Mount Sinai Hospital

Mount Sinai Hospital

November 14, 2005 09:25 ET

Mount Sinai Hospital partners with University of Hong Kong

Pioneering agreement paves way for synergy and collaboration in genomic medicine research Attention: Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Science Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor HONG KONG--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 14, 2005) - Mount Sinai Hospital and The University of Hong Kong are collaborating to bring together world-class biomedical scientists and research facilities in a pioneering partnership designed to advance genomic medicine.

The Hospital and its world-renowned Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute signed an historic memorandum of agreement with University of Hong Kong today that will create synergy through a collaborative sharing of knowledge, scientific equipment and laboratories and student exchanges.

"Our vision is to take advantage of our shared expertise in genomic medicine to speed up the rate of discovery for the benefit of patients in Ontario, Hong Kong and around the globe," said Dr. Stephen Lye, Vice President of Research at Mount Sinai Hospital, one of the signatories. "This strategic alliance takes advantage of our shared expertise and resources, as well as a collaboration between our organization that began more than a decade ago. Now we can take it to a new level, and accelerate research which could lead to treatments and cures of many genetic diseases faced by Ontarians, the people of Hong Kong and patients around the world."

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, also Minister of Research and Innovation, attended today's ceremony as part of his trade mission to China. He praised both institutions for creating a culture of innovation and working together to build research capability that will enable quicker progress because of the shared learnings of both populations.

"This agreement is a great example of how we are creating a culture of innovation and strengthening ties between Ontario and China," said Premier McGuinty. "Bringing these two strong partners together will help us improve our ability to do innovative research and help millions of people live better, healthier lives."

Minister of Economic Development & Trade Joe Cordiano sees the partnership as a great advantage when it comes to promoting Ontario internationally. "Knowledge sharing establishes important linkages between our economies," he said. "Our research and development infrastructure in Ontario is very attractive to potential investors."

Those signing at the ceremony at the Park Lane Hotel in Hong Kong included Dr. Stephen Lye; Dr. James Woodgett, incoming Director of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute; Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong; Professor S. K. Lam, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

Genomic medicine is a rapidly growing field of biomedical research developing and applying innovative tools, technologies and approaches to the discovery of genes underlying common medical conditions, and the rapid translation of this knowledge into clinical care to prevent, treat and cure diseases.

As part of the vision, Mount Sinai Hospital intends to construct a Centre for Genomic Medicine to support this collaboration and participating researchers from the University of Hong Kong will have access to specialized core support services within the Centre.

Researchers will have access to new patient population databases and DNA/gene repositories from genetically different populations in Canada and China. The institutions will conduct collaborative research projects based on common interests and expertise and develop clinical platforms to turn basic discoveries into tests which the healthcare systems in both countries can use to better diagnose patients.

"We are both academic teaching institutions and a strong emphasis will also be placed on training a new generation of basic and clinical researchers through scientific and student exchanges," said Dr. Lye.

Joseph Mapa, President and CEO of Mount Sinai Hospital, said research is at a tipping point where years of basic research have produced milestones which are translating into new clinical treatments and cures faster than ever.

"We need to work together with the broader research community to develop a culture of learning and innovation, and this initiative certainly mirrors our spirit of discovery," said Mr. Mapa.

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About The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
Established in 1985, the SLRI at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto is one of the world's leading centres for biomedical research. The Institute is part of Mount Sinai Hospital, an internationally recognized 440-bed acute care academic health centre affiliated with the University of Toronto. SLRI has 513 research, administrative and support staff, 100,000 square feet of laboratory space and a 25,000-square-foot pre-clinical research lab. For more information about SLRI research, visit http://www.mshri.on.ca

About Mount Sinai Hospital
Mount Sinai Hospital is recognized nationally and internationally for its excellence in the provision of compassionate patient care, teaching and research. Its key priority programs are Women's and Infants' Health, Surgical Subspecialties and Oncology, Internal Medicine and Subspecialties, and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. It is a University of Toronto-affiliated patient care, teaching and research centre. Visit http://www.mtsinai.on.ca for more information about Mount Sinai Hospital.
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For more information, please contact:
Rob McCartney
Manager, Media Relations
Mount Sinai Hospital
Phone: 416 586-3161
Email: rmccartney@mtsinai.on.ca
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Contact Information

  • Rob McCartney, Manager, Media Relations, Mount Sinai Hospital
    Primary Phone: 416-586-4800 ext. 7821