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  Institute to battle epidemics
(ZHENG CAIXIONG, China Daily staff)

GUANGZHOU: The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangdong provincial and Guangzhou governments signed a contract on Saturday to jointly build a biological medicine and health research institute in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province.

The three parties will contribute equally to the total investment of 300 million yuan (US$36.14 million).

The contract was signed in Guangzhou on Saturday afternoon by Chinese Academy of Sciences President Lu Yongxiang, Guangdong Governor Huang Huahua and Guangzhou Mayor Zhang Guangning.

The Guangzhou Biological Medicine and Health Research Institute will be officially unveiled in the city in December.

Lu said the new institute will focus on research into fighting and preventing epidemic diseases of tropical and subtropical areas.

After the contract was signed, he said: "The new institute will be able to play an important role in handling and controlling tropical and subtropical epidemic diseases."

The institute will also carry out research into fighting Guangdong cancer (nasopharyngeal darcinoma) and Mediterranean anaemia, Lu said.

There is a high incidence of the two cancers in southern China, including the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

The new institute will give priority to studying and developing ocean medicines, whose main ingredients are ocean-based life forms. There is great potential for these in Guangdong, the Chinese province with the longest coastline.

Governor Huang highly praised the role the new institute will play in the years to come.

The institute will help further upgrade medical treatment in Guangdong and southern China generally to international standards.

It will also promote Guangdong's medical research and development to a higher level, which will help improve the province's ability to cope with any sudden outbreak of epidemics in the years ahead, Huang said.

The new institute will conduct a worldwide search for a president before October. Candidates for the post can be Chinese or foreign.

The institute is expected to attract many prestigious scientists and doctors. It will import advanced equipment and the latest technologies from around the world.

(HK Edition 07/07/2003 page2)


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