UK Minister for Asia and the Pacific Visits CEPAMS
22 July, Mark Field, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK, toured the Centre of Excellence for Plant and Microbial Science (CEPAMS) which were jointly established by John Innes Centre (JIC) and two Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) institutions. ZHANG Yaping, Vice-President of CAS, hosted the visit.
The Minister celebrated the Golden Era of China-UK relations and highlighted the priority of science and innovation therein. He described CEPAMS as a wonderful example of China-UK collaboration and pointed to the potential of CEPAMS to improve the lives of countless millions of people in China, in the UK and globally through its work on food security and health.
CEPAMS lunched 22 collaborative research projects on crop improvement and natural products between CAS and JIC since 2014. 15 papers produced from the projects or the collaborations have been published in different international leading journals, such as Science Advances, PNAS, Molecular Plant. CAO Xiaofeng, Co-Director of CEPAMS, mentioned during her introduction of the joint center.
Six young outstanding scientists trained in different internationally renowned institutions were recruited as CEPAMS group leaders and opened their labs either at the Institute of Plant Physiology & Ecology (SIPPE) in Shanghai or at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) in Beijing since 2016.
XU Cao, one of the CEPAMS group leaders, said that CEPAMS is an excellent platform that bridges the worldwide recruited young scientists to the world again. Benefiting from the great reputation of JIC and CAS, scientists in CEPAMS have naturally advantages to communicate and collaborate with outstanding scientists in JIC and other countries worldwide.
The Minister was impressed by cutting-edge researches ongoing in CEPAMS. In Dr. XU’s lab, the Minister discussed the scientific strategies with young scientists to face the challenges from global climate change and increasing human population. Dr. XU introduced the exciting advances from his lab, showing the success in accelerating domestication of wild plants into nutritious and climate smart CEPAMS group leaders crops without fitness cost.
CEPAMS has been a leading example of the benefits achieved from bringing together UK and Chinese expertise in scientific research to tackle the global challenges of food security and sustainable health care.
“I truly hope that the Minister’s visit will improve the mutual understanding and promote the cooperation between Chinese and British scientific communities,” said ZHANG Yaping.