Below are the recipients for the 2015 funding cycle, listed in alphabetical order by last name of the Principal Investigator.

Prenatal Ambient Air Pollution and Fetal and Child Development in South China

Principal Investigator: Jere Behrman, W.R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Economics

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: School of Arts and Sciences, Population Studies Center

    Penn Partners: Perelman School of Medicine (Department of Pharmacology); Graduate School of Education (Department of Psychology); School of Arts and Sciences (Department of Sociology); Center for the Study of Contemporary China

    Chinese Partners: Guangdong Women and Children’s Hospital

    The impact of high levels of air pollution on pregnancy and birth outcomes in China has not been studied extensively, although research suggests that pregnant women and fetuses are very vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. Through this project, the team will collect and analyze the first large-scale prospective birth cohort data set in China with measurements of prenatal ambient air pollution exposure at the individual level. Researchers will investigate effects of air pollution on pregnancy outcomes and children's early physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development in south China. Analyses will exploit the spatial and seasonal variation in ambient air pollution; consider the endogeneity of parental investments based on birth outcomes; and estimate a production function of early child development skills with prenatal air pollution exposure as one critical input.

    This project brings together leading scholars from the U.S. and China to examine these issues, challenges and opportunities through conferences at PWCC and Penn that will produce scholarly volume(s), engage students and faculty at Penn, and reach wider policy and public audiences.

A Tale of Two Capitals: A Comparative Study of Development in Beijing and Ulaanbaatar

Principal Investigator: Mien-hwa Chiang, Director, Chinese Language Program; Senior Lecturer in Foreign Languages

Co-Principal Investigators: Melissa DiFrancesco, Associate Director, Center for East Asian Studies; David Dettmann, U.S. Director, American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS)

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: School of Arts and Sciences, Center for East Asian Studies

    Penn Partners: School of Arts and Sciences, American Center for Mongolian Studies

    Chinese Partners: Inter-University Program (IUP) for Chinese Language Studies; Peking University

    The Chinese Language Program (CLP) at the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, the American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS), and the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) jointly propose “A Tale of Two Capitals: A Comparative Study of Development in Beijing and Ulaanbaatar,” a one-year project offering an 18-day short-term study abroad program in Beijing, China and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. A Tale of Two Capitals will provide ten student fellowships for Penn students to continue learning and developing Chinese speaking skills and literacy. In addition to language enhancement, students will gain cultural exposure to Beijing and Ulaanbaatar, using a comparative research method to study the development of the two rapidly changing capitals of China and Mongolia. 

The United States, China, and International Law

Principal Investigator: Jacques deLisle, Professor of Law

Co-Principal Investigator: William W. Burke-White, Deputy Dean and Professor of Law, and Richard Perry Professor and Inaugural Director, Perry World House

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: Penn Law

    Penn Partners: Center for the Study of Contemporary China, Perry World House

    Chinese Partners: Tsinghua University (Law School); Shanghai Jiaotong University (Law School)

    The contemporary international legal consists largely of rules and institutions created or affirmed in the Post-World War II Era, principally underwritten by the United States and its allies, and attaining unprecedented global reach in the post-Cold War period. Today, the rise of new powers – and especially China – poses challenges to and opportunities for the status quo legal order and its capacity to address international economic, political, and other problems.

    Until relatively recently, China rejected the international legal order that the U.S. and Western states forged in the postwar period. Following the beginning of China's Reform Era in the late 1970s, China sought to join international legal regimes on status quo-accepting terms. More recently, a more powerful and confident China has become more assertive in pressing reformist, even revisionist views of international law. The U.S. has generally welcomed China's fuller engagement in the international system – including its legal aspects – and has viewed engagement as a means to promote China's acceptance of existing structures and underlying norms.

    At the same time, the U.S. has grown wary of China's agenda and its possible threat to an order that the U.S. sees as providing international public goods and serving U.S. and wider global interests. Even if that order generally can accommodate a rising China, substantive law and institutions will have to adapt, with significant implications for existing rules and institutions.

