Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Oxford Institute is China’s first medical sciences institute in the UK hosted by University of Oxford, a collaboration between the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) and the University. The new institute builds on the CAMS Oxford International Centre for Translational Immunology (CTI), established in 2013 under the direction of our esteemed college Professor Xuetao Cao, and will expand and develop existing successful collaborations between the two organisations and countries. Combining the strengths of both partners – with Oxford offering a world-class environment and training, and China exceptional researchers and vision - the Institute will deliver outstanding science and help to develop innovative medicines to tackle infectious diseases and cancer.
The existing CTI was established after researchers in the Medical Sciences Division at Oxford and collaborators in China recognised the potential for exchange of ideas and resources in the field of human immunology. The CTI offers many opportunities for co-operation and exchange, including Oxford-based DPhil scholarships for outstanding students from China and seed funding for research projects. Since the establishment of the CTI, senior representatives from the partner institutions have worked to strengthen the collaboration, culminating in 2016 in a new Institute proposed by Ms Bin Li, Chairman of Health and family planning China and Professor Louise Richardson, Vice Chancellor of Oxford University. The President of CAMS and the Medical Sciences Division in Oxford subsequently signed a letter of intent in December 2016. In December 2017, Professor Xuetao Cao and Professor Bell signed the official agreement cementing the establishment of the Institute witnessed by Madam Liu during her visit to Oxford in December 2017.
The Institute will provide an opportunity for much more extensive collaborations between researchers in Oxford and China than currently exist, that aim to lead to medical advances which will benefit both countries. Its research will encompass a number of key areas including the development of novel immunotherapies and vaccine strategies against cancer and infectious disease, structural biology to understand the behaviour of key molecules in disease, haematology, Chinese medicine. The Institute will also provide researchers from across the Medical Science Division at Oxford with centralised resources, encouraging interaction between them and with Institute researchers. Alongside the Institute in Oxford, China will establish a central lab to facilitate exchange and collaboration with Oxford researchers. Training will continue to be an important part of the new Institute, which will attract and train the next generation of clinical scientists in China, for example through an MD/PhD programme funded by China scholarship Council, and offer new programmes aimed at postdoctoral level researchers.