Outline of a world map

Provost's Global Faculty Awards

2022-23 Beijing PGFA Recipients

Academic Events

Medical and Surgical Decisions in Critically Ill Patients: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

In recent years the central question in medicine has shifted from “What can we do for the patient?” to “What should we do for the patient?”, the latter a question that cannot be answered with medical expertise alone. It requires a broad perspective, and that is what this conference will attempt to express to its attendees as well as the wider medical world. The complexity and diversity of China’s society, along with the radical transformations the country has made in the past half-century, has thrown the care of critically ill patients into a dangerous grey area, making the need for a cross-cultural discussion like this one all the more important.

UChicago faculty leads: Peter Angelos (PI), J. Michael Millis, Department of Surgery; Mark Siegler, Department of Medicine
Local partner: Peking Union Medical College

Bodies of Knowledge: Medicine, Literature, History

Understanding the body in a Western sense has often been left to the realm of medicine- a structural and mechanistic approach that seems to appeal to common sense but often lacks the “expressiveness” of embodiment present in Chinese thinking. This conference will bring together scholars from China and Chicago that have dedicated their writing and research to this question of the body, exposing the Western academic world to little-known Chinese cultural research. The ethical and practical implications of the question of the body in both the humanities and medicine will be explored through this cross-cultural interaction.

UChicago faculty leads: Judith Farquhar (PI), Department of Anthropology; Michael Rossi, Department of History
Local partner: Peking University

Sino-American Symposium: Major Mental Illness and Neurological Disorders

Research into central nervous system diseases, as well as other neurological disorders, are a strength of the University of Chicago, and this conference will bring that expertise collectively in order to promote education, communication, and collaboration between Chicago and leading neuroscience institutes in China. By bringing together the top researchers in neuroscience, researchers will come away with further avenues for collaboration in treating inflammatory diseases of the brain, an area of great importance in neuroscience today.

UChicago faculty leads: Xuan Feng (PI), Anthony Reder, Department of Neurology
Local partner: Xuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical University; Zhuhai Third Renmin Hospital

Professional Development and Student Wellbeing

Widespread changes have taken place in the Chinese medical system in recent years, leading to public mistrust of an institution built upon the relationship between provider and patient. This symposium will discuss the integration of professional development and student wellbeing into medical school curricula in China in order to reduce burnout among doctors and other medical professionals. This discussion will enable participants to bring the key ideas from the symposium back to their home institutions, leading to further research questions and programs.

UChicago faculty leads: Wei Wei Lee (PI), Jonathan Lio, Renslow Sherer, Mark Siegler, James Woodruff, Department of Medicine
Local partner: Peking University, Wuhan University

Symposium on Clinical Leadership and Medical Education in China

The Clinical Leadership Development Fellowship at the University of Chicago has trained dozens of future medical leaders in China to set the foundation for positive developments in their healthcare system for the next three to four decades. This symposium will invite former fellows to Beijing to discuss the progress of educational and clinical reform in China, as well as any barriers they have faced. The follow-up will ensure there is accountability for the implementation of reform projects and provide support and guidance for those fellows facing issues at their home institutions.

UChicago faculty leads: Jonathan Lio (PI), Renslow Sherer, Department of Medicine; J. Michael Millis, Department of Surgery
Local partner: Peking Union Medical College Hospital

9th Annual Conference on Advanced Therapies for Solid Tumors and Academic Development

China has the largest number of malignancies in any country of the world, as well as accounting for half of new cases of liver cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The Annual Conference on Advanced Therapies for Solid Tumors and Academic Developments draws prestigious speakers from all disciplines concerned with patient care in order to contribute to the combined knowledge on the diseases themselves and treatments for them. The Conference will give young Chinese physicians the chance to improve their language skill so they can publish in English language journals, and surgical residents from the University gain valuable experience in a new environment.

UChicago faculty leads: J. Michael Millis (PI), Jeffrey Matthews, Mitchell Posner, Department of Surgery
Local partner: Peking Union Medical College Hospital

China-US Conference on Clinical Ethics Consulation

The Maclean Center’s Clinical Medical Ethics Program at the University of Chicago is one of the most impactful medical ethics programs in the world, having trained more than 450 fellows that have gone onto not only lead medical ethics programs but secure endowed university professorships and written dozens of books and thousands of journal articles. By hosting a workshop on medical ethics at the University of Chicago and inviting Chinese fellows, medical leaders in China can benefit from this expertise, developing clinical ethics consultation programs in their home country.

UChicago faculty lead: J. Michael Millis, Department of Surgery
Local partners: Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking University, Peking University Third Hospital

International Symposium on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease without treatment but of growing prevalence due to a growing elderly population and is difficult to categorize as the common causes of the disease differ globally. The University of Chicago has one of the oldest ALS clinics and the world, and this symposium will focus on research collaborations between Chicago and China to further our understanding of the debilitating disease.

UChicago faculty lead: Raymond Roos, Department of Neurology
Local partners: Huashan Hospital, Peking Union Medical College, Peking University Third Hospital

The Future of China’s Past

Building upon a conference in 2019 where prominent scholars looked back upon their work and how our understanding of ancient China has evolved over the last 20 years, Professor Shaughnessy is now bringing together the brightest young minds together to discuss what the future holds for the study of ancient China. Both from the West and China, the conference is intended to expose the scholars to each other’s research and create academic bonds that will lead to original and groundbreaking scholarship in the future.

