China was in the front line of the epidemic and made key contributions to the scientific community
Source: Science and Technology Daily|
Author: Zhang Jiaxin & ICGEB
China held a ceremony in Beijing for honoring people fighting COVID-19 with national medals on September 8. To know more about the international reactions, Science and Technology Daily Reporter Zhang Jiaxing interviewed Dr. Lawrence Banks and Dr. Alessandro Marcello from International Centre Engineering and Biotechnology.
Dr. Lawrence Banks, ICGEB Director-General
Dr. Alessandro Marcello, ICGEB Group Leader, Molecular Virology, Trieste, Italy.
Science and Technology Daily: With regard to the role played by Chinese researchers in the global fight against epidemic this year, could you please tell us your personal feelings?
ICGEB: China was in the front line of the epidemic early this year and made key contributions to the scientific community starting from the first published sequence of the Covid-19 Virus that was instrumental for the setup of molecular diagnosis world wide. Also, the initial protocols for diagnostics, clinical management and treatment originated from Chinese laboratories and we remember clearly, when the epidemic struck Italy, that many of the proposed treatments came from pioneering studies in China, for example, the use of antivirals such as Remdesivir and others, or the use of convalescent plasma.
Science and Technology Daily: China is committed to strengthening international scientific and technological cooperation. In the future, China will focus not only on global epidemic prevention and control, but also on climate change, human health and other common issues, and strengthen joint research and development with researchers from other countries. Could you tell me what you expect from this?
ICGEB: Having had the possibility to interact with local scientists we are aware of the great potential of Chinese research. Interaction between institutions, such as ICGEB, CMC, CNCBD, and others, collaboration programmes, exchange of scientists, and so forth, are instrumental in the development of successful programmes to tackle fundamental problems that impact our society globally. Collaboration and free sharing of results is critical for the advancement of science, which translates into novel solutions.
Science and Technology Daily: At the Symposium of scientists on September 11, President Xi talked about gradually opening up the establishment of international scientific and technological organizations in China and foreign scientists' appointment in Chinese scientific and technological academic organizations. Do you have any more specific suggestions on this?
ICGEB: The 11th China Medical Expo, held on 18 September 2020, was the perfect opportunity for the unveiling ceremony of the ICGEB Regional Research Centre in China Medical City, Taizhou. This is the first such Centre to be established and shows that China is leading the way in the field of Biotechnology. The Regional Research Centre at China Medical City joins the ICGEB international network and will run operations in line with the our international model.
The RRC will promote scientific and technological cooperation among the ICGEB Member countries and foster international cooperation between countries and regions under the Belt and Road initiative, while becoming a regional center with a global influence that can impact on the well-being of the peoples in the Asia-Pacific region.
The ICGEB-DIC-MOST International Fellowship Programme also offers competitive Short-term Fellowships in the Life Sciences to highly motivated scientists from ICGEB Member States wishing to pursue postgraduate research in China. The Program supports the mobility of researchers to prestigious Chinese laboratories for a period of 6 or 12 months, to benefit from the expertise and technologies available in the receiving laboratories. The IFP Call is managed by the China National Center for Biotechnology Development (CNCBD), with the support of the ICGEB.
In general, a scientist's career includes periods of scientific activity in different laboratories. We are used to curricula with periods spent in various countries world wide. China is ever more representative as a location for a successful career. However, this has also been limited to a few, more international locations such as Shanghai or Beijing, where enclaves of foreigners are formed. However with the great advancement of Chinese science, the increase in its attractiveness for a career, and the internationalisation of society, more and more foreign scientists will consider this opportunity. We feel that the RRC and InChina Fellowship programmes are potent means of expanding the participation of scientists from overseas in Chinese scientific and technological organisations.
Press contact: Suzanne Kerbavcic, ICGEB Communications, Public Information and Outreach
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