New research centre boosts UK-China scientific collaboration

New research centre boosts UK-China scientific collaboration

5:31 AM, 4th October 2016
New research centre boosts UK-China scientific collaboration
The new centre is for studying plant and microbial science to address worldwide challenges in food security and human health.

SHANGHAI, CHINA: With the funding from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Centre of Excellence for Plant and Microbial Science (CEPAMS) was officially inaugurated in Shanghai (China) by Jo Johnson MP, the UK minister of state for universities, science, research and innovation and the president of CAS, Bai Chunli.

The new centre will be one of two in China with devoted up-to-date laboratories in Beijing and Shanghai. It will employ 10 senior scientists leading international groups of researchers studying plant and microbial science to address worldwide challenges in food security and human health.

This combined study is to address the universal challenge of food security will be supported in areas such as enhancing crop yields, reducing the threat from crop pests and pathogens and decreasing the requirement for artificial fertilisers. 16 research themes have already been funded in areas of shared scientific excellence. Study to improve human health includes two projects relating to the study of Chinese medicine.

Supported by BBSRC, one of the UK’s seven research councils and the CAS, CEPAMS shapes the basis of an international collaboration between the world-famous UK bioscience research facility, The John Innes Centre (JIC) and Chinese Academy of Sciences.

It brings together three world-leading plant and microbial research institutes: the JIC in UK, the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (Beijing) and the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology (Shanghai).

A group of researchers based in UK and in China, including JIC’s professor Cathie Martin, published important research on how the Chinese plant, Scutellaria Biacellensis produces a potentially valuable anti-cancer compound, paving the way to upscale production for medicinal use.

It brings together three world-leading plant and microbial research institutes: the John Innes Centre (UK), the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (Beijing) and the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology (Shanghai).

“Bigger global partnership is key to answering real-life tangible challenges we face around the world and this new centre is evidence to our scientific collaboration with China. It will bring together the brightest minds from the UK and China to improve crop production for the world’s growing populations and decrease the risks of pesticides in food production,” said Science Minister Jo Johnson.

“Currently we are seeing our vision of a world-class UK/China partnership in plant and microbial sciences become a reality and I have no doubt that the excellent, world leading science delivered by this centre will make a huge influence on the big global challenges relating to food security and human health,” said prof Dale Sanders,  Director of the JIC.

“By cooperating at CEPAMS the UK and China can utilise our joint powers and resources to address common research questions and to handle major global challenges, far better than we can alone. This association brings value and influence for both the UK and China,” added prof Melanie Welham, CEO of BBSRC.

© Worldofchemicals News

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