by Gayle Murray, Manager, International Relations (Griffith International)
A project combining ancient Chinese medicines with world-leading modern research and technology has culminated in a prestigious award for Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery.
Eskitis and its partner organisation, the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica-Chinese Academy of Sciences (SIMM), has received a Queensland-Chinese Academy of Sciences (Q-CAS) Collaborative Science Fund award totalling $250,000, jointly funded with the Queensland Government.
State Minister for Science and Innovation, The Honourable Leeanne Enoch MP, presented the award to the Director of the Eskitis Institute, Professor Ronald Quinn AM, during an event held at Brisbane’s Ecosciences Precinct to celebrate the Queensland-China Science Relationship.
The project, Ancient knowledge, modern methods, combines the accumulated knowledge of thousands of years of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) with the latest drug discovery techniques housed at Eskitis.
Parkinson’s disease is one of the neurodegenerative conditions the Eskitis Institute is targeting in this project. By analysing and testing TCM, it is hoped to accelerate their acceptance by Western regulatory agencies.
Project leaders include Professor Quinn, Dr Yun Feng (Eskitis) and SIMM’s Deputy Director-General, Professor Yang Ye.
“We are pleased to receive the award with SIMM for the TCM project, which has the potential to benefit patients worldwide, deliver TCM to the western world and bolster both Queensland’s relationship with China and its reputation as a world leader in drug discovery,” said Griffith’s Pro Vice Chancellor (Sciences) Professor Debra Henly.
The Brisbane event was held in honour of Professor Huang Jing, Director-General of the China National Centre for Biotechnology Development (CNCBD), which operates within the Ministry of Science and Technology. The Consul-General of China in Brisbane, Dr Zhao Yongchen, attended along with university executives, research leaders, government representatives and guests.
Professor Huang and the CNCBD delegation were in Queensland to explore new science collaborations between China and Queensland. They also visited Griffith’s Gold Coast campus to meet with researchers and were welcomed by Pro Vice Chancellor (International) Professor Sarah Todd.
The CNCBD is in charge of strategic research and policy analysis, planning and management of national science and technology programs, promoting industrialisation and facilitating international exchange for China’s biotechnology development.
While on the Gold Coast, the delegation viewed presentations on the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery and the Institute for Glycomics.