Sydney Medical School links with leading Indian researchers in cancer program

group of people on stage

(l-r) Dr Pawar (Dean of Dentistry), Dr A N Suryakar (Registrar, MUHS), Dr Rajendra A Badwe (Director, Tata Memorial Centre), Hon Professor Arun Jamkar (Vice Chancellor, MUHS), Dr Sanjay Oak (Dean, Seth G. S. Medical College and Director King Edward Hospital), Professor Bruce Robinson, Dr Shailendra Sawleshwarkar, Associate Professor Lyndal Trevena and Professor Graham Mann at the inaugural Sydney Medical School and Maharashtra University of Health Sciences Cancer Research Symposium

Sydney Medical School has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with one of India’s largest health and medical universities, the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, and both institutions have committed to working collaboratively in the areas of cancer prevention and treatment.

The agreement was signed at the opening of the inaugural India Australia Collaborative Cancer Research Symposium held at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.

MUHS has the jurisdiction for medical and health education and research in the large state of Maharashtra on India’s west coast. More than 300 health and medical colleges are currently affiliated with MUHS, including the major medical schools in the state’s capital city, Mumbai. The annual student intake across the schools and colleges is more than 18,000.

The MOU was described at the Symposium opening by the Vice Chancellor of MUHS the Hon Professor Arun Jamkar, as a "historic moment" and he looked forward to working in areas of cancer research including cancer genetics and in improving detection and prevention.

Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of Sydney Medical School, welcomed the signing of the MOU. "It presents us with a strong base from which we can develop research and education programs and exchanges which will benefit both institutions and both countries."

The Symposium is a good example of how the Australian and Indian institutions could begin to explore opportunities for collaboration in a critical area of health, Professor Robinson said.

"Numbers of people with cancer in India and Australia will rise significantly in the next decade. By linking Sydney's extensive cancer research with the excellent clinical opportunities in India, we are well placed to contribute to improve health outcomes in both countries."

Presenters at the Symposium were from MUHS, Sydney Medical School and from Tata Memorial Hospital, and covered three key cancer themes.

The first was cancer genetics, including the new gene-based approaches to defeating cancer. The conference also reviewed recent research relating to the 20-30% of cancers which are linked to infectious diseases. It also covered developments in the area of cancer detection and prevention, particularly with reference to cervical and other common cancers.

The Symposium was followed by detailed discussions between researchers on specific projects in each of the three key areas with plans developed to pursue joint projects in cancer genetics, joint research into liver cancer, and into cancer prevention.

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