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UCLA going international with research lab in Shanghai

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Although significant political tension exists between the US and many nations, including China, through my work as editor of medical papers for Asian physicians (Chinese, Korean, and Japanese), I have found that cooperation is high and discord is low between physicians around the globe. The latest example of international cooperation in the medical arena occurred on April 8. The University of California and UCLA Department of Pathology have formed an agreement with the Chines firm, Centre Testing International Corp. The agreement was signed at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center; the ceremony was videocast to China. The joint venture will create a company that will operate a clinical laboratory in Shanghai. The new laboratory will support clinical trials and enrich medical care for Chinese patients with cancer and other serious illnesses.

The new company has been named CTI-Pathology/UCLA Health; it is jointly owned by the University of California and CTI. The 25,000-square-foot facility will open in September 2014. UCLA notes that the partnership for the creation of a specialized laboratory is the first between a Chinese company and a US academic medical center to create a specialized laboratory in China. It will provide genetic and molecular diagnostics and other sophisticated tests, which exceed the abilities of the average Chinese laboratory.

UCLA pathologists will train Chinese lab specialists to precisely interpret the tests. In addition, UCLA will oversee management of the laboratory to certify that its operations meet international standards for quality; CTI will provide capital funding and marketing expertise. The Shanghai facility will be electronically and digitally linked with UCLA; thus, allowing physicians and patients to consult with UCLA pathologists as well as hospitals, clinics, and other laboratories throughout China.

“This joint venture is founded on UCLA’s desire to build strong global relationships that, through education, research and service, improve the health of people and communities throughout the world,” noted Dr. Tom Rosenthal, chief medical officer for UCLA Health System and co-director of UCLA’s Center for World Health. He added, “UCLA has a genuine interest in elevating the level of medicine around the world. This is one way we can really make a difference in the quality of the Chinese people’s health care and lives.”

“We are extremely pleased that the UCLA Health System, UCLA Department of Pathology and the UC Regents agreed to partner with CTI to establish and manage our joint venture laboratory in Shanghai,” explained Sangem Hsu, president of CTI. He added, “Our collaboration will offer the people of China oncology, pathology and laboratory medicine services they can trust. Many of these services are not largely available in China and are needed by physicians and health care providers to accurately diagnose and treat their patients.”

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