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Pennington Biomedical and China's MedNet Plan Collaboration on Research and Clinical Resources to Accelerate Diabetes, Obesity and Chronic Metabolic Disease Intervention

Released: Tuesday, October 09, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA - Pennington Biomedical Research Center has signed a memorandum of understanding with MedNet Research in Beijing to facilitate both group's research and clinical focus in the area of chronic disease treatment and prevention.

China's rapid economic growth over the past three decades has led to an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases that burden the nation's health care system and resources. Adult onset diabetes alone afflicts 92.4 million Chinese men and women and another 148.2 million Chinese adults have pre-diabetes. More than 20 percent of children aged 7-17 years in large cities are now overweight or obese.

China's estimated chronic disease burden now approaches 300 million children and adults. The social and economic consequences will be serious if China fails to achieve control of the risk factors for chronic disease. Advances to manage this epidemic are urgently needed.

MedNet Research's President Dr. Yungao Sun stated that they are currently planning a new 2,000 bed chronic disease hospital in Beijing. Pennington Biomedical and MedNet will collaborate on chronic disease research and clinical applications.

A governing board will be formed to direct the joint center activities. Planned activities include academic communications with an annual symposium alternating sites, exchange of visiting scholars for research/development and training; joint research on chronic disease triggers; and public education and information service for patients that includes web pages and pamphlets.

The initial plan is for MedNet to provide two biomedical engineers to work on emerging research efforts at Pennington Biomedical's new Biomedical Imaging Building. MedNet will hold the first joint symposium in Beijing to focus on translational (bench to bedside) research.

Among the visitors at the signing ceremony were Pennington Biomedical representatives Dr. Steven B. Heymsfield (Executive Director), Dr. Gang Hu (Chronic Disease Epidemiology Laboratory), and Dr. Jianping Ye (Antioxidant and Gene Regulation Laboratory); and from China, in addition to Dr. Sun, Dr. Changming Li, (Director, Association of China Community Health; Vice Chairman of China Maternity and Children's Health Association), Dr. Hong Qi (Department of Science and Education, Ministry of Health), and Dr. Luxia Gong (Vice Chairman of China Woman's Health Association and China Preventive Medicine Association).

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The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. Itis a campus of the Louisiana State University System and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at the Center includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 50 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dieticians, and support personnel, and 19 highly specialized core service facilities.  The Center's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 234-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.