K-State professor to work with Chinese academy

By The Mercury

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.

By inviting accomplished researchers from overseas, the academy works to strengthen the cooperation and exchange between its institutes and international research institutions and universities.

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.

“Our relationship with China gives us access to unique strains of bacteria, plus they are noted for their strength in field studies,” Hardwidge said.

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