedical Engineering Professor Wu Changfeng’s research group has made new progress on biomedical sensors by developing an ultrasensitive Pdot transducer for real-time, wireless in vivo glucose monitoring via a smartphone. The results were published in the American Chemical Society’s journal ACS Nano (Impact Factor 13.942). Sun Kai, a Ph.D. candidate from Jilin University was the first author. Professor Wu Changfeng As one of the world’s biggest health concerns, diabetes can cause numerous complications in heart, kidney, retina, and neural system. Since 11% of the Chinese population are diabetic, and 36% are prediabetic, Professor Wu took part in an interview to elaborate on the research’s significance for diabetes patients and the massive prediabetic population in the country. “Continuous detection of blood glucose level is essential to manage diabetes progression and treatment, which involves a glucometer and finger-pricking for many diabetics. The measures can cause discomfort or pain, and they cannot monitor the continuous changes in blood glucose level.” said Professor Wu: “For severe diabetic patients, they need subcutaneous electrochemical sensors to keep track of real-time fluctuations in their blood glucose level. Though electrochemical sensors can provide valuable, comprehensive data, they have several drawbacks including in vivo sensor degradation within a week (which requires replacement and reimplantation), the poor response at low glucose concentrations, the pain of insertion, and risk of infection from the electrodes.” Optical methods for glucose sensing have the potential to overcome the limitations of electrochemical sensors. However, these schemes have not had the clinical success of electrochemical methods for point-of-care testing because of the limited performance of optical sensors and the bulky instruments they require. Professor Wu’s research team saw the advances in nanotechnology that could oﬀer solutions to overcome the problems with current optical glucose monitoring devices. As promising ﬂuorescent materials, semiconductor polymer dots (Pdots) have attracted considerable attention for their applications in biological imaging and biosensors because of their high brightness, excellent stability, and biocompatibility. Wu Changfeng et al. have recently developed an optically bright Pdot oxygen transducer that consists of an oxygen-consuming enzyme for sensitive detection of small-molecule substrates. The transducer−enzyme assembly after subcutaneous implantation provides a strong luminescence signal that is transdermally detectable and continuously responsive to blood glucose ﬂuctuations. The team eventually designed an ultrasensitive Pdot transducer for wireless glucose monitoring via a smartphone. By using the longer lifetime palladium porphyrin complexes, the Pdot transducer exhibited a signiﬁcantly higher sensitivity in both in vitro and in vivo glucose detection. With the ultrasensitive transducer, it was possible to diﬀerentiate clearly between euglycemia and hyperglycemia using luminescence images taken with a smartphone camera. Wu et al. further developed an image-processing algorithm to decompose the ﬂuorescence image via the RGB model. Based on the algorithm, a software application was developed and installed on a smartphone. They demonstrated a wireless, real-time, dynamic glucose monitoring of blood glucose level using the implanted transducer and the smartphone. The miniaturization of the optical monitoring platform can promote the innovative development of optical monitoring approaches in diabetic healthcare. Furthermore, by taking advantage of the mobile platform, the blood glucose data can be stored and uploaded to a database for personal healthcare, and this can aid the understanding and prediction of public health status through big data analysis. Wu’s Research Group on Campus “It’s taken us six years to achieve a breakthrough in the project, which means the article’s first author Sun Kai finished his one and only time-consuming project right before graduation.” said Professor Wu. “Despite its creativity and innovation, our project has only completed the first phase. We have only applied our in vivo glucose monitoring to lab rats, and we hope our project will enter the clinical trials soon by improving sensors and other materials. We still have a long way to go.” When asked about the background of his research, Professor Wu Changfeng added: “Despite coming from different universities in China and United States, most teammates are my long-time friends and colleagues. I would like to specifically thank Sun Kai, who was my student when I was working at Jilin University. Moreover, one of the teammates Daniel Chiu (Professor of Washington University) helped me with the idea of in vivo smartphone glucose monitoring via an ultrasensitive Pdot transducer. Given the technological development at the time, the project was put on hold. But when I came back to China, the technological advancement and friendly environment for research prompted me to pick up the research again and achieve a breakthrough.” Wu et al.’s project was also supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Shenzhen Scientific and Technological Innovation Committee. Links to the Wu et al.’s research papers: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsnano.6b02386 https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.8b02188
On Monday 25 June, Associate Dean Barclay Morrison from Columbia University’s School of Engineering led a delegation including Associate Professor Lance C. Kam and Senior Lecturer Aaron Matthew Kyle from Columbia University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. The delegation met with Dean Xu Zhenghe from SUSTech’s College of Engineering, Founding Chair Guo Xiangdong, Chair Jiang Xingyu and Acting Chair Chen Fangyi from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, along with teachers from the Department of Biomedical Engineering for an informal discussion. Dean Xu Zhenghe welcomed Barclay Morrison and his delegation. He introduced the wide range of cooperations and exchanges that SUSTech takes part in with other famous universities around the world, including MIT and UBC. Senior Lecturer Aaron Matthew Kyle introduced the capstone course of biomedical engineering at Columbia University, and both sides talked about jointly training students, cooperating on teaching research and other areas of cooperation between SUSTech and Columbia University. Later, Associate Dean Barclay Morrison and his team were taken to the teaching laboratories at the Department of Biomedical Engineering and provided one-on-one guidance about the core courses in the Department. Background: In 2016, when the Department of Biomedical Engineering was established, both universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Schools of Engineering, around academic cooperation and exchange. The two Departments of Biomedical Engineering would reach a consensus on a variety of issues, including student training, student communication, and curriculum guidance. The exchange would further promote the development of cooperation between the two Schools of Engineering and Departments of Biomedical Engineering.
