Fostering Collaboration in Medical Research

The Milstein Medical Asian American Partnership Foundation

Howard P. Milstein, Founder and Chairman of the MMAAP Foundation, met with members of the then-Chinese Ministry of Health (currently the National Health and Family Planning Commission) in early 2011 to facilitate interactions between his medical philanthropic interests in the U.S. and leading Chinese institutions in clinical care and medical research. The idea for the foundation was conceived thereafter. In December 2011, the MMAAP Foundation framework was presented to Vice Minister Liu Qian, MD, of the Ministry of Health, who enthusiastically endorsed the plan and provided important advice.

Commenting on the growth of the MMAAP Foundation, Mr. Milstein said: “I am very pleased with the remarkable progress our foundation has made since its inception. We are in a unique position to bring together the best medical talents from Asia and the U.S. The results of such collaborations will not only advance global health, but will also strengthen friendships and relations between the two regions.”

The MMAAP Foundation currently offers funding opportunities in Geriatric Medicine (under the Irma and Paul Milstein Program for Senior Health), Dermatology and Hematology, in the form of Fellowship Awards and Research Project Awards, which aim to support medical researches that have the potential to affect healthcare in China. The Fellowship Awards sponsor promising investigators in clinical or basic research to receive one-year training in the U.S. at a distinguished partner institution. The Research Project Awards provide funding for research projects conducted in China with a U.S. partner institution. The MMAAP Foundation plans to expand its areas of support in the near future to include other medical disciplines, such as Translational Medicine. While the foundation currently focuses on mainland China, its funding opportunities would potentially be made available to researchers from other regions of Asia.

Applications for these awards are submitted by leading Chinese medical institutions and are evaluated through a strict two-step peer review process. An independent Chinese expert panel in each field selects a limited number of proposals, which are then reviewed by an independent panel in the U.S. Applications of the highest quality are selected for funding. For the awards in dermatology, the U.S. review panel consists of members of the Medical Advisory Committee at the American Skin Association.

In early 2013, Peking Union Medical College Hospital and Xijing Hospital received the inaugural project awards under the Irma and Paul Milstein Program for Senior Health and in Dermatology, respectively. The 2013 Irma and Paul Milstein Program for Senior Health Fellowship was awarded to Dr. Genxiang Mao at Zhejiang Hospital. Dr. Mao began his study of mitochondrial biogenesis in Dr. Sean X. Leng’s laboratory at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in May 2013. The recipients of the MMAAP Foundation’s 2014 awards in Geriatrics, Dermatology, and Hematology will be announced in early 2014.

For more information on the MMAAP Foundation, please visit

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