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Major international collaboration first of its kind for NZ

9 December 2015

A major medical science collaboration between China’s Guangdong Province and the University of Auckland is the first of its type by a New Zealand university and will focus on advanced research in Biomedicine, Engineering Sciences, Innovation and Commercialisation.

A University of Auckland delegation is travelling to China to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Guangdong Provincial Science & Technology Department.

A commemorative plaque will also be unveiled during the visit to celebrate the accreditation by the Chinese government of a joint research centre between the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, and the Maurice Wilkins Centre, a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence hosted by the University of Auckland.

University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon leads the delegation to Guangdong.

“I’m delighted that the very significant relationship between Guangdong and the University will be formalised during my visit. It marks the beginning of a new phase of collaboration that heralds a very exciting future in medical research.”

Professor Rod Dunbar, Director of the Maurice Wilkins Centre, who is also travelling to Guangdong for the events, says the scope of research covered under the Memorandum of Understanding includes stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine, metabolic disease, immune therapy for cancer, and drug discovery.

“A key focus under the partnership with Guangdong is innovation that will lead to new therapies for human disease,” Professor Dunbar says.

“Part of the agreement with the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health is to develop these therapies jointly, enabling both countries to benefit from accelerated progress from the laboratory to the clinic.”

The new collaborative framework builds on the Strategic Research Alliance, established in 2013 at a meeting between the New Zealand and Chinese governments, and jointly funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

Last month the University held a series of events to mark the establishment of the joint centre for medical research between the Maurice Wilkins Centre and the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health. 

The University will now use the relationship between these two institutes as a model to expand collaboration with scientists in Guandong Province in other fields, such as engineering sciences.

For more information contact:

Anne Beston  I  Media Relations Adviser, Communications, University of Auckland

Email:, Tel: +64 9 923 3258, Mobile: + 64 (0) 21 970 089