Biomedical researchers at NUI Galway in Chinese collaboration

14 Aug 2012

Research facilities at NUI Galway

A new agreement between biomedical researchers at NUI Galway and organisations in China is aiming to encourage and facilitate the exchange of researchers and academic information, and the development of collaborative research projects to ultimately spawn new treatments for diseases such as cancer.

The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway is involved in a memorandum of understanding with the Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biotechnology and Medicine (TJAB) and Chinese medical technology company China Nucleon Medical Technology Group (CNPK).

The official signing ceremony is taking place at the Irish Embassy in Beijing, China, today, with Ireland’s Minister for Health Dr James Reilly, TD, the Irish Ambassador to China, Mr Declan Kelleher, and President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, in attendance.

TJAB is a new, state-of-the-art, US$173m research facility in Northern China while CNPK is a pioneer in medical imaging for the Chinese pharmaceutical industry and has extensive facilities for clinical trialling and preclinical drug development throughout China, NUI Galway said in a statement.

The first project under this new agreement will involve the NFB collaborating with its Chinese partners to develop a cutting-edge polymer for cancer treatment.

What the NUI Galway-China partnership signifies

“This agreement has huge potential both for the development of new techniques and treatments and for the commercialisation and translation of existing technologies to the clinical environment,” said Dr Wenxin Wang, principal investigator at NFB.

“China is currently emerging as a major player in biomedical research, and establishing these relationships now will pay ever-increasing dividends in the future. NFB is well poised to engage opportunities in China.”

Browne said partnerships such as the one being signed today points to Ireland’s global strength in the biomedical sector and the importance of creating links which will benefit industry and enterprise in Ireland and China.

“(The agreement) also highlights the global opportunities which exist for Irish universities and research organisations. NUI Galway is very pleased to see our partnerships in China grow and flourish in this way,” Browne added. 

“We must remember that the work of this partnership in commercial research will ultimately benefit countless cancer patients and sufferers. Their future health depends on new and innovative treatments – such as those that will be addressed by this technology.”

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic