International collaborations strengthen research in traditional medicine

28 November 2019

NICM Health Research Institute (NICM HRI) will enhance academic knowledge and research initiatives in traditional medicine with two new international research collaborations.

A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Western Sydney University and the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) was signed by Western Sydney University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover AO on 22 November at the Ministry of AYUSH in India.

The MoU will promote collaboration in research and training in Traditional Ayurveda Medicine says Professor Dennis Chang, Associate Director International Research Engagement and Partnerships at NICM HRI.

“The AIIA is the premier Institute under the Indian Ministry of AYUSH and this MOU will be strengthened and further developed to identify and evaluate potential benefits of Ayurvedic interventions, including traditional herbal medicines and yoga for the management of chronic disease, as well as HDR opportunities and training,” said Professor Chang.

Exploring further collaborations in traditional medicine, on 25 November Professor Chang accompanied NICM HRI’s delegation that included Professor Alan Bensoussan and Professor Chung Guang Li to China’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPS) at Tsinghua University, one of the most prestigious universities in China.

The delegation toured the facilities of SPS and held constructive discussions with colleagues at SPS including Drs Wang Gelin, Chen Ligong, Hu Zeping, Dong Jianjian and Sun Suqin.

“We explored collaborative opportunities especially in preclinical research of Chinese herbal medicine, HDR training and scholar exchange between the two institutions,” said Professor Chang.

“SPS has established substantial research profiles and infrastructures in the areas of fundamental biology, pharmaceutical technology and disease understanding and targeting.

“Under its Institute of Chinese Materia Medica an interdisciplinary, integrative and distinctive world-class research platform has been created to understand the role of Chinese herbal medicine in disease prevention and treatment.”

NICM HRI’s SPS visit was hosted by Dr Manchun Lu, Chief Operating Officer of Global Health Drug Discovery Institute, a joint initiative between Tsinghua University and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.