networks

China–Maurice Wilkins Centre Collaborative Research Programme (C-MWC)

Since 2012 the MWC has engaged successfully with scientific partners at prestigious Chinese institutions, especially the Chinese Academy of Sciences. These partnerships have produced exciting scientific findings and new therapies that are poised to enter clinical trials.

The C-MWC programme will allow the MWC to generate new scientific knowledge that can be translated into new treatments for cancer and metabolic, infectious, neurologic and degenerative disease. These treatments will not only benefit the health of the people of both countries, but are likely to also provide strong economic benefits.

The research programme will also deepen the relationship between New Zealand and China in a crucial high technology field, thereby increasing New Zealand’s international reputation for world-class research. New Zealand scientists will benefit, especially at an early career stage, through access to expertise, technology, and equipment/facilities not available within New Zealand, and through lifting their vision of what they can achieve through active engagement of leading scientists and institutions outside New Zealand.

2021 Project funding call RESULT

The C-MWC is pleased to announce the Programme’s 2021 Project Funding result.

In this funding round, we invited applications from biomedical investigators based in NZ who have existing research collaborations with China, aiming to deepen partnerships with researchers and institutions in China and accelerate research into therapeutic agents with potential health benefits for both countries.

We received a total of 20 eligible applications from a wide range of institutions, requesting a total of $11.9 million of funding. The Programme’s Project Assessment Committee awarded a total of $3 million to 6 proposals detailed below for this round to support their existing research collaborations with China partners for up to 2 years. The process was reviewed and ratified by the MWC Board.

Congratulations to the successful applicants and thank you to the unsuccessful applicants for the applications. We were delighted to see the breadth of interactions with prestigious Chinese institutions. We will be following up with each of the applicants to see how the Programme might be able to help in future to deepen those collaborations.

Recipients of 2021 Project funding

Dr Mihnea Bostina, University of Otago

Dr Laura Burga, Dr Jemma Geoghegan, Profs Vernon Ward and Alex McLellan (University of Otago)

Prof Yiping Li, Institute of Human Virology and Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University

Structure-based engineering of broadly neutralizing antibodies against coronaviruses

$290,613

 

Prof Alan Davidson, University of Auckland

Dr Veronika Sander (University of Auckland), Dr Cherie Stayner (University of Otago), and Prof Motonari Uesugi (University of Kyoto)

Prof Xiao Chris Zhang, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Chemical screening in polycystic kidney organoids grown in microfluidic chips

$598,576

 

Drs Kiel Hards and Matt McNeil, University of Otago

Prof Greg Cook and Dr Liam Harold (University of Otago)

Prof Zhengqiu Li, School of Pharmacy, Jinan University

Prof Tianyu Zhang, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Exploiting synergistic interactions in energy metabolism to combat drug resistant pathogens

$527,253

 

Assoc Prof Kerry Loomes, University of Auckland

Prof Donghai Wu, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Prof Ke Ding, School of Pharmacy, Jinan University

Prof Yong Xu and Dr Tao Nie, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Targeting energy expenditure as a treatment for metabolic disease

$290,613

 

Drs Rachel Perret and Rob Weinkove, Malaghan Institute of Medical Research

Prof Peng Li and Dr Le Qin, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences

New methods to improve CAR T cell therapy for cancer

$492,946

 

Assoc Profs Jeff Smaill and Adam Patterson, University of Auckland

Dr Amir Ashoorzadeh, Mr Xiaojing Sean Lin, and Ms Raquel Ortega (University of Auckland)

Profs Xiaoyun Lu and Ke Ding, School of Pharmacy, Jinan University

Discovery of FGFR4-selective inhibitors for the treatment of liver cancer

$800,000

c-mwc PROGRAMME executive team

Prof Rod Dunbar  MBChB, PhD, FRSNZ

Scientific Director

r.dunbar@auckland.ac.nz

 

Mr Peter Lai  MBA, MSc

Administrative Director

p.lai@auckland.ac.nz

 

Ms Wendy Li  GDip (Mgt), PGDip (PH)

Programme Manager

wendy.li@auckland.ac.nz