University of Washington School of Public Health

UW SPH News: Four Rising Stars from China Arrive to Study Global Health

Four Rising Stars from China Arrive to Study Global Health

09/25/2013
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In a groundbreaking project for UW Global Health and China public health, four rising stars from premier Chinese universities are beginning MPH and PhD studies this month in the Department of Global Health. Separately, two outstanding faculty members from China will also come to UW as Faculty Scholars this winter.

The four students are Hong Xiao from Peking University, Yu Yu from Central South University in Changsha, Juan Nie from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, and Quanlei Li from Fudan University in Shanghai. Three of the students will work towards an MPH and one towards a PhD degree.

The goals of this two-year, $560,000 project, funded by the China Medical Board, are to strengthen and expand the capacity of Chinese universities in global health education and research. China has long supported efforts to improve health in low and middle-income countries around the world. For more than four decades, the Chinese have sent medical teams of 10-20 people to set up clinics, provide drugs, and finance hospitals. However, initiatives to evaluate these efforts and to build broader public health programs and policies have been limited. The Chinese universities, responding to clear signals from the Ministries of Health and Commerce, want to partner with UW to expand their own global work and engage more deeply with the Chinese government's global health activities.

In addition, says Global health Professor Stephen Gloyd, "It turns out that China has a strong interest in implementation science and metrics, in which we also offer a PhD program, so there is a nice alignment of interests."

He adds that the applicants were all "great candidates" with letters of support from the top administrators at their universities. The criteria for the final selections were top academic performance, fluency in English and, very important, the ability to strengthen global health programs at their universities when they return to China. The China Medical Board grant will cover full tuition, stipends, and airfare for these students. Gloyd and Global Health Vice Chair Judith Wasserheit worked closely with the China Medical Board to develop the new collaboration.

Seven Chinese universities provided the applicant pool: Central South University in Changsha, Fudan University in Shanghai, Peking Union Medical College, Peking University Health Science Center, Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, Wuhan University in Wuhan, and Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. All are high-ranking academic institutions that are building major global health initiatives.

"We were delighted when the China Medical Board asked us to visit several of the leading medical universities in China to explore interest in a joint program. This is a terrific win-win opportunity – a chance to lay the foundation for long-term research and education partnerships, as well as to help strengthen China's efforts in global health," says Wasserheit.

The faculty scholars coming in the spring will be Jiayan Huang from Fudan University and Hui Yin from Peking University.

In addition, Sun Yat-Sen University is separately funding a faculty member to learn about development of administrative systems to support large-scale global health training and collaborative research by participating in the management of the Chinese university-UW collaboration. A senior staff member with the China Medical Board was so inspired by the project that he left the Board and will pursue a PhD in Global Health Metrics and Implementation Science at UW beginning this fall.

The Fellows

Quanlei Li

Quanlei Li

Master of Science Nursing (MSN)
Fudan University in Shanghai
Home: Shanghai
Goals: Study evidence-based practice in global health and learn how to translate it into best practices in low and middle-income countries
Interests: Tae Kwon do; he won a championship at the Shanghai Universities Tae Kwon Do Tournament
Of note: He heard of Seattle from the movie "Sleepless in Seattle" when he was a kid


Juan Nie

Juan Nie

Bachelor of Medicine,
Sun Yat-Sen University School of Public Health, Guangzhou
Home: Changsha
Goals: Promote maternal and newborn health and health education worldwide
Interests: Movies, swimming, singing, architecture
Of note: Her English name is Julianna, and she likes rain


Hong Xiao

Hong Xiao

Bachelor of Economics and Biomedical English, PhDc Health Policy and Administration
Peking University School of Public Health
Home: Hunan province
Goals: PhD studies, further develop quantitative skills and learn innovative tools to define the world's major health issues and their underlying causes
Interests: Swimming, photography, playing badminton
Of note: Seattle is "my dream city"


Yu Yu

Yu Yu

Bachelor of Medicine
Central South University, School of Public Health, Changsha
Home: Hubei province
Goals: To more deeply understand global health, towards a lifetime of teaching and research
Interests: Music, playing badminton and ping pong, hiking, yoga, reading, writing
Of note: This is her first trip to America