UChicago faculty lead: Edward Shaughnessy, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Local partners: BNU-HKBU United International College, Tsinghua University


Exploratory Trips

The Transpacific: Mapping Artistic Exchanges between Asia and the Americas

A new major exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, The Transpacific: Mapping Artistic Exchanges between Asia and the Americas, is intended to expand narratives of global contemporary art by using the Pacific Ocean as the center of exchange of ideas. This will challenge the Atlantic Ocean’s preeminence in the world of art history, bringing in an Asian-American circulation of art and artists that was previously given diminished importance. These exchanges do not only reflect shifts in the world of art, but a global transition of power to the Pacific and Asia in the 21st century in terms of politics, trade, and culture.

UChicago faculty lead: Orianna Cacchione (PI), Claudia Brittenham, Wu Hung, Department of Art History
Local partner: Overseas Chinese Art Terminal (OCAT) Institute, Times Museum of Art

Relationship building to support an ECHO demonstration project in China

The Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO), developed by the University of New Mexico, is a development model for expanding primary care capacity in underserved communities. It helps providers navigate real-world challenges through innovative curricula, and aims to “move knowledge, not patients” to these communities. The implementation of this successful model in China could be another way of helping those who lack quality healthcare on the basis of where they were born and live.

UChicago faculty lead: Daniel Johnson, Department of Pediatrics
Local partner: Tongji University


Training Initiatives

Children’s Medical Home in China: Early Development of Chinese Children

Despite huge advances in infant mortality and life expectancy, China still struggles to care for and support children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The Children’s Medical Home in China (CMHC) exists to support these children, ensuring that they are healthy and thriving using a combination of developmental and behavioral pediatrics. Using this model as base, a wider framework of prevention, health management, and child development can be established.

UChicago faculty lead: Michael Msall, Department of Pediatrics
Local partner: Peking University

Resident Exchange and Residency Symposium

Resident exchanges are crucial in fostering new medical and cultural ideas and enable residents to act as forces for change once they return to their home country. This is especially true when two well-respected institutions, the University of Chicago Medicine and Peking Union Medical College Hospitals, implement a bilateral resident exchange program. Continuing the program is not only beneficial for the residents but for the medical world at large, strengthening the mutual understanding between the medical education and health systems in the US and China.

UChicago faculty lead: Renslow Sherer (PI), John McConville, Jonathan Lio, Department of Medicine; Kevin Roggin, Department of Surgery
Local partner: Wuhan University School of Medicine

Empowering Patient/Family Centered Care Communication

Discussing serious illness is a difficult task for any health provider, and the task is further complicated in China, where the growing and aging population rarely interacts with doctors outside of acute hospitalizations and therefore lack the opportunity end of life care goals. This symposium will aim at exposing medical professionals to individual narratives that include what patients value and how they wish to be treated by their doctors. Attendees will explore effective communication in palliative care and become empowered to bring those conversations back to their medical institutions.

UChicago faculty lead: Shellie Williams, Department of Medicine
Local partner: Peking Union Medical College, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University


Research Projects

City of Coiled Dragons: Joint Archaeological Field Project at Panlongcheng

Located in the Middle Yangzi River Valley near Wuhan, Panlongcheng is a Bronze-age settlement dated to the 16th and 13th centuries BCE. It is thought to be the southernmost outpost or colony of the Erlingang civilization, a representation of the vast territorial expanse of that particular ancient Chinese society. One of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century, the teams in Wuhan and Chicago will now conduct indoor lab research in order to publish preliminary reports on the site.

UChicago faculty lead: Yung-ti Li, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Local partner: Hubei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Panlongcheng Site Museum, Wuhan University

Assessing the Psychology Impact of the Transition to Post-Pandemic Society

The COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting, directly and indirectly, the health and well-being of citizens around the world. Indirectly, concerns over COVID-19 produce numerous psychological uncertainties. The WHO has responded to this by proposing a more wide-ranging plan for recovery from the pandemic, and to examine the fundamental needs of a post-pandemic society. This research will further explore the psychological and socio-cultural impact of pandemic life by conducting a cross-cultural investigation, to see what strategies citizens used in coping with the increased stress and what changes have taken places within social norms.

UChicago faculty lead: Thomas Talhelm, Booth School of Business
Local partner: Zhejiang University

Incentivizing Citizens to Participate in Environmental Governance in Guangdong

Extremely polluted environments have severe consequences for those who live in them, including adverse impacts on health, welfare, and labor productivity. This project aims to tackle the issue of pollution head on to understand how typical citizens can provide accountability for plants violating environmental policies. By enabling and encouraging the population of Guangdong to be environmental whistleblowers, a greater understanding of how to intervene against pollution and its devastating health effects can be reached.

UChicago faculty lead: Shaoda Wang, Harris School of Public Policy
Local partner: University of Hong Kong


Student Trips

Control Art

The distinction between government-supported cultural production and so-called “civil” art that is made outside of the civic sphere is unique to modern China, reflecting the country’s transition from almost complete state control to a more neoliberal model today. The class will explore this creative explosion in Chinese art that accompanied such a drastic shift, culminating in an 11-day trip to Beijing to gain hands-on experience with artists, curators, and arts institutions.

UChicago faculty lead: Geoffrey Oppenheimer, Department of Visual Arts