(April 14 2007, Hong Kong) Following its formation last year, the East-West Alliance (EWA) held its Inaugural Meeting and Signing Ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)at the University of Hong Kong on 14 and 15 April.
The EWA is a global medical network comprising nine renowned research-led institutes supported by the Li Ka-shing Foundation. This common thread and relationship have created a new platform for inter-institute exchange. EWA members are the University of California, Berkeley, University of Cambridge, St Michael’s Hospital (affiliated to University of Toronto), The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Institut Pasteur, University of Manitoba, Shantou University and Stanford University.
To underline the shared values and commitment among members, a MOU was signed today, under which the members pledged to
1) explore collaborative research opportunities so as to solve the most pressing global health problems in niche areas, including aging, cancer and infection,
2) attract research grants through multidisciplinary collaborations and
3) advance health science and technology through research and knowledge translation.
EWA members also vowed to foster academic exchange to build on and synergise the unique strengths of the Alliance members. This means that the collaboration and partnership brought about by the EWA not only enable members to contribute to a global cause but also to wield the power and command resources of more than one single institute for the eventual benefit of mankind. The Inaugural Meeting is an emblem of this self and mutual developmental, cooperative spirit and the MOU enshrines the commitment.
The Conference was hosted by the Li Ka-shing Faculty of Medicine of The University of Hong Kong and has captured the attention of the world’s scientific and medical communities as it tackled the increasing health hazards posed by two highly topical challenges – cancer and infection – among the major global health issues identified by the EWA for collaborative work.
Aging populations and global pandemics, as well as the problems evolving there from, are among the most threatening challenges facing the scientific, medical and academic fields in this century. Cancer and stem cell, medical knowledge transfer and translation also touch everyone regardless of nationality and culture.
Sixteen experts from world famous institutes in North America, Europe and Asia gathered in Hong Kong to share ground-breaking studies and findings in some of the most widespread killer diseases which inevitably have to be faced by people around the world. Presentation topics included hepatitis, cervical cancer, SLE, HIV, Avian Flu, oesophageal cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, ovarian cancer. The strengths of individual clinical programmes were discussed in an attempt to look for synergies to deliver higher impact results, which was one of the missions of the Alliance.
Professor Raymond Liang, Acting Dean of the Medicine, University of Hong Kong, said, “The Alliance of these nine institutions and the signing of the MOU today mark a milestone in our pursuit of excellence. It creates a platform for us to conduct ground-breaking research, foster academic exchange and promote healthcare.”
“This conference is the first step in the long journey towards our ultimate goal of bridging any gap between the East and West to improve human health. It also marks the 120th anniversary of our Faculty. The University of Hong Kong and the Li Ka-shing Faculty of Medicine are extremely privileged to be able to host this world-class event at this memorable moment,” continued Professor Liang.
After the conference, each member of the Alliance will also explore and take turn to organise international conferences on a theme relevant to the Alliance’s core areas of expertise and concern.