China in the Global Economic History

Principal Investigator: Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde, Professor of Economics

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: School of Arts and Sciences (Department of Economics)

    Chinese Partners: Tsinghua University

    This project will focus on the development of an innovative book on global economic history that spans from 1405 until today. The book will highlight the deep interconnections across continents since the modern voyages of exploration created an integrated world market in the 14th and 15th centuries, comparing Europe, India, and China, which is novel and important because nearly all of modern literature has ignored India.  It will examine the key importance of institutional differences in legal systems among China, India, and Europe, and consider environmental history (including climate change, which is a constant in history, and the role of food and plagues) and the interconnections between institutions, economics, and the environment at the very core of the analysis.

    In addition, this project will aim to convene scholars at UPenn and to develop a class on global economic history for the Benjamin Franklin Program. This class will aim explicitly to increase the study and understanding of China at UPenn and create opportunities for meaningful student engagement and possible research assistantships.

Improving the Productive and Health Efficiency of the Chinese Dairy Industry

Principal Investigator: David Galligan, Professor of Animal Health Economics

Co-Principal Investigators: Jim Ferguson, Professor of Nutrition; Zhengxia Dou, Professor of Agricultural Systems

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: School of Veterinary Medicine

    Penn Partners: School of Veterinary Medicine (New Bolton Center, Department of Clinical Studies)

    Chinese Partners: Inner Mongolia University; Zoetis

    Other Partners: Wu Nutritional Consulting (Oxford, PA), Pennsylvania Center for Dairy Excellence, Walmoore Dairy Farms (Chatum, PA)

    Over the next 35 years, food production must almost double to meet the growing needs of the world population which is estimated to exceed 9 billion by 2050 with 1.4 billion living in China by 2030. In addition to population growth, the emerging affluence and urbanization as well as changing dietary patterns will dramatically increase the demand for dairy products and greatly challenge current dairy production practices in China. The strategy in practice so far to meet the growing demand has been to increase cow numbers with only modest increases in milk yield per animal, resulting in production and environment inefficiencies. In contrast, western dairy development strategies have promoted improvements in yield per animal, allowing for a massive reduction in national cow numbers (from 25 million in 1950 to 9 million today in the US) while doubling total milk production. This strategy has dramatically reduced environmental nutrient pollution per unit of milk as evidenced by the lowering methane emission on a unit milk basis. China's current production per cow and thus methane release per unit of milk is comparable to 1950s US production levels.

    This project will focus on developing an integrated training program for upper level dairy managers over a three year period with three specific focus areas: Year (1) Nutritional Production Efficiency, (2) Reproductive Efficiency, and (3) Animal Health and Milk Quality. 

New Horizons in East Asia

Principal Investigator: Mauro Guillen, Director, The Lauder Institute

Co-Principal Investigators: Frederick Dickinson, Deputy Director, Center for the Integrated Study of Japan; Kenric Tsethlikai, Managing Director, The Lauder Institute

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: The Wharton School, The Lauder Institute

    Penn Partners: Center for East Asian Studies, Center for the Study of Contemporary China, Center for the Integrated Study of Japan, James Joo Kim Program, The Wharton School (Wharton External Relations)

    Chinese Partners: Beijing Foreign Studies University; Fudan University

    Other Partners: Kyoto University (Kyoto, Japan); Seoul National University (Seoul, Korea)

    With support from the Penn China Research & Engagement Fund, the Lauder Institute intends to highlight significant curricular changes in the International Studies degree program related specifically to China and the East Asia Region. In February 2015, the Graduate Group for International Studies approved a curricular model based on regional Programs of Concentration: Africa; Americas; Europe; East Asia; Global; South Asia, Middle East and North Africa. To this end, our current language-driven (Chinese and Japanese) programs will fall under an umbrella region, in this case, the East Asia Program.   With Penn CREF support, Lauder will pilot new curriculum development in the East Asia region, bringing together partners from around the region to explore historic, current and future challenges related to East and Southeast Asia. Our project also supports faculty collaborations in support of coursework for the new curriculum and seed-money to begin an intercultural immersion for non-East Asia Program students.

