In recent years, growing numbers of nanomaterials and nanotechnology applications have been employed as novel imaging, diagnostic, and therapeutic agents in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. The safe and effective development and use of these new nanotechnologies will require coordinated effort among diverse groups of international experts including basic scientists, toxicologists, clinical researchers, policymakers and others. The First Joint China-U.S. Symposium on Nanobiotechnology and Nanomedicine was convened October 21–23, 2008 in Beijing, China, in order to address these and other emerging issues and opportunities (Supplemental Figure 1). The goal of the symposium was to share experiences and exchange information pertaining to the development of nanotechnology for medical use including the prevention, detection, and treatment of disease, and ensuring the safety of the general public and of personnel working in the field. The symposium also provided a platform for exploring the development of new research collaborations among top Chinese and American scientists.
This symposium was organized in response to recent major investments in nanobiology and nanomedicine both in China and in the United States, respectively. Discussions focused on nanotechnology applications for cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, given the substantial advances in this field. The organization of the meeting was collaboratively developed by the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NCNST) of China, a leading nanotechnology research institution and by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China, as well as by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, and by the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Additional key supporters included the NIH Office of the Director, and the Trans-NIH Nanotechnology Task Force. The meeting was initiated under the auspices of an agreement co-signed by Executive President, Dr. Chunli Bai (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China), Former Director, Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD), Director, Dr. John E. Niederhuber (National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD) and by Former Acting Director, Dr. Samuel Wilson (National Institute of Environmental Health Services, Research Triangle Park, NC). The Symposium Organizing Committee included Dr. Yuliang Zhao (Institute of High Energy, Beijing, China), Dr. Xing-Jie Liang (National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China, Beijing, China), Dr. Robert Blumenthal (National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD), Dr. Michael M. Gottesman (National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD), and Dr. Piotr Grodzinski (National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD), Dr. Sally Tinkle (National Institute of Environmental Health Services, Research Triangle Park, NC), Dr. Kuan Wang (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Bethesda, MD) and Dr. Nancy E. Miller (National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD). Eighty scientists and research physicians attended the meeting. The U.S. delegation, composed of 30 invited leading scientists and policy experts, was led by Dr. Michael M. Gottesman, Chief, Laboratory of Cell Biology, NCI, NIH and Deputy Director for Intramural Research, NIH (Supplemental Figure 2). Chinese attendees included participants from 30 universities and research institutes.