Key events in the development of the collaboration
Following a visit by Professor Chunyan Zhou to Manchester in early 2012, Professor Graeme Black, Professor Bill Newman, Dr Tao Wang and Dr Simon Jones visited PUHSC in October 2012 to join the celebration of their Centenary and to explore developing a collaboration in Genomic Medicine.
Manchester hosted a visit from a delegation of colleagues from PUHSC led by Professor Weigang Fang and comprising Professor Qiudan Sun, Professor Yuxin Yin, Professor Chunyan Zhou, Professor Jie Ding, Professor Yuwu Jiang and Professor Jianyuan Luo. The partnership was formalised at a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between CMFT, The University of Manchester and PUHSC. This outlined the focus of the collaboration: to deliver training schemes for genetic counsellors, doctors and diagnostic scientists in Manchester and Beijing, to conduct joint research projects, and to establish a joint PhD studentship programme.
A delegation led by Professor Bill Newman and comprising Professor Lauren Kerzin-Storrar, Dr Fiona Lalloo, Dr Andrew Wallace and Dr Tao Wang delivered a training course on Genomic Medicine in Beijing to over 350 delegates who had travelled from 14 of the 22 provinces of China. Also at this time, during a business trip to China, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced that the collaboration would be establishing an international centre of excellence in Genomic Medicine, a Centre for Cancer Genetics, and a Joint Clinical Trials Facility.
The 1st annual symposium of the MAHSC-PUHSC collaboration was held in Manchester, attended by nine colleagues from PUHSC and over 80 colleagues from MAHSC. The symposium included platform and poster presentations on areas of common interest including rare paediatric disease, the impact of genomics in inherited cardiac, ophthalmic and cancer conditions and translational genomics approaches. During this visit, a formal collaboration agreement between the University of Manchester, CMFT, and PUHSC was signed by the President of the University of Manchester, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Chief Executive of CMFT, Sir Michael Deegan, and Vice President of PUHSC, Professor Weigang Fang. Guests at the signing ceremony included clinicians and academics, members of the wider university with links with China (such as the Manchester Business School and the International Office) and guests from outside the University (such as the Chinese Consulate in Manchester, MIDAS, the Northern Health Science Alliance and local businesses). The agreement outlined the establishment of a steering committee to oversee the delivery of the programme of work and a group to define milestones for joint research projects and training and ensure the success of our exciting venture.
The 2ndannual symposium is due to be held in Beijing in the autumn of 2015.