An Important Step Toward International Post-Pandemic Biological Research Collaboration | CBIS 13th Biennial Meeting

Hangzhou, China, Jan. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Chinese Biological Investigators Society 13th Biennial Meeting was held simultaneously Dec. 19-22, 2022, across two satellite sites in China and the US for the first time in the society’s history. A collaboration between CBIS and Westlake University, the meeting gathered distinguished and world-renowned scientists from across all fields of life sciences under the common goal of “Enhancing and Reconnecting Biological Research in the Post-Pandemic Era”.


The four-day event was hosted at Las Vegas, USA and at Westlake University’s brand new state-of-the-art Yungu Campus in Hangzhou, China. In-person and online audiences were presented with a diverse program of over 100 cutting-edge reports, with principal investigators and guests from top institutions around the world discussing the latest scientific advancements, industry-related collaborations, and technological developments.


The CBIS 13th Biennial Meeting facilitated an interactive platform across borders, connecting scientists and researchers to advance our fundamental understanding of biology, disease and medicine. Topics such as cancer, metabolism and regeneration, infection and immunity, neurobiology and systems biology, epigenetics and RNA biology were widely discussed at length, with findings at the forefront of research in these fields presented.


Prof. Yigong Shi, president of Westlake University, said in his opening remarks at the event, “Westlake University is a young university founded by a group of academics with a deep understanding of international culture. Because of this, the university’s founding mission has been to connect China and the world.”


Indeed, international collaboration, communication and mutual growth will be essential in the post-pandemic era, with Shi adding that “this is the first time we [Westlake University] have tried sharing results of our research to close the divide between borders. The experiment is bound to bring immense benefits.”


CBIS and Westlake University


CBIS, formally known as the Ray Wu Society, was established to honor Prof. Ray Wu’s significant contributions to the advancement of Biochemistry and Plant Biotechnology, as well as his outstanding leadership in developing a Sino-America overseas student program known as the China-U.S. Biochemistry Examination and Application (CUSBEA) program. In January of 1998, with the participation of Wu and high-level delegates from both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and American Chinese Embassy, more than 100 principal investigators and scholars representing the new generation of Chinese biologists came together at UCLA to form the Ray Wu Society.


To extend Wu’s legacy, CBIS strives to promote scientific communications among scientists both internationally and in China.


Westlake University is a new, nonprofit and research-oriented university supported by public and philanthropic resources. By building world-class research programs and centers, the Westlake University School of Life Sciences strives to pursue questions fundamental to our understanding of biology and disease, and to develop enabling technologies that benefit humanity and advance human health.


Significant connections between CBIS and Westlake University


Prof. Tian Xu, chair professor of genetics and vice president of Westlake University, was one of the earliest members of CBIS. Between the years 2000 and 2005 he also acted as president and vice president of CBIS. In addition, as one of the earliest international students in the U.S., studying and working at Yale University for years, Xu still remembers that even as an undergraduate student, he often got his peers together to discuss their research.


“We didn’t have a formal society back then - we were all just graduate students,” Xu said looking back at his formative years in the U.S. “Although we parted ways when we completed our postdoctoral programs and became researchers and professors, the bond between us remained.”


Shi, who worked as a structural biologist and then professor at Princeton University, was also named CBIS President between 2005 and 2008. Shi commended Ray Wu’s contributions and described him as a model scientist.


During Shi’s tenure at CBIS, he was deeply involved in the society’s functions and progress, and helped to organize numerous conferences, striving to connect China’s young biologists with international academia.


With such long-lasting and meaningful connections between CBIS and Westlake University, the 13th Biennial Meeting has been a culmination of shared goals and values.


CBIS and Westlake University are both actively committed to supporting and encouraging young principal investigators in their early stages of managing a research lab, getting them actively involved in CBIS meetings, and establishing connections and seeking collaboration opportunities with senior principal investigators. CBIS has set up the Young Investigators Award targeted at young faculty members who have made significant contributions to the advancement of life sciences. Both CBIS and Westlake University share this common goal of creating a platform for generations of scientists to communicate and collaborate.


CBIS has over 1,000 members including renowned academics, prominent figures in life sciences, and outstanding investigators at all stages of their careers. The society’s biennial event provides a platform for engaging internationally in high-level, academic and industry-focused discussions, and actively encourages in-depth knowledge exchanges at the forefront of biological research.


Westlake University has attracted more than 200 top scientists and young scholars from around the world, with investigators from CBIS continuing to assist in the development of the university. For example, Prof. Xiaofan Wang, CBIS member and tenured professor at Duke University, is a regular key speaker at various Westlake events and seminars.


The CBIS 13th Biennial Meeting this year has encapsulated the missions of CBIS and Westlake University of promoting global sharing, nurturing young scientists, providing an open platform for the latest ideas and innovations in life sciences, and fundamentally advancing society and our understanding of health and disease.


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