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Chinese investment in biomedical research

23 June 2017

Delegation at Cardiff China Medical Research Collaborative
(Left to right) Professor Wen G Jiang: Cardiff University School of Medicine; Madam RenHua Zhang, CEO of RealCan; Mrs TJ Rawlinson, Director, Cardiff University Development & Alumni Relations; Professor Ian Weeks, Acting Head of School of Medicine, Cardiff University; Mr ChunLin Han, Deputy CEO of RealCan; Mr Xu Han, Chairman of RealCan; Mr Nanjun Wang, Director of the China Foreign Trade Association

Cardiff University is joining forces with a major Chinese biomedical service provider to explore key biomedical and clinical research opportunities.

Realcan, which operates primarily in China, will provide funding of £1m to the UK university over a three-year period.

Collaboration will focus on Cardiff University College of Biomedical & Life Sciences key research themes: cancer; integrative biosystems; mind, brain and neuroscience; immunology, Infection and Inflammation; and population health.

The £1m investment will provide funding for Realcan PhD students to partner with the University’s leading clinicians and biomedical scientists, and Realcan research fellows.

RealCan agreement signing (2)
(Front, from left) Professor Colin Riordan, Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor and President; Mr Xu Han, Chairman of RealCan. (Back, from left) Mrs TJ Rawlinson, Director, Cardiff University Development & Alumni Relations; Professor Wen G Jiang MBE, Cardiff University School of Medicine.

The University has around 40 partnerships across China including major collaborations with Peking University and Beijing Friendship Hospital (Capital Medical University) as part of the Cardiff China Medical Research Collaborative (CCMRC), which focuses on oncology research.

Two institutions work together

The backbone of CCMRC is the University Joint Cancer Institute where Cardiff University and Peking University have worked together since 1999 researching the cause, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Cardiff University, based in Wales, also has a strategic partnership with Xiamen University to increase collaborative research, share education best practice and create opportunities for student and staff exchanges.

In addition, Cardiff University signed a memorandum of understanding with Sun Yat-sen University in February 2017 in which the two institutions work together in the field of breast cancer research.

Cardiff was the first city in the UK to twin with a city in China when it partnered with Xiamen more than 30 years ago.

Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Colin Riordan, said: “Our links with China are strong and I am delighted that we have the opportunity to further develop our already successful research partnerships in the country...”

“Realcan shares our vision for world leading research to tackle pressing global health challenges. The investment will also enable us to invest in the brightest and best postgraduate researchers.”

Professor Colin Riordan Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor and President

“Cutting edge science and world class research”

Professor Wen G Jiang MBE, from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, said: “Cardiff University’s Medical School, part of our College of Biomedical & Life Sciences, is involved in cutting edge science and world class research in the field of medicine that has a real impact on people's lives...”

“We have established many successful collaborations with China and our latest partnership offers further exciting opportunities for biomedical and clinical research with experts in Chinese universities. We are very grateful to Realcan for this significant investment.”

Professor Wen Jiang Chair

Professor Jiang was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 2017 for his contribution to international cancer research. His research has seen him collaborate widely with colleagues in the UK, China, Europe, North America and Asia.

Mr Xu Han, Chairman of RealCan, said: “We are highly impressed with the biomedical and clinical work that is carried out at Cardiff University, one of the world leaders in this type of research...”

“The world faces many health challenges and it is only through working closely together across countries and continents that we can make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Mr Xu Han Chairman of RealCan
VC and Mr Han, Chairman of RealCan
Professor Colin Riordan, Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor and President (left) and Mr Xu Han, Chairman of RealCan

“New medicines and therapies”

Mr Yongli Wang, Minister Counsellor for Education at the Chinese Embassy in London, said: “China has a long record of working with institutions in Wales, and indeed the whole of the United Kingdom, and we warmly welcome this agreement between Cardiff University and one of our most successful companies.”

Mr Kevin Holland, the Minister-Counsellor and Director for Life Sciences, Health and Social Care, at the British Embassy in Beijing, said: “I am very pleased to see the developing relationship between Realcan and Cardiff University and their research partnership programme. We fully support their goals to discover new medicines and therapies which access the best of British science to improve the lives of patients in both UK and China.”

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