In communities where livelihoods are linked to the land and sea, environmental security is of utmost importance. This is particularly true in the developing nations of the Asia-Pacific, where many localities have a high dependency on fisheries, tourism and agriculture. Moreover, global changes are increasingly resulting in challenging localised impacts, such as increased frequency of extreme events. Thus, understanding the social-environment system is imperative to providing solutions for responding to climate change.
Renmin University School of Marxism in Beijing held a high level international conference on “China’s Path in International Relations” at the end of June 2015. The purpose was to explore and develop the scholarly and practical concepts of “One Belt One Road” as articulated by President Xi Jinping. WUN Executive Director, Professor John Hearn, and WUN China Manager, Associate Professor Grace Liu, were among international speakers from Canada, USA, Russia and Europe invited to present papers.
WUN Executive Director, Professor John Hearn, and WUN China Manager, Associate Professor Grace Liu, visited WUN member Zhejiang University in June to meet with the new President Professor Zhaohui Wu, reviewing the WUN-Zhejiang Partnership and exploring greater engagement and teamwork. Zhejiang currently ranks in the top three Chinese universities and is a recognised international research leader.
A new institute set up to help public and private sector organisations meet the challenges and opportunities of the Big Data revolution opened its doors on Friday 10 July 2015. The Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) offers state-of-the-art facilities in data analytics and will partner with researchers and organisations to help them make the most of the rapidly growing fields of consumer and medical data analysis.
Based on the methods used to calculate the Global AgeWatch Index which measures the wellbeing of older people in the world, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Jockey Club Institute of Ageing, with support from The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) Charities Trust, revealed that Hong Kong ranked 24th among 97 countries or territories in 2014.
Medical research and advanced mathematics are usually considered separate disciplines. But for one WUN collaboration, bringing maths and biology together could hold the key to understanding how cells in the human body signal to each other, and might potentially unlock the secrets of a range of non-communicable diseases.
In the coming months, WUN will see considerable transition in its Partnership Board, with leading figures that have helped shape WUN over the last ten years moving on from their respective universities. WUN thanks these individuals for their dedicated service and wishes them the best of luck in their future endeavours. We also look forward to welcoming their successors and continuing to build on mutual strengths.
The new Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson MP, visited world-leading research facilities at the University of Leeds on Monday 15 June 2015. Mr Johnson toured the University’s Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (iMBE), which has pioneered research in joint replacement technologies, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, and the National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems, one of the best equipped robot building labs in the world.
The University of Leeds is investing £17 million in a state-of-the-art laboratory for structural biology research.
There has been a significant increase in asthma and allergies in high-income countries over the past few decades. These diseases are also increasingly prevalent in developing countries, which can substantially increase mortality rates since proper medication is often expensive. The causes of asthma and allergies are not well understood, and there is currently neither a cure or effective prevention. At the same time, parasitic infections have decreased and have known immunological effects.