Yale Psychiatry Forges Relationship with China's Oldest Psychiatric Hospital

A Delegation from Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital and Guangzhou Medical University Visit Yale's Department of Psychiatry

In May 2011 a delegation from Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital and Guangzhou Medical University visited Yale’s Department of Psychiatry. (Pictured, from left to right, Dr. Jian Wang, Guangzhou Medical University; Dr. Matthew State, Yale Psychiatry Deputy Chair for Research; Dr. John Krystal, Yale Psychiatry Chairman; Dr. Yuping Ning, Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital; Dr. Ke Xu, fourth-year Yale Psychiatry resident; and Dr. Liping Cao, Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital.)

05/23/2011: From May 9th to 12th, a delegation from Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital and Guangzhou Medical University visited Yale's Department of Psychiatry at the invitation of Dr. John Krystal, the department's chairman. The visit follows a trip by Dr. Krystal and current fourth-year psychiatry resident Dr. Ke Xu, to Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital in October of 2010. The goal of this visit was to further refine areas of potential collaboration between the institutions.

Founded in 1898 by American physician Dr. John G. Kerr, Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital is the oldest hospital in China specializing in psychiatry. The hospital plays a critical role in mental healthcare in southern China as the state psychiatric hospital of Guangdong province. The hospital is one of the country's largest facilities of its kind, with a maximum capacity of 1,920 beds, 1,100 staff, and three major sites that see more than 200,000 outpatients each year.

Like the Department of Psychiatry and Yale's School of Medicine, both the hospital and its affiliated medical university have a long history of innovation in science, education, and treatment. The hospital has two affiliated research centers and conducts more than 10 Phase 1 clinical trials and 20 Phase 2 clinical trials each year.

The Chinese delegation was led by Dr. Yuping Ning, president of Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital and Dr. Jian Wang, the medical university’s director of research and education. The group included Dr. Cui Ma, a former president of the hospital, Dr. Liping Cao, who conducts research on bipolar disorder, and Dr. Yangbo Guo, who directs the hospital’s education program.

Following the visit, Dr. Krystal remarked "Our productive talks focused on advancing the field of psychiatry through translational neuroscience research and strategies for training new generations of psychiatrists to assimilate these advances. Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital and Guangzhou Medical University will be invaluable partners as we pursue these shared interests."

The guests are former colleagues of Dr. Xu, who trained at Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital before joining the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and ultimately Yale's Psychiatry Residency Program. "The delegates met several faculty and administrators who expressed great excitement at the opportunity to collaborate with them," added Dr. Xu. "I am very optimistic that this new relationship could serve as an important model and lead to unique joint projects."

Dr. Richard Belitsky, Deputy Dean for Education and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, welcomed the group to Yale's School of Medicine. In addition to meetings with key Department administrators, the visit included tours of the school's Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance (MR) Research Centers, the Yale Stem Cell Center, the Yale Stress Center, the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC), the Department's Division of Human Genetics laboratory, and the Alzheimer's Disease Research Unit, among other clinical, research, and training facilities. The delegation also received an in-depth introduction to the Department's residency program, an area that stands to benefit greatly from any collaboration, through conversations with program directors and a dinner with current residents.

In addition to her efforts associated with this venture, Dr. Ke Xu is a recent recipient of the American Psychiatric Association/Merck & Co., Inc. Early Academic Career Research Award in recognition of her innovative research proposal on schizophrenia. She will join the Psychiatry Department faculty as an Assistant Professor in July 2011.