On Monday, March 16, Mr. Guo Jianping, Vice President of Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences visited TRIUMF, leading a delegation of five medical executives from China's Zhejiang province, The delegation was hosted by Dr. Jianming Lu, a TRIUMF scientist and president of the fledging JML Biopharmaceuticals company. TRIUMF director Nigel Lockyer, senior scientist Tom Ruth, and Head of Strategic Planning and Communications Tim Meyer greeted the visitors and talked about TRIUMF's present and future programs. Also on hand to welcome the visitors was Richard T. Lee, BC MLA for Burnaby -North and Parliamentary Secretary for the Asia-Pacific Initiative.
All of the Chinese delegates represented important provincial hospitals and medical institutes in China. Their visit to British Columbia and TRIUMF was a chance to learn more about Canadian hospitals and medical research centres-and ultimately to find potential partnership opportunities.
During their short stay, Nigel Lockyer presented TRUMF's Five Year Plan and highlighted nuclear medicine as the fastest growing program in the lab. Through the use of an interpreter, he explained that "Everything we do starts with accelerators and we are the only place in Canada that builds accelerators." The delegation was introduced to TRIUMF's partnership with MDS Nordion and learned that through a mutual collaboration, 2.5 million patient doses of medical isotopes per year are produced and shipped around the world. The use of cyclotrons for imaging Canadian cancer patients is rapidly increasing, going from less than 2,000 in 1999 to 10,000 this past year. Lockyer also presented the TRIUMF/UBC PET Centre, a joint TRIUMF-UBC program that studies the origins, progression, and treatment of Parkinson's disease and other neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's. The delegation was very impressed. Findings such as the significance of the placebo effect for patients with Parkinson's were discussed. After the brief presentation, the visitors were taken on a tour to see the PET CT Facility. Their next stop was the BC Cancer Agency to meet Dr. Don Wilson, Director of the Medical Imaging Program.
Bringing together medical research figures from China and Canada promotes a spirit of collaboration and integration in a knowledge-based economy. It involves taking the next step and exchanging ideas with international leaders, finding mutual benefits, and discovering new opportunities for growth in the medical field. The presence of the Chinese delegation at TRIUMF emphasized its international reputation not just as a particle and nuclear physics lab but as a lab that seeks to partner successfully with the industry.
By: Maria Jose Crousillat