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New MAHSC Sino-British health partnership

MAHSC Partnership

The Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) has formed a partnership with the Peking UniversityHealth Sciences Centre to establish an international centre of excellence in genetic medicine.

The new Peking-Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, announced by UK Chancellor George Osborne in Beijing on Monday, will comprise three separate but interdependent research facilities - the International Centre for Rare Diseases, the Centre for Cancer Genetics, and the Joint Clinical Trials Facility.

MAHSC's involvement is being led by the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine at Saint Mary's Hospital, an integrated centre bringing together University of Manchester researchers and our clinical services, to form a world leader in genetic and genomic medicine for research into inherited diseases and delivery of services to families with inherited disorders.

Speaking at Peking University, the Chancellor, who is in China to promote UK business and encourage Chinese investors to choose Britain, said: "I am delighted to announce here the establishment of a new partnership between Peking University and Manchester University in the UK with the creation of a new joint centre for genomic medicine. Here, in the oldest and most prestigious medical school in China, let us work together on the medicines of tomorrow.

"This partnership will, I hope, give even more of you the chance to come to Britain and to study there. We already have 130,000 Chinese students, like you, studying in Britain - I want more of you to comeā€¦  There is no limit to the number of Chinese [students] who can study in Britain."

Mike Deegan, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: "This is a great indication of the quality of our clinical genetics services within the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine.  Working collaboratively is key to improving health care; this partnership will deliver cutting-edge translational research that will help our clinicians develop innovative diagnostics and treatments to benefit patients both in the UK and worldwide."

Dean and Vice-President of the University of Manchester's Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences and Director of MAHSC, Professor Ian Jacobs, who is participating in the government-led visit, said: "This is an exciting partnership between MAHSC and our colleagues in Beijing. It will lead to important health and research benefits in the rapidly developing field of genetics to benefit the people of both countries as well as having a global impact. The planned work will draw on populations of up to 50 million individuals to harness next-generation genetic technology for patient benefit.

"The joint venture will contribute to the further development of the research strength of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre and advance Manchester's international reputation as a world leader in personalised cancer medicine, while improving care and diagnosis for many people here and in China."

The Peking University Health Sciences Centre (PUHSC) is the oldest Western medical school in China, ranked first in the country for research and training. As part of the collaboration, six senior geneticists from the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine will travel to Beijing this week to deliver a training course for more than 300 health professionals and scientists at PUHSC.

Professor Graeme Black, Consultant in Genetic Medicine and Director of the University of Manchester's Institute for Human Development, added: "This joint venture comes at an exciting moment. Genomic medicine promises to revolutionise the understanding and delivery of care to patients across all specialties of medicine. It is an opportunity to harness our scientific discoveries for the benefit of the patients within our two large populations."