Scientists from across the UK and China gathered in Surrey today at the UK-China CERAD symposium (Centre of Excellence for Research on Avian Diseases) – the first such event to be held in the UK.
Organised by The Pirbright Institute, ‘Recent Advances in Avian Disease Research’ is taking place from 31 August to 1 September 2017, and features presentations from experts in some of the world’s most devastating poultry diseases, such as avian influenza, Marek’s disease and Newcastle disease. Leading academics from the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, St. George’s University London and The Roslin Institute will speak at the symposium, alongside scientists from Pirbright and a number of Chinese Academic Institutions.
Professor Venugopal Nair, co-founder of UK-China CERAD and leader of the Viral Oncogenesis group at Pirbright, said: “CERAD was launched as a result of our highly successful collaboration with researchers at Shandong Binzhou Animal Science & Veterinary Medicine Academy and other academic institutions in China.
“Sharing expertise and resources has enabled us to undertake research much more efficiently. Following the development of our partnership, in 2015 the Newton Fund and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council funded a five year grant to establish the UK-China CERAD as a virtual centre for state of the art research and training for UK and Chinese scientists. The centre supports joint research projects, exchange visits and the organisation of international conferences, such as the one organised here.
“These events provide a vital networking opportunity and enable scientists to explore new avenues for research and collaboration. We are also able to coordinate training at other institutions, so new laboratory techniques can also be shared across our two nations.
“In light of Brexit, the development of our international research partnerships is now more important than ever. As the second highest poultry meat consumer in the world, China’s demand for research into diseases that reduce the productivity and economic potential of the poultry sector is very high. In the UK the poultry meat industry contributes over £3.6bn to the economy and so Pirbright’s research partnership with China is useful for our two countries in many ways”.