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7 November 2017

Papworth takes on key role in new international biomedical collaboration

A new collaboration between Papworth Hospital, the University of Cambridge, and Sunway Medical Centre in Malaysia will see researchers and clinicians from the two countries working together across borders and disciplinary divides to tackle some of the world’s major health challenges.

The partnership, between the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and Sunway Medical Centre in Malaysia, Papworth, and the University will establish a joint programme between Cambridge’s School of Clinical Medicine and Sunway University.

The collaboration will provide excellent opportunities for training, education and research in the field of cardiothoracic medicine and surgery, with leading clinicians from Papworth set to work with nurses and consultants based in Malaysia. 

The programme will also enable the sharing of academic excellence through regular academic visits and exchanges, and offer scientific and clinical training opportunities at Cambridge for outstanding postgraduates from Sunway. As part of the collaboration’s programme, Sunway Medical Centre will establish a Clinical Research Centre that will become a regional site partner for the University of Cambridge, working with Cambridge on clinical research.

The clinical research centre at Bandar Sunway in Malaysia will enable the recruitment of patients to international trials led from Cambridge, and help develop an integrated approach to healthcare and clinical research in Malaysia.

Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah visited Cambridge to mark the signing of the agreement between the University and the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation. A long-standing supporter of Collegiate Cambridge, member of the University’s Guild of Benefactors, and Fellow Benefactor of Gonville and Caius College, Dr Cheah said:  “Today marks a very special moment in time for all of us at Sunway as we begin collaborations with the University of Cambridge and Papworth Hospital. It is a further testament to the increasingly close bonds between Sunway and Cambridge.

"Sunway and the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation are committed to promoting excellence in sectors such as education and health care. We are determined to raise standards and provide the best possible care to not just Malaysians, but the 625-million strong population of the ASEAN region.”

'Truly excited'

Stephen Posey, Chief Executive Officer, Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am truly excited by what we could achieve by working more closely with Sunway Medical Centre, the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and the University of Cambridge to advance teaching and research in the field of cardiothoracic medicine. Heart and lung diseases are a global problem to which we must find global solutions. This partnership is an excellent example of how global leaders in medicine and research can work together for the benefits of patients across the world.”

At the heart of the collaboration will be the new Capella Building located on the rapidly expanding Cambridge  Biomedical Campus, the centrepiece of the largest biotech cluster outside the United States.

This state of the art research space will drive biomedical research across stem cells, infectious disease and immunology that will help shape the future of medicine. It will house three major research institutes: The Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease, the Wellcome Trust-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and the Milner Therapeutics Institute.

Professor Patrick Maxwell, Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine, said: “As the world of medicine changes more rapidly than perhaps ever before, it is clear that collaboration will be the key to success. For this reason, I am delighted that we are entering into a new collaboration with Sunway, an institution which shares our unswerving commitment to excellence in medicine and medical education.

“The new Capella will be at the centre point of this collaboration. The research in this exceptional new building – through the Stem Cell Institute, the Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology, and the Milner Therapeutics Institute – will have a real and profound effect on the health and lives of millions of people in the UK, Malaysia and around the world.”

The Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope added: “The agreements we have signed with the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and Sunway Medical Centre mark the beginning of a new stage in an exceptional partnership. Our collaboration reflects the fact that addressing the most pressing issues facing humanity today requires working across both borders and disciplinary boundaries.

"No single country, discipline, or institution can have exclusive purchase on how we attack today’s fundamental problems. Working together, Cambridge University, the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and Sunway Medical Centre are poised to make a signal contribution to some of the world’s major medical challenge"


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