In 2009, the Royal Society of Chemistry signed a cooperation agreement with the State Administration for Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA), a division of the Chinese Government. As part of a wider governmental initiative to enhance the global impact of Chinese science and China’s higher education institutions, the RSC and SAFEA provide funding for a Visiting Researchers Programme. This encourages academics from the UK to visit Chinese universities to share best practice, advise Chinese researchers on presenting their research to an international audience and to stimulate collaboration between UK and Chinese institutions.
This blog provides a space for participants to share their experiences and for the RSC to highlight the opportunities that stem from the SAFEA programme.

*The map is reproduced from the United Nations Statistics Division

Paul Kong Thoo Lin visits academia and industry in China

Professor Paul Kong Thoo Lin is currently based at Robert Gordon Unviersity in Aberdeen and was one of the 2015 recipients of the SAFEA-RSC visiting researcher programme. These are brief snippets from Paul's trip diary during his sponsored visit to China. His main visit was to Prof Chaojie Wang at Henan University. Paul also managed to attend the 3rd Roche and RSC Chemistry Symposium on leading science for drug discovery and gave talks in Shanghai at the Roche Innovation Centre Shanghai and East China University of Science and Technology. 

Professor Paul Kong Thoo Lin 

24 - 25 October 2015
Venue: Roche Training Center, 371 Li Shi Zhen Road, Shanghai, China
This 3rd Roche and RSC Chemistry Symposium on Leading Sciences for Drug Discovery was focused mainly on synthetic methodologies directed for natural products synthesis. The Roche symposium in Shanghai was very well organised, attended, and informative while providing me a good insight on the type of chemistry Chinese scientists are currently working on to support the emerging pharmaceutical industries in China. ​

26 October 2015
Venue: School of Pharmacy, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
Visited Professor Xuhong QIAN Laboratory and gave a talk to his lab. After the talk, we discussed with Professors Weiping Zhu and Youjun Tang for future collaboration in the area of novel sensors. 

27 October 2015
Venue: Roche Innovation Centre Shanghai, 720 Cai Lun Road, Building 5, Pudong Shanghai 201203, China.
Talk entitled ‘New mono and bisnaphthalimides as potential anticancer and anti-parasitic agents’ was given to staff at Roche China.
Before my talk Dr Hong Shen gave me a tour of their facilities together with an insight on the research work being carried out at Roche in China with their main focus on anti infective agents.  I was very impressed with the state of the art facilities Roche has together with the multidisciplinary aspects of research being undertaken at Roche.   

Dr Hong Shen (left, Head of Medicinal Chemistry) and Dr. Taishan Hu (right, senior medicinal chemist).

In the evening, we met with the members of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Dr Justin Xu (on the left, RSC Representative in Shanghai) and Dr Kathleen Too (RSC International Development Manager-Asia)

28-31 October 2015
Venue: Henan University, Kaifeng, 475004, China
Host: Professor Chaojie Wang, Director, Key Lab of Natural Medicine and Immune Engineering

28/10/15- Dinner with Professor Choajie Wang (Director), Professor Biansheng JI (vice-director), Key laboratory of Natural Medicine and Immune Engineering and Associate Professor Fanyi Ma. 

29/10/15 Visit of the old city garden and the Chrysanthemum flower show. We were accompanied by Associate Professor Fanyi Ma and Postdoctoral fellow Dr Bala.  

Chrysanthemum flower show

30/10/15 Visit of Henan University new and old campuses and gave a lecture to Masters students on ‘The application of spectroscopy to chemical and biological assays’. This was followed by a fantastic banquet dinner. I met with the following people:
Director, Key laboratory of Natural Medicine and Immune Engineering, Professor Chaojie WANG;
Vice-Dean, Medical School, Professor Xinying JI;
Vice-Dean, Graduate School, Professor Xiuhua LIU;
Dean, Pharmaceutical School, Professor Qin LI;
Deputy Director, International Department, Bo ZHANG;
Songqiang XIE, Pharmaceutical Science Professor, Associate Professors, Dr Fanyi Ma

Banquet dinner in Henan

31/10/15- Gave a lecture to staffs and graduate students at the Key Lab of Natural Medicine and Immune Engineering. Title of lecture ‘New mono and bisnaphthalimides as potential anticancer and anti-parasitic agents’ and this was followed by discussion with Professor Wang’s research group.

Audience in the lecture room
The hospitality provided by my host has been outstanding; hence my time in Kaifeng has been enjoyable and comfortable both at academic and cultural levels.
That visit has given me the opportunity to interact with students and academic staffs in discussion related to current common research interests (another group in China working on naphthalimides) while exploring future collaborations in particular looking at technical facilities not available in Aberdeen. As a scientist I am grateful to both the RSC and SAFEA to have given me this unique opportunity to visit China. This has certainly enhanced my knowledge of how the chemical sciences are applied and delivered in China. Furthermore it has given me a good appreciation on the high quality of sciences being conducted there.   
There is also high interest from Henan University to develop their internationalisation objective, in particular in course development, student and staff mobility. I shall contact RGU International office to correspond with Mr Bo Zhang (Deputy Director, International Department) to initiate such project that will benefit our both institutions and countries.
Posted by Kathleen Too on Nov 24, 2015 1:18 PM Europe/London

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