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Health experts from Manchester and PKU join forces on genetic research

Leaders from The University of Manchester and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have signed a formal ‘memoranda of collaboration’ with Peking University Health Science Centre (PUHSC). The agreement will pave the wave for large-scale studies and stimulate research in genomic medicine looking at conditions such as cancer, blindness, inherited heart disorders and cleft lip and palate.


Genomics is the study of DNA sequencing and analyses the function and structure of complete sets of DNA within single cells. It is transforming healthcare using new technologies to personalise medicine, improve diagnosis and treat people based on their genetic make-up. Recent successes include Manchester Professor Graeme Black’s new cost-effective genetic test for patients with inherited blindness, based on next generation sequencing, now available in hospitals across the UK.


The Manchester-Peking Alliance will result in training schemes for genetic counsellors, doctors and diagnostic scientists in Manchester and Beijing and regular knowledge-sharing exchanges. It comes as The University and The Trust launch their new Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine which brings together internationally-renowned researchers.


The Chinese delegation from PUHSC, the most prestigious and oldest medical school in China with an academic campus and eight affiliated hospitals, have spent three days in Manchester meeting experts. They had a tour of the North West Embryonic Stem Cell Centre and the Wellcome Trust Children’s Clinical Trials Facility at The Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. They also met Arthritis Research UK’s Genetics Group and the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre team as well as Manchester experts in cardiology and  cancer.


Professor Weigang Fang, Vice President for PUHSC, said: “The University and the Trust have the expertise, world-leading minds and the track record in medical education and training to be the ideal partner for PUHSC. We are particularly impressed with the strong partnership between clinicians and doctors in the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre who are working together to develop an effective strategy for the rapid translation of health research into practice. We believe that by working together, we can achieve more than we can alone, and we are certain this partnership  is surely mutually beneficial, and we will achieve win-win by sharing each other’s unique advantages.”


Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, the President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “This Alliance will drive forward progress in genetic research to benefit both the UK and Chinese patient populations.”


Mike Deegan, Chief Executive of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Collaboration is key to better understanding and helping to solve some of the world’s most complex and growing health needs. Our Trust is one of the leading genetic research centres in Europe, and we work closely with The University of Manchester. This exciting new joint partnership with the Health Science Centre at Peking University potentially offers significant benefits for our patients, clinicians and researchers.” 

Professor Ian Jacobs, Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, added: “Many answers to how we can prevent, accurately diagnose disease and personalise treatments lie in genetic research so it is really important that we are collaborating with our Chinese partners in this important area.


“Knowledge of genetics has opened up exciting possibilities for medical research and thanks to advances in technology it is now feasible to screen an individuals’ DNA rapidly. Working with PUHSC we will be able to conduct large clinical studies using a wider pool of data from our populations.” 


The seven Chinese experts were also hosted by Sir Howard Bernstein, Chair of MAHSC and Chief Executive of Manchester City Council and executives from MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, with a strategic aim to secure significant levels of new investment and employment for the city region.










Source: The University of Manchester

Photo Source: PUHSC

Edited by: Arthars