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The 2020 TMU-CWRU Joint Symposium was held at the International Conference Hall of Taipei Medical University (TMU) on October 28, 2020. Part of TMU’s celebration of its 60th anniversary, this symposium showcased the years of international collaborative research under the academic alliance between TMU and  Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) through insightful speeches and a poster exhibition. Dr. Mark Chance, Vice Dean for Research at the School of Medicine in CWRU, and Dr. Hsing-Jien Kung, Chair Professor at TMU, attended virtually and shared their thoughts with the collaborative research teams.

The opening remarks were delivered by TMU Vice President Chieh-Hsi Wu, who spoke on how the TMU-CWRU Pilot Program Seed Fund created in 2015 has fostered international interdisciplinary research teams formed by exemplary scientific researchers. Regular visits, education, and research exchanges, and joint symposiums between the two universities have continued to fortify this collaborative relationship and their international research. In continuation of the first joint symposium held last year at CWRU in Cleveland, Ohio, this year’s joint symposium was a full demonstration of the wealth of research outcomes achieved through the research initiatives in the past five years, which has led to the establishment of a knowledge exchange platform in translational science, as well as the advancement of TMU’s transition from a research university to an innovative university.

TMU Vice President Chieh-Hsi Wu delivers the opening remarks of the symposium

Dr. Stanton Gerson, Director of the CWRU Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and Interim Dean of the School of Medicine, also sent his regards to the attendees through a pre-recorded video. He congratulated TMU in celebration of the university’s 60th anniversary and recognized the research results of the two universities’ long-term collaboration. TMU School of Biomedical Engineering Director Dr. Chih-Wei Peng and TMU Neuroscience Research Center Director Dr. Robert Yung-Hsiao Chiang came to discuss their experiences in applying for the TMU-CWRU Pilot Program Seed Fund and carrying out joint research projects. Speaking from the perspectives of translational science, the two directors brought much inspiration to the academic field and to symposium participants. Delegates of the awarded teams of the seed fund in 2020, including TMU Professor Chun-Ren Huang and TMU Assistant Professors Er-Yuan Chuang, Sung-Bau Lee, and David Jon Lundy each shared highlights from their respective research projects as well as their current progress. Their collaborative partners at CWRU also contributed by presenting their insights and observations with pre-recorded videos, adding diversity to the speaker lineup, and comprehensively showcasing various aspects of this collaboration scheme. A poster exhibition coordinated by the TMU Office of Global Engagement (OGE) also promoted the research achievements of awarded teams from previous years.

The TMU-CWRU Pilot Program Seed Fund has facilitated two universities’ joint research for five years, supporting a total of 16 collaborative research teams and 19 joint research projects, among other successful patent applications with commercialization potential. Vice President Chieh-Hsi Wu noted that despite the severity of this year’s pandemic, the Seed Fund has set a record-high number of awarded research teams. Applications for the sixth year of research funding are expected to open at the end of 2020 and will focus on teams geared towards TMU’s core research areas—cancer translational medicine, thoracic medicine, neuroscience medicine, AI in medicine, cell therapy and regenerative medicine, the research and development of biomedical devices, urology and kidney research, and cardiovascular translational medicine.

The symposium concluded with closing remarks delivered virtually by Dr. Hsing-Jien Kung, the Scientific Advisor to the TMU-CWRU Pilot Program Seed Fund. He expressed his thanks to all of the participating research teams for sharing their research results and also expressed hope that the fruits of the joint research seed fund will continue to readily advance the collaborative research of translational science between TMU and CWRU and cultivate even more future talent for international research.