Penn China Cardiovascular Imaging Project

Principal Investigator: Yuchi Han, MD, MMSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine

Co-Principal Investigators: Dinesh Jagasia, MBBS, FAAC, Professor of Clinical Medicine; Yundai Chen, MD, PhD, Chief, Cardiovascular Medicine, PLA General Hospital

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: Perelman School of Medicine

    Penn Partners: Perelman School of Medicine (Departments of Noninvasive Cardiovascular Medicine, Interventional Cardiovascular Medicine, and Radiology)

    Chinese Partners: PLA General Hospital (Cardiovascular Medicine), Peking Union Medical Center Hospital (Cardiovascular Medicine)

    In China, the utilization of advanced cardiovascular imaging modalities (e.g. cardiac MR and CT) for the diagnosis and treatment of complex cardiovascular disease is not well developed. This is mostly related to inadequate clinical and research training of Chinese cardiologists in this arena and lack of multidisciplinary imaging and consultative conferences. This project uses a multi-faceted strategy in collaboration with the cardiology departments in China (PLA General Hospital and Peking Union Medical Center Hospital, Beijing) to address this problem. In partnership with Chinese physicians, Penn will train the future leaders of advanced cardiac imaging in China.   Following the training, Penn and Chinese cardiologistswill conduct collaborative research using cutting edge cardiac MR techniques for evaluation of heart muscle, arteries and arrhythmias. Collaborators in China will also implement our research sequences in their funded work and thus allow us to have access to a large number of patients to further our research development work at Penn.

Advancing Dental Research and Clinical Practice in China

Principal Investigator: Syngcuk Kim, DDS, PhD, Louis I Grossman Professor of Endodontics & Associate Dean for Global Affairs

Co-Principal Investigators: Songtao Shi, DDS, PhD., Chair and Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology; Dana Graves, DDS, DMSc, Interim Chair and Professor of Periodontics, Vice Dean for Scholarship and Research Director for the Doctor of Science in Dentistry Program; Hyun Koo, DDS, PhD, Professor of Orthodontics

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: School of Dental Medicine

    Penn Partners: School of Dental Medicine (Department of Biochemistry); Perelman School of Medicine (Center for Targeted Therapeutics and Translational Nanomedicine; Penn Center for Musculoskeletal Diseases); School of Engineering and Applied Science (Departments of Bioengineering and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)

    Chinese Partners: Sichuan University (West China College of Stomatology); Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery); Wuhan University (School of Stomatology); Fourth Military Medical University (School of Stomatology); Drum Tower Clinical Medical College of Nanjing Medical University (Department of Rheumatology and Immunology)

    Since 2010, Penn Dental Medicine (PDM) has been actively engaged in academic institutions and private dental care organization in China. The current PDM project will support high-level research Symposia on Bone, Biofilm and Stem Cells, which are critical and important research agenda items in dentistry worldwide.

    In addition to research, Chinese dental academicians need in-depth training in many specialties of dentistry, many which PDM have developed. The research Symposia along with hands-on courses on various specialties in dentistry at the PWCC makes the Center a preeminent place in China for knowledge exchange and professional training. [Note: Penn CREF will support research; training will be self-funded.]  Another key issue in Chinese dentistry is dental care delivery to a population of 1.3 billion with 200,000 dentists in comparison with the USA where there are 150,000 dentists for 300 million. A conference on this critical issue with leaders in organized dentistry and academicians in China and the USA is timely. The exchange of ideas and demonstrating our past experiences and current dental care through this forum may play an important role in shaping the future of dental care delivery in China. 

