Veterinary microbiologist named senior international scientist by Chinese Academy of Sciences
Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013
MANHATTAN -- A Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine microbiologist is sharing his expertise with Chinese scientists through a collaborative international research program.
Philip Hardwidge, associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, has been named a senior international scientist through a visiting professorship program offered by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The academy is a leading academic institution and comprehensive research and development center in natural science, technological science and high-tech innovation in China.
"Through the senior international scientist program, I can visit China once or twice a year to help guide our collaborative research programs," Hardwidge said.
For China, the goal of the senior international scientists program is to enhance the science and technology innovation capacity of the academy's institutes. By inviting accomplished researchers from overseas, the academy works to strengthen the cooperation and exchange between its institutes and international research institutions and universities. The visiting professorship program provides financial support for visits of two to 12 months in duration. Funding covers the travel and other personal expenses of the visiting international scientists.
Only about 60 international scientists receive this award and it is renewable for future years.
Hardwidge is researching several types of Escherichia coli that cause diarrhea and malnutrition in humans and livestock, including E. coli O157:H7, non-O157 STEC and enterotoxigenic E. coli, or ETEC. These pathogens, as well as other enteric bacteria that use contact-dependent secretion systems, represent important threats to food safety, biosecurity and animal health.
Hardwidge's research has included collaborations with scientists at other universities, both nationally and internationally. In 2012, Feng Li at South Dakota State University was instrumental in helping Hardwidge set up a trip to China where he could establish several scientific working relationships, one in particular with the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Subtropical Agriculture in Changsha. While in this trip and on a follow-up trip, Hardwidge gave presentations on his research at several Chinese universities.
"Our relationship with China gives us access to unique strains of bacteria, plus they are noted for their strength in field studies," Hardwidge said. "We're also hoping that China can send visiting scholars over here, including masters and Ph.D. students, as well as visiting professors, who we could employ in my lab at K-State."