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ChinaBio® and Keck Graduate Institute to Offer China Internships

publication date: Apr 8, 2011
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD
Through a partnership with Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, ChinaBio® now offers KGI students the opportunity to spend their summer internship in China under the new ChinaBio® Life Sciences Summer Work-Study Program in Shanghai.

ChinaBio® LLC will host up to 8-10 students in Shanghai this summer, where they will work with ChinaBio or major life science companies located there. The program also will be open to students from other universities and early-career professionals in the life sciences and other fields.

ChinaBio®, which connects the China life-science industry with the rest of the world through consulting, capital and conferences, has sponsored two internships for KGI Master of Bioscience students the past two summers. The new agreement establishes a formal relationship between the company and KGI and expands the internship possibilities.

The Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences (KGI), located in Claremont, California, is a specialized graduate school offering both MA and PhD degrees in life sciences. Founded in 1997 with a $50 million from the W. M. Keck Foundation, KGI is the newest member of The Claremont College Consortium, a group of seven colleges in the Claremont area.

Greg Scott, president and founder of ChinaBio®, said, "China is now the number two economy in the world and number two pharmaceutical market in the world. With the rate of growth of the economy and the life science industry in China, it's very valuable for students to have China experience on their resume."

Students will have the opportunity not only to work on projects with ChinaBio® but also with multinational pharmaceutical companies in China. Weekly meetings with guest speakers from the life science industry will bring the participants together to share their experiences, Scott said.

"We view this as first step toward greater collaborations with China," said James D. Sterling, PhD, KGI's vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. "We're not only providing an opportunity for our students to go to China, but we're also establishing a presence and reputation in China so we can recruit students from there and perhaps involve companies in China in some of our entrepreneurship activities at KGI."

KGI students who participate in the program will receive academic credit for the internships. Others who complete the program will earn the ChinaBio/KGI China Life Science Business Certificate.

KGI alum Robert Rankin (MBS '09) knows firsthand how valuable the ChinaBio® internship can be. While in China, Rankin worked on a variety of projects, including consulting with startups and identifying novel technologies from Chinese universities for multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer.

Additionally, he coached one startup on its presentation about a product to identify liver cancer in patients with cirrhosis. The presentation received a positive reception at the 2009 ChinaBio Investor Forum where startups presented their business plans to an audience of industry professionals, venture capitalists and other investors.

"Coaching the startup was pretty amazing," Rankin said. "It was great working directly with the founder, exchanging email and interacting about the business plan presentation. Then, I got to watch the presentation in person. It was pretty gratifying."

Rankin said the Applied Entrepreneurship and Business Plan courses he took at KGI gave him a solid background for the experience.

Randy Berholtz, an adjunct professor at KGI and a co-partner in ChinaBio® Education, will teach a three-day, pre-travel course at KGI providing a comparative review of law and business regulations relating to the life sciences in China and the United States.

The legal system in the U.S., based on British common law, is much older than the legal system in China, which is based on civil law and borrowed from countries like Germany and France.

"China has been in an enviable position. It has been able to take the best from each country and go forward," said Berholtz, who was general counsel for a group of life science companies in China and San Diego before partnering with ChinaBio® founder Greg Scott.

The class, China and the U.S.: Comparative Biotech Business, Law, and Regulation, would be beneficial not only for students and faculty but current life science practitioners, Chinese and American, as well.

"China is on everybody's radar screen right now," Berholtz said. "If your practice is in life sciences, you will normally hit China at some point."

For more information on the ChinaBio® summer internship program, visit the KGI website.


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