Tzu Chi Medical Education and Korea KAIST Sign Memorandum of Cooperation

The global incidence of neurodegenerative diseases has been increasing year by year and has become a key development focus for top universities and research institutions worldwide. Tzu Chi University, Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, and South Korea’s Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) jointly signed a “Memorandum of Cooperation” on the 19th, aiming to exchange expertise through Tzu Chi’s excellence in medical education and clinical research and KAIST’s outstanding research in technology and life sciences, striving for global health and well-being.

The cooperation memorandum was signed by CEO Pen-Jung Wang of Tzu Chi Education Foundation, CEO Lin Chun-Lung of Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, President Ingrid Liu of Tzu Chi University, and President Kwang Hyung Lee of KAIST. Tzu Chi Foundation, founded by Master Cheng Yen in 1966, currently operates in four major fields: charity, healthcare, education, and humanities. Beginning with charity work, Tzu Chi expanded to establish hospitals to serve patients and founded Tzu Chi University to cultivate medical talent. Tzu Chi currently operates eight hospitals in Taiwan, with medical professionals from Tzu Chi spread throughout the island. Established in 1971, KAIST is a national research university renowned for its representation in the field of science and technology in South Korea, with an international reputation as a research institution. It currently has approximately 11,000 students and around 80,000 alumni.

CEO Lin Chun-Lung of Tzu Chi Medical Foundation stated that Tzu Chi Medical has three goals: to serve patients, cultivate talent, and conduct research. KAIST is renowned worldwide and is a leading research institution in South Korea, particularly excelling in basic research, especially in genetics and cell therapy. He expressed hopes that the collaboration between the two entities would benefit more people.

President Ingrid Liu of Tzu Chi University mentioned that KAIST and Tzu Chi University share common ground in biology, neuroscience, medical engineering, humanities, and social sciences. Despite their different histories and strengths, they can collaborate in many areas. Signing the memorandum is just the beginning; she hopes that through exchanges between faculty and students and collaborative research, mutual benefits can be achieved.

President Kwang Hyung Lee of KAIST, a distinguished scientist, expressed that both KAIST and Tzu Chi have spirits of innovation and challenge. He believes that this shared philosophy will be the foundation for future cooperation between the two institutions and hopes for continued exchange in teaching and research.

Both parties also exchanged views and shared insights on research areas such as cancer, neuroscience, and stem cells. CEO Lin Chun-Lung further mentioned that Tzu Chi possesses the most comprehensive “Vegetarian Nutrition Generational Research Data” in Asia and looks forward to sharing resources in the future to promote human health.

Arranged by Tzu Chi University and Tzu Chi Hospital, the delegation from KAIST visited facilities such as the Tzu Chi Simulation Medicine Center, Tzu Chi Hospital’s Cell Therapy Center, Geriatric Psychiatry Day Ward, and Neuroscience Center to gain a deeper understanding of potential areas and projects for future collaboration between the two institutions.