News

FHS extends its research strengths to China, the Middle East and Vietnam


18 November 2013

Professor Kathryn Refshauge and Professor Runsheng Jiang at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding at Kunming Medical University, China
Professor Kathryn Refshauge and Professor Runsheng Jiang at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding at Kunming Medical University, China

In October, Professor Kathryn Refshauge, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, led a delegation of academic staff to parts of Asia and the Middle East to build and strengthen research partnerships and attract potential new research students to the University of Sydney.

Professor Refshauge and Professor HongWei Yang, Acting Director of the China National Health Development Research Centre (CNHDRC) in Beijing, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to continue the collaboration between CNHDRC and the faculty on the classification of health. Talks were also held between Professor Refshauge and Professor Yang, about a collaborative program of PhD training.

The delegation also discussed with Professor Zhao from the CNHDRC, the possibility of research collaborations on breast cancer and lymphoedema. Currently in China 50 percent of women live in rural locations and rely on diagnosis from clinical tests and simple ultrasounds at county healthcare centres for breast and cervical screening.

An MoU was also signed with Kunming Medical University. Three potential PhD research students from Kunming Medical University were identified who will focus their studies in Sydney on the areas of stroke and rehabilitation, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and traumatic brain injury and communication.

"China is a new and emerging region of interest for the faculty" said Professor Refshauge, "which is tremendously exciting, and these two MoU agreements pave the way for closer collaborative research with these two new partners for the faculty and the University. Discussions will continue as we need to nurture and sustain these relationships."

In Riyadh Professor Refshauge, Professor Brennan and Dr Martin Mackey met with Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health and General Electric. As a result of this meeting, potential PhD students have been identified and a grant will be applied for within Saudi Arabia to support a Saudi radiologist to lead a research partnership using the BREAST tool. "Our aim is to set up a pilot event at a Saudi conference with BREAST and possibly extend to lung and liver cancer" added Professor Refshauge.

Talks were also held at Hanoi Medical University in Vietnam regarding the progress of the design and implementation of their physiotherapy program, while research about acute and chronic pain and breast cancer formed part of talks at Vietnam's Ministry of Health and with rehabilitation physicians.