A delegation of seven academic staff members from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics recently came to Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University to establish the XJTLU-University of Liverpool Joint Centre for Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
University of Liverpool and XJTLU staff at XJTLU Wisdom Lake Academy of Pharmacy
Professor Youmin Xi, Executive Vice President of XJTLU, says the Joint Research Centre is the first collaborative platform in the field of pharmacology and therapeutics between XJTLU and its British partner.
The Centre was officially unveiled by the Centre’s co-directors, Dr Meng Huee Lee from XJTLU and Professor Chris Goldring from the University of Liverpool.
According to Dr Lee, the Centre will allow the two universities to collaborate on talent cultivation, student exchanges and technological development.
Professor Goldring says coming to China has given the group more opportunities to discuss future collaboration. “It allows us to see how we can strengthen and build on our relationship, which I think is very important for the link between XJTLU and the University of Liverpool,” he says.
A safer future
In addition to establishing the Centre, Liverpool staff also met with colleagues from the local pharmaceutical industry and gave a series of seminars related to drug safety for staff and students at XJTLU, as well as partners from BioBAY.
Says Professor Goldring: “One of the aims of this trip is to impart knowledge of the principles of how to make medicine safer to our colleagues at many of the pharmaceutical companies located in BioBAY and around Suzhou.”
Professor Chris Goldring
Dr Dan Carr from the University of Liverpool, who gave a seminar on drug toxicity, says: “As well as sharing our knowledge and working with researchers, both at home and here, we are training the next generation. Our hope is to come back to Suzhou to work with the biopharmaceutical industry here well into the future.”
He says China is an important area for future collaboration. “We’ve traditionally had strong links with a lot of US and European companies, but the industry is evolving and becoming much more global these days. China seems to be leading the way in a lot of areas, including biopharmaceuticals,” says Dr Carr.
Nine experts from the Joint Research Centre gave 14 special lectures on drug safety, biomarkers, animal models, personalised medicine, and more.
Professor Lei Fu, Executive Dean of the XJTLU Wisdom Lake Academy of Pharmacy, says: “We have carefully designed the first international symposium on drug safety at XJTLU around the international cooperation needs of the local industry. We hope to build an international communication and dialogue platform.”
More than 60 students, staff and representatives from pharmaceutical companies attended the talks.
Mingxuan Wan, a doctoral student at XJTLU, says: “Liverpool’s research in pharmacology is at the forefront of the industry. The academic theories covered in this international symposium have allowed me to discover more possibilities in drug screening. This is crucial for better data interpretation and can help me think of improved directions faster.”
Professor David MacEwan, Deputy Executive Dean of the Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology at the University of Liverpool, says: “Through the XJTLU Academy of Pharmacy’s close contact with the local industry community here in Suzhou, we have learned more about the workings and advantages of China’s national biopharmaceutical industry. I will take what I have learned here back to my colleagues in the UK to share. I cannot wait to start our next collaboration.”
By Wei Zhang, Sonia Wang and Patricia Pieterse
Edited by Catherina Diamond