A delegation from the University of Ottawa will visit China this week to grow international research and education partnerships as well as create opportunities for students.
The delegation will also participate in a trade mission organized by the City of Ottawa, with stops in Beijing and Shanghai. It's the city's largest mission yet, with over 40 representatives from the business, technology, tourism and education sectors.
The University of Ottawa group, which includes Mona Nemer, vice-president, research; Jacques Bradwejn, dean of the Faculty of Medicine; and Steve Perry, dean of the Faculty of Science, will meet with leaders in higher education, health care and government to build on existing initiatives and explore new ones.
The tour will culminate with the signing of an agreement between the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Medicine and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM) in the presence of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.
Over the years, the University of Ottawa has enhanced its ties to higher learning institutions in China, particularly the SJTUSM and its affiliated hospitals. Following on reciprocal visits involving both institutions over the years, this trip will forge a strategic partnership between the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Medicine and the SJTUSM to establish joint programs in medical research, innovation and research in medical education and medical training. Both sides will agree to invest a total of $2 million over the next five years.
The mission will also include a group of delegates from the Faculty of Science, including the dean and vice-dean of research, who will pursue potential collaborations with several institutions in the city of Wuhan.
Existing lab partnerships in China and Ottawa
Over the past five years, the University of Ottawa has created notable joint research labs with China. Dr. Daniel Figeys, director of the Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology (OISB), set up the University of Ottawa's first joint laboratories with Chinese institutions, forming robust research alliances in proteomics, first with the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in 2008 and then with the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, a drug development unit within the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 2012.
Chemistry also figures in a new joint lab to be administered by Professor André Beauchemin and Wenjing Xiao of Central China Normal University in Wuhan. Xiao completed his doctorate at the University of Ottawa in 2000, and has continued to collaborate with his Ottawa colleagues. Beauchemin and Xiao will lead a team that will develop new drug-like molecules. The joint lab should be operational in early 2014.
The University of Ottawa is committed to research excellence and encourages an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, which attracts the best academic talent from across Canada and around the world. The University is an important stakeholder in the National Capital Region's economic development with a total regional economic impact estimated at $4.12 billion annually.
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