The CTI was first founded in April 2013 to establish collaborations between immunologists in Oxford and China. It aims to enable large-scale collaborative investigation in to research projects with major health and medical significance and benefits all partner institutions through technologic and scientific exchange.
Post-doctoral researchers from participating University of Oxford groups travelled to China for a couple of weeks, to establish the projects and generate the initial data. These initial results were then discussed at the second CTI symposium, which took place in the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine on Monday 24th March and in the Target Discovery Institute (TDI) on Tuesday 25th March 2014. Mondays event was hosted by the MRC Human Immunology Unit
Scientists from the CTI Partner Institutions in China travelled to Oxford for the symposium and it provided a great opportunity for the scientists involved to present their results so far and discuss data face-to-face with their collaborators. Additionally, it enabled other researchers from both China and the University of Oxford to learn more about the collaboration and think about future projects.
Professor Xuetao Cao’s seminar proved to be a particular highlight of the symposium. He spoke in front of a packed lecture theatre and it was clear from the amount of discussion that his seminar generated, that as well as his role as Director of CAMS he also manages a full and outstanding research program.
The second day of the visit allowed the visitors from Chinese Partner Institutions to discover more about research that it is currently happening in Oxford, including presentations by Oxford researchers and a tour of the new NDM Research Building–TDI. A focus of the day was on the future of the project and logistically what would need to be done to expand the collaboration to include more groups.
Although the main focus of the symposium was on the science, the visit provided an ideal opportunity for the University of Oxford to return the hospitality that was shown at the first symposium in China in 2013. On Monday night a dinner was held in Merton College with the Director of the Wellcome Trust, Jeremy Farrar, the MRC Immunology Programme Manager, Georgina Drury and Sir John Bell in attendance. On Tuesday night a traditional roast beef dinner was served in Rhodes House with entertainment provided between courses.
Overall, the symposium helped to strengthen links between China and the University of Oxford, with the hope that this collaboration will continue to benefit all involved for many years to come as well as resulting in new drugs and treatments for patients. The next symposium is proposed for early 2015 in China.