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Traditional Chinese medicine research

Posted on 16/04/2012
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New Association for good practice in Chinese medicine research

King’s scientists, together with international colleagues, mainly from Europe and China, have officially launched the Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Association today at a conference in Leiden, the Netherlands. This will help researchers to explore age-old remedies in the search for tomorrow’s new drugs and to further understand links between western and Chinese medicines.

The new Association will carry on the legacy and missions of the King’s-led ‘Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine’ (GP-TCM) consortium, the EU’s first dedicated effort to coordinate traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) research, which is funded by the European Commission under its 7th Framework Programme (FP7).

King’s scientists Dr Qihe Xu and Professor Peter Hylands were among twelve eminent scientists from seven countries and regions, elected as Directors of the new Association, having played leading roles in the FP7 consortium. 

Professor Bruce Hendry, Professor of Renal Medicine at King’s and a leading member of the consortium, said: ‘The success of the King’s-led EU FP7 programme on good practice in TCM research has provided a unique platform for the formation of this global Association and it is perfectly positioned to lead efforts to integrate the two great philosophies of medicine. I congratulate Qihe and Peter on their achievements in harnessing such a diverse and talented team.’

Dr Qihe Xu, Senior Lecturer at the Division of Transplantation Immunology & Mucosal Biology in the School of Medicine at King’s and Coordinator of the FP7 GP-TCM consortium, added: ‘So far, the FP7 consortium has engaged more than 200 scientists and clinicians from 112 institutions in 24 countries in discussions about good practice in various aspects of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture research, culminating in recent best-practice guidelines published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

‘Founding the GP-TCM Research Association dedicated to promoting high-quality evidence-based TCM research through further developing, disseminating and implementing best practice is yet another important milestone and will prove to be a critical step towards sustainable development of TCM research worldwide.’

Professor Peter Hylands, Joint Head of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science in the School of Biomedical Sciences at King’s and Treasurer of the new Association, said: ‘Thanks to successful fundraising efforts we are pleased that we are in a position to offer free membership for the year 2012 to all existing members of the consortium, as well as qualified scientists, clinicians and students.’

Founding President of the new Association, Professor Rudolf Bauer, University of Graz, said: ‘We believe that the challenges of TCM research can only be solved in an interdisciplinary network, using the most advanced methodologies of the post-genomic era. The expertise of the FP7 GP-TCM consortium and the ideas of new members will enable us to develop and implement good practice in TCM research and to develop TCM in an integrated manner.’

Dr Tai-Ping Fan, University of Cambridge and Secretary-General of the Association, explained that they are in the process of registering as a not-for-profit organisation to fulfil the following 10 major objectives:

1. Continue the interactive network established by the FP7 GP-TCM consortium;

2. Promote discussion and implementation of good practice in TCM research and development, including the use of sustainably sourced materials;

3. Advocate high-quality evidence-based TCM research and development as well as its integration with conventional medicine;

4. Organise and co-organise scientific meetings;

5. Nurture young TCM researchers at different levels in an interdisciplinary approach, including BSc, MSc, PhD and post-doctoral programmes;

6. Facilitate collaborations and sharing of resources, expertise and good practice among members, industry and regulatory agencies;

7. Encourage collaborations with existing relevant societies, consortia and organisations;

8. Strengthen interdisciplinary, interregional and intersectoral collaborations in TCM research and development;

9. Perpetuate good practice in publishing TCM research outcomes; 

10. Disseminate scientific research outcomes and latest developments in regulatory sciences to stakeholders, industry, professional groups and the public.

Professor De-an Guo, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, and President-Elect of the Association, added: ‘Membership of the Association is open to all those who are interested in the objectives of the Association and we are looking forward to fruitful international collaborations in an epic effort to deliver its objectives’.

For more information, please visit the Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine website.  

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