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On October 30, 2018, a delegation from Chulabhorn Royal Academy, Thailand, and Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) office of Thailand visited China National GeneBank (CNGB) in Shenzhen and signed a letter of intent (LOI) on establishing a framework for cooperation on precision-medicine in Thailand.
The delegation was led by Prof. Nithi Mahanonda, Secretary-General of Chulabhorn Royal Academy and Prof. Chirayu Auewarakul, Vice- Principal of Chulabhorn Royal Academy. Dr. Wang Jian, Chairman of BGI and Dr. Wang Ren, Senior Vice-President of BGI warmly welcomed the delegation.
Dr. Wang Ren briefed the delegation on the history of BGI -- from BGI’s participation in Human Genome Project to its advancement into a world-leading genomics organization. The guests were given a tour of CNGB’s facilities to familiarized its integrated structure of “Three Banks and Two Platforms", Mr. Jeremy Cao, General Manager of Asia Pacific Region of BGI Genomics, introduced BGI’s achievements and capabilities in big data processing and analysis, as well as the latest progress in genetic sequencers.
During the discussion session, the delegation was briefed on the latest research directions of BGI by the representatives from Cancer Institute, Maternal & Child Health Research Institute, and the Institute of Institute of Health and Aging of BGI-Research. The two sides reached to cooperation intention with BGI on cancer research, genetic disease screening and aging disease research based on health care situation of Thailand population and research direction of Chulabhorn Royal Academy.
The first series of key cooperation projects are expected as imaging genomics research of Alzheimer's disease in the Thai population, screening thalassemia with high-incidence and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency screening study in Thailand. At the same time, Chulabhorn Royal Academy will make use of BGI's leading sequencing technology to improve its research platform and lead the development of genomics in Thailand.
Prof. Nithi Mahanonda said that Chulabhorn Royal Academy is willing to cooperate more with BGI, and warmly invited BGI delegation to visit Thailand.
Following the meeting, BGI, Chulabhorn Royal Academy, and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) office of Thailand signed a letter of intent (LOI) to mutually identify the future cooperation in the development of Thailand's Precision Medicine Center and to promote the development of genomics in Thailand.
The signing of LOI with Chulabhorn Royal Academy and the EEC office is a further refinement of the cooperation intention on establishing precision-medicine platform in Thailand after the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Mr. Somkid Jatusripitak to CNGB in June and BGI’s participation in the 6th meeting of the China-Thailand Joint Commission on trade investment, and economic cooperation in Thailand earlier this year in August.
The establishment of precision-medicine national platform in Thailand will not only further strengthen the bilateral relations, but will also promote the development of biotechnology in Thailand and drive Thailand to become a medical center in Southeast Asia, to support Thailand 4.0 life sciences transformation, and to drive growth in the CLMVT (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand) region.
About the Eastern Economic Corridor
The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is a large-scale development project under the scheme of Thailand 4.0 aiming to revitalize and enhancing of the well-known Eastern Seaboard Development Program that had supported Thailand as a powerhouse for industrial production in Thailand. Eastern Economic Corridor aims to upgrade infrastructure, develop new industries and incentivize/facilitate investment. The EEC is designed to attract new industries while also upgrading existing clusters such as automotive, electronics, and petrochemicals. Additionally, five major infrastructural projects are planned to make the corridor more attractive for investments and to improve the connectivity with the ASEAN hinterland.
About Chulabhorn Royal Academy
Chulabhorn Royal Academy (CRA) was established by Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol. CRA is officially accredited by the Ministry of Education, Thailand. CRA offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as master degrees, doctorate degrees in biochemistry, biotechnology, medicinal chemistry, chemical carcinogenesis, environmental toxicology, immunology, natural products, organic synthesis, and pharmacology.