China Initiatives

The transition-to-market economy has radically transformed the society and people’s daily life in China during the past 2-3 decades. Along with the rapid economical development, the burden of mental and behavioral problems appears to be growing. China has at least 100 million people suffering from mental illness, according to the Chinese National Center for Mental Health. Mental illness has now overtaken heart disease and cancer as the biggest burden on the Chinese health system.

One major challenge with mental health in China is that the country faces a drastic shortage of qualified mental health professionals. Only in the past several decades has psychiatry in China emerged as an important scientific enterprise. Only a limited number of leading academic mental health institutions have developed research infrastructure, and therefore are able to provide rigorous training in research, especially in clinical research.

As a national leader in public sector psychiatry, The UMass Psychiatry Department is committed to global health and has the capacity to help address mental health challenges in China. Under the visionary leadership of Dr. Douglas Ziedonis, the China initiatives within the UMass Psychiatry Department (China Connection) has been growing, and has led to collaborative relationships with several leading academic mental health institutions in China. For more information about our China Connection program, click here.

Current visiting scholar

Dr Song

Xueqin Song, MD
Phone: 508-856-2504

Dr. Xueqin Song is a Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Song’s research interests include the etiology of schizophrenia and side effects of antipsychotics, with a particular emphasis on the role of inflammation and immune dysfunction in relation to schizophrenia and antipsychotics-induced metabolic problems. Her research goals are to clarify the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and develop intervention strategies to reduce the side-effects of antipsychotics.

Dr. Song is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Zhengzhou University. She earned her MD at Central South University, China.

The author and co-author of many studies in her field, Dr. Song is a member of the Henan Medical Association and vice-chair of the Henan Pharmacological Association.

Past visiting scholar

Dr Li Jie Li, MD

Dr. Jie Li is a Professor of Psychiatry at Tianjin Medical University and Chief Psychiatrist at Tianjin General Hospital in China. She earned her MD at Wuerzburg University, Germany.

Dr. Li’s research focuses on the biological mechanisms, genetic risk factors and pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia and depression.

During her stay at UMass, Dr. Li was involved in a study examining the effect of intranasal insulin treatment on body metabolism in patients with schizophrenia.