Environmental Factor, March 2011, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Delegation helps NIEHS celebrate Chinese New Year
Leping Li noted that the delegation from China that visited NIEHS in February happened to be in North Carolina during a full moon, which in the Chinese calendar represents a time for family. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Ma spoke of a spirit of cooperation between the United States and China that grows as NIEHS scientists from China work with U.S.-born researchers. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
As she did during a similar visit by a Chinese delegation in 2008, Hui Hu served as translator for the visitors. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Chinese journalists interview NIEHS Principal Investigator Honglei Chen, M.D., Ph.D. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
NIEHS welcomed a delegation from China to help celebrate the Chinese New Year and foster good will between China and the United States, during a tour and reception held Feb. 16. The delegation was in North Carolina as part of a Chinese acrobatic show performing at Duke University.
As he welcomed the delegation to NIEHS, Deputy Scientific Director William T. Schrader, Ph.D., mentioned that the Year of the Rabbit, which began Feb. 3, is supposed to be a year of international cooperation and friendship.
Schrader noted that of 225 postdoctoral fellows at NIEHS, 27, or about 10 percent, are from China. Many of those fellows attended the reception at the NIEHS cafeteria in the Rall Building.
Environmental Health Perspectives International Program(http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/static/international.action) Manager Hui Hu translated Schrader's talk into Mandarin Chinese for the delegation.
Spirit of cooperation
The leader of the Chinese delegation, Rupei Ma, vice minister of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, also spoke of cooperation between the two nations.
"I'm really impressed with the science here," Ma said as members of the delegation along with NIEHS scientists and postdoctoral fellows lined up for a buffet of dumplings, chicken wings, and egg rolls.
"The research they're conducting at the institute is leading environmental health research," Ma continued. "On behalf of the delegation, I would like to wish the best to all the staff of the institute. I'm hoping the research here and the work that is done here can help continually improve human health and eventually bring harmony and peace to the world."
Ma also noted that he was impressed with the high number of Chinese postdocs at NIEHS and hopes they can improve the level of research at NIEHS and cooperation between China and the U.S.
Ma presented Schrader with a gift of a silk painting of a flowering branch that Schrader said would be prominently displayed at NIEHS to commemorate the visit.
Also speaking from NIEHS were Leping Li, Ph.D.(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/labs/bb/staff/li/index.cfm), principal investigator with the Biostatistics Branch, who welcomed the delegation, and Hui Hu, who gave the delegation a statistical portrait of the Triangle region of North Carolina.
Xiaofeng Zheng, Ph.D., a Chinese postdoctoral fellow in the NIEHS Stem Cell Biology Group(http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/atniehs/labs/lmc/stemcell/staff.cfm) who attended the reception, said he hoped NIEHS research would be able to help his native country as it experiences a mass migration from the countryside to the city.
"We need more technology to help the Chinese government establish environmentally friendly cities," Zheng said.
(Matt Goad is a contract writer with the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.)