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On the morning of 1st July 2020, the webinar “COVID Without Borders – A collaboration to Investigate A New Disease” was held online. It was jointly organised by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS), Peking Union Medical College and CAMS-Oxford Institute (COI).

Heads from the two universities, experts, researchers, teachers and students attended online to share the experience and actions in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“It is of great significance to hold this webinar at this challenging time”, Professor Chen Wang, the vice president of CAMS, mentioned and explained that CAMS integrated superior resources in the battle of the epidemic and carried out joint research in the area of therapeutic drug screening, animal model establishment, pathogen detection and vaccine development. CAMS will continue to promote cooperation with University of Oxford and support the development of CAMS-Oxford Institute, with a view to control the epidemic as soon as possible.

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As a distinguished speaker Professor Gavin Screaton, head of the Medical Science Division in University of Oxford, shared the latest progress of Oxford University in the research of the COVID-19, including the current proceedings in pathogen and serum antibody detection, Oxford SARS-CoV2 vaccine clinical trial, neutralizing antibody screening, therapeutic medicine clinical trials, et al. Professor Screaton stated that Oxford university has provided important scientific and technological support for prevention and control of the pandemic disease in UK.

In part of the keynote speech hosted by Vice President of CAMS Jianwei Wang, Professor Bin Cao and Professor David Stuart gave keynote reports respectively as “Clinical Trials of Antivirals for Severe COVID-19 in China” and “Discovery of Novel Drug Candidate and Antibodies Through Structure”. The following scientific session was chaired by Professor Chris Conlon. In this part, Professor Chuan Qin from Chinese Institute of Laboratory Animal Sciences reported the latest results from the SARS-CoV2 animal models and gave us a talk entitled “Comparative Medical Analysis of COVID-19”. At last, Professor Tao Dong, the director (Oxford) of COI, talked about the T cells responses focused on “Broad and Strong Memory T cells Primed by SARS-CoV2 in UK Convalescent COVID-19 Patients”. In her report, she introduced in detail about the work on T cell dominant epitopes identification, and the magnitude and breadth evaluation of memory response in different T cell subjects. The interesting talks triggered lively discussions between the participants and the experts. 

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This webinar reached nearly 3,000 Chinese and British participants online. In the following months, CAMS and the University of Oxford will hold a series of webinars or conferences focused on COVID-19, hosted by CAMS-Oxford Institute, to build a platform for sharing scientific research achievements between Chinese and British medical scientists and strengthen international cooperation.  

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