On the morning of May 11, 2017, staff and students of the university were given a special treat: the visit by two towering figures in the arena of science. The first is Yu Mengsun, a distinguished member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, who also wears another hat as the Director of Aviation Medicine Engineering Research Center of the Air Force Aviation Medical Research Institute. The other is Prof Jiang Zonglai, Honorary Director of the Institute of Mechanical Biology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. These two world-leading scientists came to our department to mentor our students, sharing their experience of undergraduate education and scientific research. They gave our students a pep talk on how to improve their academic skills for professional development and advised them to be mindful of serving the needs of the state and society. The two distinguished scientists also held talks with faculty members, including Academician Xu Zhenghe, Dean of the Engineering Institute. The Forum in Progress The Meeting of Minds–with Academician Xu Zhenghe The highlight of the visit was a speech by each of the two distinguished visitors. Academician Yu Mengsun gave an eye-opening speech on “The Problems of Human Health Engineering” while Prof Jiang Zonglai delivered a spell-binding talk on “the Progress from Biomechanics to Mechanical Biology”. The speeches were moderated by Prof X. Edward Guo, founding Dean of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at our University. A near capacity audience for a great forum The special significance of Academician Yu’s visit was underscored by the fact that he is a revered as a pioneer and leading expert in aviation biomedical engineering in particular and biomedical engineering in general in China. If there are national heroes in science in our country, he is surely one of them. In the early 1960’s, he was the first to develop the “aviation bio telemetry device” and “physiological electrographic recording device” in China which was applied successfully to remote-monitor 12 kinds of physiological and physical information of the pilot, from acceleration, electrocardiogram to electroencephalogram at a 12,000-meter altitude, and within a 300-kilmoeter flight radius. This enabled China to become only the third country after the United States and the former Soviet Union with aviation medical telemetry technology. More good things were to follow. By the 1990’s, he made another significant contribution, discovering electrodeless current detection technology. It comes as no surprise that he leads China’s charge in this field, currently holding the position of Director of Aviation Medicine Engineering Research Center of the Air Force Aviation Medical Research Institute. He is also the Honorary Chairman of the China Biomedical Engineering Society. Prof Jiang Zonglai is no less an illustrious member of the scientific community. He is former Chairman and Member of the National Biomechanics Specialization Committee. He has been honored as Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (or AIMBE Fellow). He is a scientific heavyweight, having been showered with multiple honors, holding a long list of prestigious positions, such as the Honorary Director of the Institute of Mechanical Biology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Director of the World Council of Biomechanics (WCB),and Honorary Vice President of the China Biomedical Engineering Society. He is equally in demand in scientific writing as the Subeditor of the Chinese Journal of biomedical Engineering and Executive Subeditor of the Journal of Medical Biomechanics. Here is a man with a life-long devotion to the research on vascular morphology, biomechanics and mechanical biology, stretching over a span of nearly 40 years. Making a point—Academician Yu holding court In his speech, Academician Yu first explained what human health medical engineering is all about. He believes that a wholesome person should be a system of harmony between man and nature, or the unity of mind and body. The external world environment or the human physical system is known as Yang (one of the antitheses of Chinese philosophy and medicine), but it needs to be in harmony with Yin, the mental system. Human beings are a huge, complex system, with advanced mental activities. They need to receive all kinds of external information and chain-react to such information. He then pointed out that the physical states can be divided into static state and transient state, leading to the key concept of the transition state. He then delved into Tsien Hsueshen’s concept of the dynamics of the functional state. From there, he introduced five types of transition states: consciousness (or relaxation), smooth transition state (or healthy lifestyle), the physiological stress of the transition state (medical care, exercise and physiological responses), overloading the stress transition state (excessive stimulation, acute diseases and therapeutic errors), and crisis transition state (beyond the capability of the organism). Finally, he explained the so-called specific model or the SIR model, with people’s health as its core. This is a new type of health industry that is now growing rapidly in China. At the meeting, Yu was at great pains to drum the idea of a healthy lifestyle, including sound sleep habits, into the students. Now past 80 years of age, Prof Yu charmed the young audience with his vitality and humor, with much lively exchanges and hearty laugher. It was an experience