Leeds-China collaboration in Membrane Biology: 4 years on

Memorandum of understandingThe 4th joint symposium of the UK-China Membrane Biology Initiative led by the University of Leeds was held in Nankai University, China on May 10-12, 2011. The two day symposium on “Advanced techniques for investigating membrane protein structure and functions” attracted leading professors from Nankai University, Tsinghua University, China University of Science and Technology, CAS Institute of Biophysics, and CAS Institute of Zoology. A Leeds delegation of 9 academic members travelled to China and presented their latest research results in the symposium, which was also participated in by a total of over 120 students from Chinese universities in Tianjin and Beijing.

The second day of the symposium was focused on an overview of membrane biology research at Nankai and Leeds, together with 1:1 and small group interactions, presentations and discussion of ideas for specific collaborative research projects. These were followed by identification of possible funding sources, next step actions and long term goals. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Leeds University Faculty of Biological Sciences and the Nankai College of Life Sciences was signed during the symposium, highlighting the desire and commitment of the two partners to engage in future collaborations. As for all the previous joint activities of the Initiative that have taken place in China, the highly successful symposium was made possible by the strong support and endorsement of our Chinese host institution, this time Nankai University.

One of the immediate follow-up actions agreed will be the sending of several Nankai research staff and students, fully supported by Nankai University, to Leeds to work on collaborative projects. The drafting of several joint grant applications is also at the active discussion and planning stage.

Ideas for collaborative projects are also being developed with colleagues from the Tsinghua branch of the State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology (SKLBMB) in Beijing, following a visit of the Leeds delegation to Tsinghua University after the Nankai symposium. SKLBMB is the core Chinese partner of the UK-China Membrane Biology Initiative.

Further information from:
Dr Bing Liu
Tel: 0113 343 7567