Tsinghua University and the Scripps Research Institute collaborate on joint PhD program-Tsinghua University News

Tsinghua University and the Scripps Research Institute collaborate on joint PhD program

Tsinghua University and the Scripps Research Institute collaborate on joint PhD program

San Diego, California, September 24th, 2016 (Beijing, September 25th, 2016) – While visiting the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), QIU Yong, President of Tsinghua University, and Peter G. Schultz, CEO of TSRI, signed an agreement for a joint PhD degree program. Tsinghua University and TSRI will collaborate on a broad range of research and educational activities with an aim to tackle major disease challenges facing humankind. YANG Bin, Vice President and Provost of Tsinghua University, DING Sheng, the Dean of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPS), and other guests were present at the signing ceremony.

The agreement signing ceremony

According to the agreement, the joint PhD program will leverage advantages and resources from both institutions to collaboratively cultivate biomedical scientists with significant cross-disciplinary backgrounds and global perspectives.  Tsinghua University and TSRI will work together to establish the program framework and degree criteria to deliver a creative and stringent doctoral training program through cooperative admissions, double advisors, laboratory rotations and joint thesis defense. A candidate who completes this program will be rewarded a PhD degree issued jointly by the two institutions. Tsinghua University has become the second PhD program partner of TSRI after Oxford University.

QIU Yong and Pete Schultz singed the agreement

President QIU said that biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences are one of the key development areas of the University.  Tsinghua is committed to enhancing its overall capabilities in biomedical research to positively impact global pharmaceutical innovations and public health. He believed the in-depth collaboration with TSRI would greatly accelerate the development in drug discovery and the cultivation of talent.

Schultz welcomed the Tsinghua guests. He gave an introduction about TSRI and a brief review of the collaborations already in progress and expressed great confidence in the partnership with Tsinghua University. He believed both institutions possess extraordinary strengths in the interface of chemistry and biology, leading to a natural partnership. “The new program will form a basis for much productive scientific collaboration and also provide a terrific training environment for the graduate students”.

DING Sheng reviewed the progress of SPS since its establishment in December 2015. He said that the partnership with TSRI opened another chapter as SPS embarks on a journey of innovation and discovery. “We will work closely with collaborators at TSRI to catalyze new drug discovery and build a global ecosystem for pharmaceutical innovations”.

President QIU visited the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr)

After the signing ceremony, President QIU toured around the TSRI campus as well as the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr), which was recently integrated into TSRI. He also discussed with Schultz about how to effectively enhance the collaborative work between Calibr and the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) which is currently under development by Tsinghua University. 

LI Jiaqiang, Secretary General of the Tsinghua University Education Foundation, LI Jinliang, Director of the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange, and several Tsinghua alumni participated in the visit.


The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), founded by the famous philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1924, is one of the largest nonprofit research institutes in the world. The institute has over 250 labs and 2,700 employees and graduate students. Many distinguished scientists are working here including two Nobel laureates, eighteen Members of the National Academy of Science or Engineering, and nine Members of the National Academy of Medicine. TSRI’s work spans a wide range of challenging diseases (e.g., cancer, neurodegenerative disease, mental illness, and metabolic disease) and focuses on developing new therapeutics that leads the advancement in both academia and industry.  TSRI ranks among the top institutions in biomedical research and has generated many scientific breakthroughs that has led to seven FDA approved drugs, benefiting millions of people worldwide.