to remember. Prof Jiang Zonglai in mid-speech Then it was Prof Jiang Zonglai’s turn to take to the stage. He gave the audience an overview of modern biomechanics and made reference to the contributions of Fend Yuanzheng. Jiang walked the attendees through the progress from biomechanics to mechanical biology, and the current development and breakthroughs of biomechanics in China. He also introduced his own specialty of vascular mechanical biology. Looking ahead, he saw nothing but rosy prospects in the development of biomechanics in our country. After the speechmaking, both speakers signed the Book of Messages for the SUST Lecture Hall. Yu penned a bold prediction that this University “ is bound to make outstanding contributions to the study of human health”. Jiang for his part, wrote to urge the University to “develop biomechanics for the benefit of human health” wishing the University success in making magnificent progress in this endeavor. Prof X. Edward Guo is awarding Academician Yu Mengsun lecture certificate of Southern University of Science and Technology Prof X. Edward Guo is awarding Professor Jiang Zonglai lecture certificate of Southern University of Science and Technology Group photo
For two days in late April 2017, 23 and 24 to be exact, a delegation from our University, led by our founding Dean Prof X. Edward Guo called successively on three universities, i.e.Hebei University of Technology, Nankai University, Tianjin University. The team, in addition to the Dean, was composed of Executive Dean Prof Chen Fangyi, Prof Wu Changfeng, and Associate Professor Tang Bin. They were there to get acquainted with the latest developments in teaching, research and talent-building in these three peer institutions. They were also there to talk collaboration. The Dean in full flow Prof Guo kicked off the visit on the morning of the 23rd by giving a lecture on “Building a Research Career: My Personal Experience” at the Biophysics Institute at Hebei University of Technology. Presiding over the proceedings was Prof Zhan Yong, Director of the Institute. Interestingly, Prof Guo began his speech by quoting Confucius as it related to his life and development, followed by valuable insights from his research in the United States in the prime of his life. Prof Guo had the audience lapping up his words of wisdom. He must have been pleased by the passionate discussions that ensued. After the lecture, the visiting scholars were given a guided tour of the laboratory. Waiting to get into the lab Later, in the afternoon, our delegation headed for the Institute of Life Science at Nankai University. They were graciously hosted by Prof Kong Deling, Director of the Key laborary of bioactive materials of the Ministry of Education, as well as Prof Wang Shufang. The Director introduced the personnel of the key lab and their scientific research. After mutual briefing, the two sides reached an understanding or intent to begin exchange visits and research cooperation. Finally, they were given a VIP tour of the key lab. The fruits of friendship The second day of the itinerary was taken up by a visit to the Institute of Precision Instruments at Tianjin University where they were warmly received by the Director of Tianjin Key Laboratories of Biomedical Detection Technology and Instruments. They were delighted to be given an insider’s look at the lab. All eyes on you About the Three Universities: The discipline of Biological Physics at Hebei University of Technology was established in 1999. A year later, it was granted the right to confer Master’s degrees in Theoretical Physics, and with that it began to recruit graduate students to its biophysics program. By 2002, it was further granted the right to confer Doctoral degrees in electrical engineering. With this right, they began to recruit doctoral students in biophysics. The following year, it was formally authorized to confer Master’s degrees in biophysics, and within that same year, it established the biophysics research institute. By 2012, this discipline was classified as a key academic discipline in Hebei province. A year later, the physics lab of molecular biology under the multi-discipline of Biological Physics was designated the key lab in Hebei province. Nankai University’s Key Laboratory of Research on Bioactive Materials under the authority of the Ministry of Education was established in 1994. By virtue of its relationship with Nankai University, it was authorized to be open to the outside world by the Ministry of Education in 1996. Three years later, its name was changed to Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials under the Ministry of Education, and as such, it passed the assessment by the same ministry another three years later. Its research domain encompasses biomedical engineering, which is a cross discipline between chemistry, biology and medicine. This being so, it enjoys the right to confer Master’s degrees and Doctoral degrees in polymer chemistry and physics, biochemistry and molecular biology. Tianjin University’s School of Precision Instrument and Opto-electronic Engineering, or School of Precision Instrument for short, was established on 2 October, 1995. It was built on the foundation of the original Precision Instrument Engineering Faculty that came into being in 1959, whose predecessor was the Precision Instrument Engineering Discipline that dated back to 1952. In 2008, it was reconstituted as “the Integrated Reform Experimental District”. By 2011 it was designated a “National Experimental School”.