Linguistic Diversity in China

Principal Investigator: Mark Liberman, Director, Linguistic Data Consortium

Co-Principal Investigators: Christopher Cieri, Executive Director; Jiahong Yuan, Associate Director of Speech Research

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: Linguistic Data Consortium, School of Arts and Sciences

    Penn Partners: School of Arts and Sciences (Departments of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and of Linguistics)

    Chinese Partners: Beijing Normal University; Minzu University; Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Departments of Dialectology and Phonetics); Beijing Language and Culture University (School of Linguistic Sciences)

    Through this project, the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) will extend its initiative on linguistic diversity in China, with specific emphasis on the documentation and analysis of variation in standard, regional, and minority languages. In particular, this project will conduct efforts under three interrelated headings: The Putonghua Test, Tone in Chinese Languages, and Language Change in China.  In each of these areas, the team has a record of research both at Penn and in collaboration with Chinese colleagues. Research of this type has diverse scientific and practical applications. On the scientific side, there is basic humanistic and sociolinguistic documentation, as well as investigations into the fundamental nature of speech and language. On the practical side, there are direct applications to speech technology and to language instruction.

Ownership Challenges and the Next Round of Reform of Chinese State-Controlled Enterprises

Principal Investigator: Marshall Meyer, Professor Emeritus of Management and Sociology

Co-Principal Investigators: Ann Harrison, Professor of Management and Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy; Minyuan Zhao, Associate Professor of Management; Linda Zhao, Professor of Statistics

  • Abstract
  • School: The Wharton School (Departments of Management and Statistics)

    Penn Partners: Wharton Global Initiatives

    Chinese Partners: Shanghai Jiaotong University (Antai School); Peking University (Cisco Leadership Program, Guanghua School); Gavekal Dragonometrics; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (School of Business)

    Through this project, the team will conduct a research program on ownership reforms in China. The program will focus on (1) the next round of reform—if and when it comes—of Chinese state enterprises, (2) the changing policy environment for foreign invested enterprises, and (3) the changing Chinese innovation environment and its implications for domestic and foreign enterprises. To pursue this program, the team will construct and analyze two datasets. The team will also conduct fieldwork in several central State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) designated as pilot “mixed ownership” reform enterprises. 

Building Capacity for Interprofessional Pain Education and Evidence-based Practice to Improve Perioperative Pain Care in China

Principal Investigator: Rosemary Polomano, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor Pain Practice; Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care

Co-Principal Investigators: Renyu Liu, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Co-Director, Penn-China Anesthesia Partnership Program; Joshua H. Atkins MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Co-Director Penn-China Anesthesia Partnership Program

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: School of Nursing

    Penn Partners: Perelman School of Medicine (Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care)

    Chinese Partners: Peking University (School of Nursing); PKU Third Hospital; Peking Union Medical College

    At least 50% of patients worldwide undergoing surgery report significant pain. Moderate to severe pain after some surgical procedures can increase the risk for developing chronic post-surgical pain (CPSP) syndromes. CPSP can compromise quality of life, and is associated with increased utilization of health care and higher costs for health care. Perioperative multimodal analgesia is a rational approach to pain control that targets various mechanisms for pain and pain pathways, and has been shown to reduce risks for CPSP. This approach combines two or more classes of analgesics and/or techniques before, during and following surgery, and is associated with better postoperative outcomes. Multimodal analgesia demands knowledge of mechanisms of surgical pain and pharmacology of analgesics, and expertise in prescribing and administering complex pain regimens. This form of therapy also requires a high level of interdisciplinary collaboration, clinical decision-making, communication, and safe patient monitoring. The team will implement a 2-year project that engages Chinese colleagues in a partnership program to advance perioperative pain management and patient safety in China through interprofessional pain education and practice-based research. In summary, the project capitalizes on existing Penn-China partnerships and resources at the Penn Wharton China Center, and expands Penn’s global engagement in interprofessional pain education, practice, and clinical research.


