US-China Collaborative Biomedical Research Program

Organization and History

Scientific cooperation between the United States and the People’s Republic of China was initiated more than 30 years ago and has grown rapidly in recent years. In December 2010, the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the president of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) signed an implementation arrangement to develop the U.S.-China Program for Biomedical Research Cooperation, which aims to enhance cooperative biomedical research of benefit to both countries.

A Joint Working Group (JWG) made up of NIH and NSFC representatives develop strategic research plans and help expedite review and clearance of proposed bilateral projects. Both the NIH and NSFC allocate funds to support joint activities under this program.

Areas of Joint Research

In the first year of the program, applications were open for basic, translational, behavioral, clinical, preventive, or epidemiological research projects in the areas of allergy, immunology, infectious diseases, and cancer. The JWG decided to fund 34 grant supplements and intramural research projects to support U.S. investigators collaborating with Chinese colleagues. The NSFC provided complementary funding to support the Chinese investigators.

In the second year of the program, investigators were invited to submit research projects that covered various areas of cancer, mental health, immunology, and infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS and its co-morbidities). The JWG decided to fund 42 awards to U.S. and Chinese collaborating investigators.

The research areas were expanded in the third year of the program to include Parkinson’s disease and stroke, as well as continuing research on the health topics covered in the first two years.

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