On 11 November, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) will celebrate the second anniversary of the XJTLU Wisdom Lake Academy of Pharmacy at the University’s Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) base.
Anniversary celebration activities will include inauguration of two centres to advance biopharmaceutical innovation: The XJTLU-University of Liverpool Joint Centre for Pharmacology and Therapeutics and the XJTLU Wisdom Lake Centre for Pharmaceutical Analysis. That day, XJTLU will also hold a ground-breaking ceremony for the Academy’s new building.
East and West collaboration
At an online/onsite event, XJTLU and the University of Liverpool will inaugurate their Joint Centre, which will engage top scientists from both countries to enhance research on disease mechanisms and develop novel drugs for the treatment of modern-day diseases.
Members of this Sino-UK collaborative venture include senior researchers from XJTLU; the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics from the University of Liverpool, an established world leader in pharmacology and toxicology research; Hengrui Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (Shanghai), a pharmaceutical giant in China; and Suzhou Guangji Psychiatric Hospital.
As a global research hub for interdisciplinary and innovative research, the Joint Centre will offer a unique platform for knowledge exchange and talent cultivation between academic laboratories and their industrial and clinical partners in basic and clinical research on drug safety science, immuno-pharmacology, precision medicine, nanomedicine and regulatory science.
The Joint Centre’s research and development (R&D) activities are expected to benefit both Suzhou – which boasts over 400 high-tech biopharmaceutical startups in its BioBAY industrial park and aims to be the “Pharmacy Valley of China”— and the Liverpool City Region.
“The combination of expertise, skills, facilities and resources from XJTLU and the University of Liverpool will offer a great opportunity for both universities to make significant impacts in the sector and foster new research areas,” says XJTLU’s Dr Meng Huee Lee, Co-director of the Joint Centre.
The Joint Centre will harness state-of-the-art equipment and facilities in pharmaceutical sciences, molecular biology, chemistry, and environmental sciences along with activities funded by the government, the private sector and the pharmaceutical industry.
The Joint Centre’s research priorities will focus on the following themes: cell and gene therapy (CGT), bispecific antibodies, epigenetics and peptide therapy, clinical biomarkers and novel drug target discovery.
XJTLU PhD students, who are jointly supervised by XJTLU and the University of Liverpool, will benefit from the strengthened R&D ties. Furthermore, the Joint Centre’s close link with local pharmaceutical companies will ensure a steady supply of researchers meeting pharmaceutical industry demands of today and tomorrow.
“With our partners at XJTLU, through teaching and research, we will nurture a talent pipeline of research leaders and exciting international collaborations and ventures,” says University of Liverpool Professor Christopher Goldring, Co-director of the Joint Centre.
High-end pharmaceutical analysis support
During the anniversary celebration, the University will also inaugurate the XJTLU Wisdom Lake Centre for Pharmaceutical Analysis, which has invested more than 6.5 million USD in cutting-edge technologies. The Centre will not only provide researchers at universities, research institutes and industry with high-end instrumentation, but also expertise in “omics” technology (such as proteomics, metabolomics, genomics and transcriptomics) and macromolecular analysis.
Located at XJTLU’s Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) campus, the Centre’s services will include technical support for mass spectrometry, macro-molecular interaction analysis, flow cytometry, imaging and bioinformatics/biostatistics studies.
Drug testing and innovation space
The anniversary celebration will also feature a ground-breaking ceremony for the XJTLU Wisdom Lake Academy of Pharmacy building, a 78,000-square metre structure to serve as a teaching, drug testing and innovation centre beginning in 2025.
The design for the new building was inspired by mitochondria, also known as the powerhouses of the cell. Professor Mu Wang, Executive Dean of the Academy, comments: “We hope our Academy will be the mitochondria of a cell for the development of XJTLU and the local biopharmaceutical industry.”
The building will be part of XJTLU’s SIP campus.
Other highlights for the day will include a signing ceremony for collaborative projects, awarding ceremony for honorary professors’ letters of appointment and speeches by dignitaries.
By Tamara Kaup, Xinmin Han and Liwen Yu
Conceptual drawing provided by XJTLU Academy of Pharmacy