Principal Investigators: Ali Rahim, Professor of Architecture; Stefan Al, Associate Professor of Urban Design

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: School of Design

    Penn Partners: School of Design (with advisors Dean Marilyn Taylor, Professor Eugenie Birch, and the Mellon H+U+D Colloquium)

    Chinese Partners: Contemporary Architecture Practice (CAP)

    The Penn Design exhibition at the PWCC will explore the power of today’s visual culture, and afford us the potential of a multifaceted discourse. The team will identify and question the relationship of architectural production with society. The visual may conceal content and be seductive, but it carries significant knowledge that is formed in its making. “Duration”- where past present and future come together - will allow the audience to critically engage in the tension that lies beneath the practice of architecture in China and its counterpoint in the western hemisphere. The tension is linked with local design and fabrication techniques that are usurped by technology that bring with them a new set of techniques that challenge norms of methods of production and expand practice accordingly.

    Duration will explore Penn’s historic connection with Chinese architecture and our influence on the region over the years. In addition to exploring Chinese architecture in this context, it will formulate a thesis positing forward on the changing milieu of society from modernism and mass production to the post-modern and mass customization brought forward by the digital milieu which is intricately woven with the economy. The goal of the exhibit - through the exhibition and its fabrication - is to make evident the changes in societal influences and the development of Chinese architecture in China and its export to the West having an economic and cultural impact abroad. The design and fabrication of the exhibition itself will address the seduction and appeal of appropriate display – and will also act as a critical device which helps reorganize and restructure the meaning and general perception of architecture and its practice in the East and West.

The PennDesign China Research Program

Principal Investigator: Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Dean

Co-Principal Investigators: Richard Weller, Martin and Margy Meyerson Chair of Urbanism and Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture; John Landis, Professor in the Department of City & Regional Planning; Stefan Al, Associate Professor of Urban Design; Randy Mason, Professor and Chair of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and Executive Director of PennPraxis; Nancy Davenport, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, Photography

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: School of Design

    Penn Partners: Carnegie Mellon-Penn Center for Safe and Effective Transportation Technologies (T-SET); Penn Institute for Urban Research (PIUR); School of Engineering and Applied Science; The Wharton School; School of Arts and Sciences; Penn Museum; Penn Design (Departments of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, City and Regional Planning, Fine Arts, and Architecture, as well as the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation)

    Chinese Partners: Tongji University; AECOM; Beijing Forestry University; Southeast University; Xi’an University of Architecture & Technology; South China Agricultural University; Chongqing University; Chinese University of Hong Kong; University of Hong Kong; Peking University; Tsinghua University; World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for Asia and the Pacific

    Other Partners: Lee Kuan Yew World Cities Program; Center for Livable Cities Singapore; Urban Land Institute, Asia

    At the Penn Wharton China Center in March 2015 under the title of "Coordinates," Penn Design brought together 23 Deans, Professors and CEOs representing China's top design schools and design firms for a day-long roundtable. The question put to the delegates was "What are the major research questions facing the future of Chinese cities"? The results were recorded, translated and distilled to guide and shape Penn Design's whole-of-school research program for engaging with pressing issues in China over the course of the next decade. The predominant research question to emerge from the "Coordinates" roundtable and now the overarching research question of this initial 2-year research funding application is "How can Chinese cities more effectively maximize the benefits and reduce the social and environmental costs of accelerated modernity?"

    This overarching question leads to four sub-questions, each headlining a research stream in this proposal. They are as follows:

    Q1) What is the status of art, architectural and urban preservation in contemporary Chinese culture, how does preservation contribute to contemporary Chinese cities, and how do Chinese ideas and mechanisms of preservation relate to established western practices?

    Q2) What new aesthetics of identity are emerging from the elision of global and local cultures in contemporary China and what does this mean for contemporary visual culture more broadly?

    Q3) In what ways might advanced and distributed urban information technologies (i.e., "intelligent cities technologies") be applied to urban systems to improve socio-economic, urban service, and ecological outcomes in Chinese cities?

    Q4) What is the role of landscape architecture in the construction of the Chinese government's policy of creating a 'Beautiful China' and how can this role be improved in relation to the ongoing urbanization of the nation?

    With its internal culture of interdiscipinarity, its well-established relationships with other Penn schools and long-standing relationships with China's best universities PennDesign is uniquely positioned to begin to address the academic, creative and practical challenges these large questions pose. They are questions that our Chinese colleagues have prioritized; they are questions of global relevance; and they are questions that galvanize the existing strengths of Penn and PennDesign.

The Rise of the City in China

Principal Investigator: Susan Wachter, Sussman Professor of Real Estate

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: The Wharton School (Department of Real Estate)

    Penn Partners: The Wharton School (Department of Management)

    Chinese Partners: Peking University

    In conjunction with a partner in China, the Guanghua School of Management of Peking University, Penn IUR will conduct a project titled "The Rise of the City in China." Research will focus on: 1) the historical development of cities in China and metrics of urbanization including price indices; 2) the financing of sustainable urban development in China and internationally; 3) urbanization in China and lessons learned for economic development.

Community in-Alliance for Recovery: Challenging Mental Health Stigma in Rural China

Principal Investigator: Yin Ling Irene Wong, Associate Professor

Co-Principal Investigators: Mao-Sheng Ran, The University of Hong Kong Department of Social Work & Social Administration; An-Li Wang, Annenberg Public Policy Center; David Metzger, Department of Psychiatry

  • Abstract
  • Lead School: School of Social Policy and Practice

    Penn Partners: Annenberg Public Policy Center Health Communication, Perelman School of Medicine (Department of Psychiatry)

    Chinese Partners: University of Hong Kong (Department of Social Work and Social Administration)

    This three-year project is based on research collaboration between academic partners from the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC), Department of Psychiatry of University of Pennsylvania and The University of Hong Kong Department of Social Work and Social Administration (HKUSWSA).  Building on the expertise of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the fields of health communication, psychiatry, social administration and social work, the goal is to design, evaluate, and disseminate a family-based health messaging intervention to reduce stigma of mental illness among the general public in rural China. The health messaging intervention will be tested in Xinjin County, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, where a 21-year prospective and epidemiological study on mental illness and mental health services will be launching in September, 2015.  The project team will adopt the principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR) by partnering with a community advisory board to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of the health messaging intervention. The project team will organize a workshop during the first year and an international symposium during the third year of the project at Penn Wharton China Center (PWCC). This project will generate pilot study data to inform the design of a full-scale study addressing strategies to effectively reduce mental health stigma in Chinese communities.

Penn Media Scholars in China

Principal Investigator: Guobin Yang, Associate Professor

  • Abstract
  • School: Annenberg School for Communication and School of Arts and Sciences (Department of Sociology)

    Chinese Partners: Peking University (Center for Public Communication and Social Development, School of Journalism and Communication); Zhejiang University (College of Media and International Culture)

    Penn Media Scholars in China (PMSC) aims to bring 16 competitively selected Penn undergraduate students to China in 2017 and 2018 for a credit-carrying 4-week Summer Institute conducted in Beijing and Hangzhou. The course for the Summer Institute will be called "Media and Social Innovation in China" and will build on a course taught at Penn since 2013. The focus is on contemporary Chinese media industry, media institutions, and citizens' media practices.  The PMSC Summer Institute will introduce innovative pedagogies, consisting of site visits, field research, academic conferences, guest lectures in Beijing and Hangzhou, and students' hands-on research projects.  Upon completion of the Summer Institute, students may be placed in summer internship positions in media industries in Beijing, Hangzhou or Shanghai if they so choose.