The 13th International Student Research Forum (ISRF) was held at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) from June 4 to 18, 2017. More than 60 Ph.D. students attended the forum, including students from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), University of Nebraska Medical Center, Griffith University, University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Shanghai Jiaotong University and Tongji University. Nine UCAS representatives from Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Guangzhou and Wuhan, together with Vice President Wu Yueliang, participated in the forum.
The ISRF, first held in 2004, provides doctoral students in the life sciences and medical sciences a perfect platform for exchanging ideas and life experiences. China, the United States, Australia, Britain and Japan have successfully held the forum over the past 13 years, attracting more than a thousand outstanding students and educators. The forum strengthens international cooperation and enhances scientific and cultural exchanges. To maximize exchanges and cooperation, the 2017 forum was divided into seven sessions with topics in molecular biology and medicine, cancer biology, neuroscience and immunology, epidemiology, public health and infectious diseases. All students presented the most recent scientific results and experimental plans in their academic fields.
Cao Shangtao (Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health), the first speaker from UCAS, gave a lecture entitled "Chemical reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts into endoderm lineages[Chemically reprogramming? OR Chemical reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts?]". He explained his use of small molecular compounds to induce the differentiation of mouse fibroblasts into endodermal progenitor cells. Lots of interesting questions were raised after his presentation and he provided detailed answers. With such a strong beginning, the rest of the presentations on behalf of UCAS were also well received.
During the symposium, participants visited the Buffett Cancer Center in the Nebraska Medical Center, as well as the Drug Development Center and the Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Nebraska. In addition, the organizers provided opportunities to experience traditional American culture and customs, including an American baseball game at Werner Park, a spectacular view of the Missouri River at the Bob Kerry Bridge, and a cheerful American line dance at Bushwackers bar. Students with different backgrounds shared their views not only on research but also on different cultures, which widely broadened our horizons and offered us an opportunity to make new friends. Vice-Chancellor Wu attended a meeting with Dele Davies, Vice-Chancellor of the Nebraska Medical Center, and Prof. Jennifer Larsen about cooperation and exchange programs in the medical sciences between UCAS and UNMC.
At the farewell party, student representatives first summarized what they gained through the forum and expressed their appreciation to the hosts at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Students then exchanged gifts in a pleasant atmosphere. In the end, Griffith University welcomed us all for the next ISRF in Australia.
Our students were financially supported by the Educational Foundation of UCAS.