Day 1 at the Sun Yat Sen university went well. We discussed the lab’s expertise in nanobubble formation for drug delivery and I expressed the need for this work in atherosclerosis treatment and vulnerable plaque. We seem to be on track to putting together a proposal- a few more ideas to crystallize.
The campus itself is open air, affording breath taking views from my office.
I had a great time meeting biomedical engineering students and discussing their projects- so friendly and enthusiastic. Tan is the silent strong type- who powers through problems, Gavin is the talkative enthusiastic smart guy, and Yung is the confident young women who commands respect from her classmates because of how bright she is. I mentioned how I feel a bit cut-off as I can’t acess Google, gmail, and Twitter in China and they laughed off my predicament. It doesn’t seem to bother most people as they have many other SM options.
Students here are proud of their work, their center and their dreams of travel and accomplishment. It’s nice to be able to share the work of my grad students. Today Gavin is going to show me how to use the metro- it’s jam packed during commuting hours so here’s hoping I won’t be too crushed. Today I give another presentation of our lab- and I’m going to focus a bit on Queen’s as well.
Yesterday I met my host Dr Zhou- and he was as gracious as I had hoped- prompt, friendly and relaxed. On the taxi over to my hotel we had a good talk about where we could help each other on this scientific exchange. What I find interesting is his tissue phantom work using optical coherence tomography (OCT) to characterize the vessel wall. He has not done work in vulnerable plaque in vessels- which is my interest. Could this be the intersection of interests that could lead to a collaboration? Who knows- what’s fun is that research is an organic process- it can’t be forced and we just have to see how things develop.
There is definitely a sense of energy, urgency in China as it strives to develop rapidly. I think that’s the reason, in part, for the country’s enthusiasm for outreach and exchange programs at this time. It’s wonderful to be a tiny part in this change, and take advantage of working with experts that want to be active collaborators. Even with this program I can certainly feel the oversight of the state, instructing where to stay, what my agenda should look like etc. I can understand the need for a highly structured and regulated approach even though sometimes the best ideas come from serendipity combined with wonder (just having fun). I realize this approach is very different than our system, but it’s also an opportunity to appreciate a very different culture.
My first day in the lab is today- wish me luck!