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Pooling talent with China

08 May 2012

Pooling talent with China 1 WebThe Vice-Chancellor Dr David Grant, (front row, centre) holds the new Institute plaque with Professor Enge Wang, Deputy President of Peking University and Professor Jiafu Ji, President of Peking University Cancer Hospital. Cardiff University President Professor Sir Martin Evans is to the left of Dr Grant

Two new joint institutes for world class medical research have been created as highlights of a high-level Cardiff University visit to China.

Cardiff’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant, signed the agreements with two of China’s leading medical research centres, Peking University and Capital Medical University.

The first agreement created the Cardiff University-Peking University Joint Cancer Institute. The Institute will be based at Cardiff’s School of Medicine, Peking University’s School of Oncology and Peking Cancer Hospital. Together, the two universities aim to create the research capacity to tackle the most urgent questions in beating cancer. Projects will include cancer diagnosis, metastasis, new technologies and clinical trials.

During the visit, Peking conferred its highest honour on two of Cardiff’s most distinguished academics. Professor Sir Martin Evans, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Professor Wen Jiang, in the forefront of Cardiff’s drive against breast cancer, were made Honorary Professors of Peking University.

Pooling talent with China 2 WebDr Grant shaking hands with Professor Lu Zhoafeng, President of Capital Medical University

The Vice-Chancellor also signed an agreement to create the Cardiff University – Capital Medical University Joint Centre for Biomedical Research. The Centre will be jointly hosted by Cardiff and Capital Medical Universities and will create opportunities for research in a number of medical fields. Initially, the focus will be on cancer research and infectious and immunological diseases. In the future, the scope could expand to include such areas as neurology, dentistry, nursing and tissue repair.

The new Centre builds on a strong existing partnership between Cardiff and Capital Medical. Research Fellows from Capital Medical have been coming to Cardiff to work with Professor Jiang on how metastasis spreads around the body. They have made a number of significant discoveries and the partnership won the International Collaboration category at last year’s Times Higher Education awards. During the Cardiff visit, the most recent scholars on the scheme, from both Capital Medical and Peking, were awarded with their certificates at a ceremony in China’s Great Hall of the People.

The Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, Dr David Grant, said: "The two new joint Institutes are highly exciting ventures with two of China’s strongest universities. Our existing partnerships with both Peking and Capital Medical have already produced valuable results in a number of areas of medical research, particularly cancer. By combining our strengths in these new Institutes, we can now undertake more ambitious research projects, attract further internationally-leading researchers and ultimately deliver significant health benefits around the world."

British Ambassador to China, Sebastian Wood CMG, comments, "I am delighted that the University of Cardiff – one of the world’s top universities – will open with Peking University the new Cardiff University-Peking University Cancer Institute; and that Cardiff is also opening a new biomedical research centre with Capital Medical University. These are great examples of the long term commitment of the UK’s leading universities to work in collaboration with their Chinese counterparts. I am also delighted to see that Peking University has appointed Professor Sir Martin Evans and Professor Wen Jiang as Honorary Professors of Peking University. My congratulations to Professor Jiang and Professor Evans on this recognition of the contribution they have made."

Pooling talent with china 3 WebRecent Research Fellow participants in the partnership scheme with Peking and Capital Medical Universities. Front row, left to right, are Professor Wen Jiang, Dr David Grant, and Professor Paul Morgan, Dean of Cardiff’s School of Medicine.

Professor Ji Jifu, Director, Peking University Cancer Hospital said: "Our existing partnership with Cardiff University has resulted in major progress in research, training, exchange of scholars and grant funding for new projects. The new Cardiff University-Peking University Cancer Institute will allow us to build the critical mass of talent to carry out world-leading research and education."

Professor Lu Zhaofeng, President, Capital Medical University said: "We are delighted to take our highly productive relationships with Cardiff University to this new stage. Through the Research Fellows Partnership project we have already proved that, together, we can make important new discoveries in medical science. The Cardiff University – Capital Medical University Joint Centre for Biomedical Research will allow our complementary strengths to make even more significant breakthroughs."

The visit saw Professor Sir Martin Evans, who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of stem cells, deliver lectures at both Peking and Capital Medical. The Cardiff delegation visited the Chinese University of Hong Kong to confer an Honorary Fellowship on Professor Sian Griffiths, Head of the University’s School of Public Health. Cardiff, Hong Kong and Chongqing University collaborate closely on a number of public health issues, including antibiotic prescribing and the management of heart disease.

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