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China delegation seeks health collaboration

More collaboration will provide answers to global health issues, says King’s China delegation

Joint medical and health research opportunities between China and the UK are to be explored during a delegation visit by King’s College London to top universities in China this week.

The visit comes amid strengthening collaboration and interest in UK China healthcare relations on the issues facing their respective national health systems – in particular the challenge of caring for increasing ageing populations.

The King’s delegation with expertise in health, medical and sciences, dentistry, nursing and midwifery, pharmaceutical science, cancer and stem cell research is to meet with counterparts at the University of Peking and four other universities along with healthcare professionals, businesses and government officials.

The delegation will be led by Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Vice-Principal (Health) at King’s College London and Executive Director of King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre and Dr Joanna Newman, Vice-Principal (International).

King's signed a formal collaboration agreement with Peking University Health Science Center as part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s China visit last December. The British Council will also facilitate part of the visit.

Professor Sir Robert Lechler said: “Nations are facing common and major 21st century global health challenges such as dementia, cancer and diabetes.  But we know that the translation of discovery science into patient benefit depends strongly on the bridge of partnerships.

“China is an innovative country generating high quality and relevant research from medical institutes with world-leading reputations and we are very excited about working together to exchange ideas, develop mutual understanding and ultimately deliver research which will give maximum benefit for patients in China, the UK and worldwide.”

Dr Newman said: “The mutual benefits from such UK-China collaborations are substantial. True internationalism based on quality higher education creates more employable graduates, higher standard research and great opportunities for businesses, economies and individuals. So we are delighted to be exploring these exciting partnerships.”

King’s already has a wide range of ongoing medical research collaborations in China covering fields such as neuroscience and mental health, environmental research into pollution and air quality, cardiovascular health and pharmaceutical sciences.

The trip follows a number of recent visits by British government ministers aimed at fostering relations between businesses and universities in the two countries and comes after Business Secretary Vince Cable called last week for 80,000 UK students a year to be sent to China on exchange visits.

King’s hopes to develop co-operation by facilitating more staff and student exchanges, joint PhD supervision, exchanging relevant information and academic publications in addition to any joint collaborative research projects. Non-health areas for development include law, humanities and social science subjects including building upon existing collaboration in War Studies.

Notes to editors

The delegation will be in China June 9-15 with meetings and events in Beijing and Shanghai including: Peking University,  Renmin University,  Beijing Normal University,  Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiaotong University,  Fudan University and Tongji University.

For more information, please contact:

In China:
Charles Zhang, Country Head (China) King's College London
Telephone +86 (0)10 8525 1111

In King’s UK Press Office:
Stuart Coles, International PR Manager
+44(0) 207 848 3076

Peking University Health Science Center (PUHSC) is the oldest and most prestigious medical school in China and the first of its kind to teach western medicine and train medical professionals. Peking University is consistently ranked as the leading university in mainland China, in the top five universities in Asia, and top 50 worldwide (QS and Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013/14). PUHSC has eight university hospitals, and aims to provide all students with a first-class medical education, offering courses across ten disciplines including clinical medicine, basic medical sciences, dentistry, pharmacy, preventive medicine, nursing, biomedical English, laboratory diagnosis, laboratory experiment and stomatology (mouth and mouth disease) experiment technology.
King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts. King’s Health Partners is one of only five AHSCs in the UK and brings together an unrivalled range and depth of clinical and research expertise, spanning both physical and mental health. Our combined strengths will drive improvements in care for patients, allowing them to benefit from breakthroughs in medical science and receive leading edge treatment at the earliest possible opportunity. For more information, visit the King's Health Partners website.

King’s delegates:
•    Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Vice-Principal (Health) and Executive Director of King’s Health Partners
•    Dr Joanna Newman, Vice -Principal (International)
•    Professor Shitij Kapur, Deputy Vice -Principal (Health) and Dean at the Institute of Psychiatry
•    Professor Dianne Rekow, Dean of Dental Institute
•    Professor Helen McCutcheon, Head of Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery
•    Professor Peter Hylands, Head of Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and Head of Pharmacy Department
•    Professor Arnie Puroshotham, Director of King’s Health Partners Cancer Centre (KHPCC), Chair of Breast Cancer at King’s College London (KCL) and Consultant Surgeon at Guy’s & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust (GSTFT)
•    Professor Fiona M. Watt, Director, Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine