(China Medical Tribune, Newspaper reporter Zheng Guixiang) April 14—For the first time since the Rockefeller Foundation established Peking Union Medical College, an American philanthropist has created a new charitable foundation to promote shared medical knowledge between the U.S. and China. The Milstein Medical Asian American Partnership (MMAAP) Foundation (https://www.mmaapf.org) has been created by Howard Milstein and his family to improve world health by developing mutually beneficial long-term partnerships between the U.S. and China and Asian countries.

We interviewed the founder and Chairman of the Foundation, Howard Milstein, (Chinese name Mi Haowen) who leads the third generation of the preeminent business and philanthropic family and builds upon a long tradition of Milstein family support for health and medical research. Examples of his prolific medical philanthropic activities include Chairman of the Board of American Skin Association, Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center at New York Blood Center, the Milstein Melanoma Research Laboratories at Rockefeller University, Howard and Georgeanna Jones Foundation for Reproductive Medicine, and the Program for Translational Chemical Biology at Cornell Medical Center. In the interview, Mr. Milstein indicated that he has established a very high standard for the MMAAP Foundation which is designed to become a highly respected international foundation demonstrating expertise in producing medical and scientific progress with integrity and efficiency for the benefit of human health.

The leadership of the MMAAP Foundation comprises very prominent figures in medicine. President Dr. Gerald Lazarus is a distinguished dermatologist who previously served as Chair of Dermatology at Duke University and University of Pennsylvania and Dean and CEO of the University of California at Davis School of Medicine. He also has unique working experiences with Peking Union Medical College Hospital and the Ministry of Health. Dr. Sean X. Leng, the Executive Vice President, is a board-certified academic geriatrician and Paul Beeson scholar in aging research, as well as, the Director of the Irma and Paul Milstein Program for Senior Health. Trained in both Chinese and American healthcare systems, Dr. Leng has led Hopkins’ effort on geriatrics program development in China and established high level collaborative relationships with the Ministry of Health, Chinese Geriatrics Society, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and other major medical and governmental institutions. Both Drs. Lazarus and Leng are Professors at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The MMAAP Foundation embarks with two points of focus—geriatric medicine (the Irma & Paul Milstein Program for Senior Heath) and dermatology. Both areas will receive one-year research fellowships for an English-speaking Chinese physician-scientist to join a prominent, partnering U.S. research laboratory and a second translational project that will have a rapid impact on health care. The Foundation also provides grants to U.S. partnering institutions to cover laboratory research and related expenses. Its goal is to help develop top talent in the funded medical specialty/subspecialty, and train future leaders in their respective medical specialty in China. Future funding will be expanded into other areas, such as cord blood research, maternal and child health, chemical biology and molecular drug research, etc.

The funding opportunity will be announced through related professional medical journals and organizations, China Medical Tribune, and direct contacts to major medical schools and research institutions in China. Awardees will be selected through a strict two-step peer review process. Grant applications will be first reviewed by a panel of Chinese experts in geriatrics or dermatology and three top applications will be selected and sent to the U.S. panel of experts in the respective fields (such as experts at the American Geriatrics Society and American Skin Association). Mr. Milstein hopes that the first sets of grants will be awarded in 2013.

Mr. Howard Milstein is a leading figure in local, national and global affairs, as well as, a trusted advisor on economic, civic and philanthropic matters. Mr. Milstein is currently Chairman, President and CEO of New York Private Bank & Trust and its operating bank, Emigrant Bank, the largest privately held bank in the U.S.