The University of Macau (UM) and the Institute of Cancer and Basic Medicine (ICBM) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have signed a collaboration agreement to establish a joint cancer research centre. The agreement aims to give full play to the advantages of the collaboration between UM and ICBM in terms of scientists and technologists, medical resources, and innovative research, and to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Macao, the Greater Bay Area, and the rest of China. Both parties will work together on key scientific and technical issues in cancer prevention and treatment as well as cancer drug research and development. Innovative basic and clinical research will be carried out to develop the centre into an internationally renowned oncology research and talent training base.
The agreement was signed by UM Rector Yonghua Song and IOBM Director Tan Weihong. During the epidemic, the two institutions finalised the details of the agreement remotely via phone call, video conference, email, and express courier, realising a cross-border ‘zero distance’ mode of collaboration.
Located in Hangzhou, ICBM is CAS’s first research institute of oncology and basic medicine. It is also the first national research institute of life and health sciences in Zhejiang province. Revolving around the‘Healthy China’strategy and the innovation-driven development strategy, the institute aims to meet the strategic needs of the country. It will carry out research in key areas such as cancer prevention and treatment, drug research and development, and translational medicine, and will actively promote basic and applied cancer research and industrial applications of research results.
According to Tan Weihong, both institutes make full use of IOBM’s innovation platform, the strengths of the affiliated cancer hospital of the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in clinical medicine, the opportunities brought by Zhejiang government’s trying to develop the province into an innovation powerhouse in life and health sciences and medical science in the Yangtze River Delta, as well as UM’s world-class research resources. Both parties will collaborate in these areas: tackling cutting-edge research issues, creating clinically oriented oncology-related disciplines, and carrying out forward-looking, strategic, and global applied research. Both parties will strive to become initiators and accelerators of major medical projects in Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao, the Yangtze River Delta, and the rest of China as soon as possible, and will make every effort to establish a base for collaboration in medical and health sciences that demonstrates the advantages of ‘One country, Two Systems’ policy.
UM is supported by its Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS). Since its establishment in 2013, FHS has been focusing on precision medicine for cancer treatment, and has designed a series of strategic blueprints for various research fields, including the molecular biology of cancer, cancer genetics, bioinformatics, cancer drug development, and cancer treatment, with impressive research results. According to Chuxia Deng, chair professor and dean of FHS, with the gradual ageing of the Macao population, cancer is now the leading cause of death in Macao, and this trend will continue. Therefore, it is imperative to strengthen cancer research in Macao. This agreement will greatly promote the collaboration between UM and ICBM, make full use of the advantages of the two sides, and form a new pattern of coordinated development of medical health and scientific research in Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao, and the Yangtze River Delta.
The joint cancer research centre will carry out cutting-edge, clinically oriented cancer research to tackle key scientific and technical issues in cancer prevention and treatment as well as cancer drug research and development. It will carry out innovative basic and clinical research to develop into an internationally renowned oncology research and talent training base. The centre will establish a system for education, research, and application for early diagnosis and treatment of cancer, in order to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Macao, the Greater Bay Area, the Yangtze River Delta, and the rest of China.
Both parties will combine their advantages in their respective research fields and focus on malignant tumours with high incidence rates in Macao, South China, and the Yangtze River Delta. They will use a variety of omics techniques and tumour organoid culture methods to systematically conduct drug sensitivity tests and heavy ion treatment and research. In collaborative research on malignant tumours, both parties will focus on finding cancer drivers, markers, and characteristics, and will carry out effective drug development and clinical treatment. The centre will also actively promote industrial applications of key research results with a view to generating social and economic benefits.
Source: Research Services and Knowledge Transfer Office