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The Second Sino-French Symposium on Transdisciplinary Infectious Diseases Held in Wuhan

  • Published: Dec 25, 2012
  • Source: CAE
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The Second Sino-French Symposium on Transdisciplinary Infectious Diseases was held in Wuhan from October 29 to 31, 2012. Fan Daiming, Vice President of CAE, chaired the event, while Chen Zhu, Minister of Health, Wang Guosheng, Governor of Hubei Province, H. E. Sylvie BERMANN, Ambassador of France in China, addressed the opening ceremony. The symposium also witnessed the presence of Pr. Alain MÉRIEUX, President of Foundation Mérieux, Pr. André PARODI, President of the French National Academy of Medicine – ANM, Zhang Daili and Guo Shenglian, both Vice Governors of Hubei Province, among many others.

Fan said in his address that, infectious diseases had been spreading in the past three decades, as new pathogen continued to appear and old pathogen that had been controlled before emerged again, bringing great economic loss to livestock raising industry and posing great threats to human health in China. Due to frequent personnel exchanges and the ever increasing scale of global trade, once certain highly infectious diseases break out, they would soon spread worldwide. In accordance with the Sino-French Agreement on Infectious Disease Prevention and Control as well as the Supplementary Agreement, approved and supported by both governments, China and France have launched joint efforts in preventing and controlling infectious diseases, providing guidance for new and reemerging infectious disease control and prevention in China. 

The First Sino-French Symposium on Transdisciplinary Infectious Diseases was held in Annecy, France, on October 18, 2011. The event proved to be a great success, and attendees of the symposium sang high praise for it, who then decided that the second symposium be held in Wuhan, a beautiful city located in central China, commonly known as the City of Rivers. The second symposium would focus on the frontiers of transdisciplinary infectious diseases as well as the development of immunology, exchange on latest research efforts and achievements both at home and abroad in these fields, and strengthen cooperation between China and France in areas like infectious diseases and immunology.

Minister Chen Zhu pointed out in his speech that, China and France had long enjoyed cooperative relationship through the years, with bilateral collaboration in the field of medical health being especially extensive and fruitful. The fact that China had been carrying out medical health system reform at present would, very hopefully, lead to more vital cooperation between both sides. Since new and reemerging infectious diseases show spreading trend globally in the past thirty years, causing significant losses to the society, it’s a common task confronting the international community to prevent and control infectious diseases in an effective manner. Chen also said that, the Chinese government had always paid attention to the prevention and control of infectious diseases, and had roughly built up a prevention and control system in China. Chen suggested that, in order to respond to and cope with this major challenge facing the human community jointly, both Chinese and French scientists and research teams should strengthen communication and exchanges, establish better platforms for the sharing of experiences, and implement cooperative projects as well as expand areas for cooperation, strengthen scientific and technological cooperation, realize the complementary advantages respectively, striving for major breakthroughs in the future.

Pr. Alain MÉRIEUX said that joint efforts between Foundation Mérieux and China had already made significant progress in the fields like high level bio-safety laboratory, who also expressed faith in even more brilliant prospects for future collaboration between both sides. He hoped that the cooperative partnership between China and France based on mutual trust could be more solid, stable and long-lasting, thus yielding more fruits in joint efforts in the future. 

This symposium was sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) and the French National Academy of Medicine – ANM, and organized by the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The three-day-long symposium focused its attention on four major research areas, namely, aetiology and epidemiology, anti infection immunity and infectious disease control, new vaccines and vaccine sociology, biological safety and bioethics.

The symposium was attended by a total of 200 people, including 30 Chinese academicians and experts, such as Xu Jianguo, Chen Huanchun, Yuan Guoyong and Shu Hongbing, and 68 French specialists, mainly representatives from the French National Academy of Medicine – ANM, National Institute of Health and Medical Research, France, Institute for Research and Technology, France, Institute of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases – IMMI, University of Lyon, Aix-Marseille University, Toulouse University, the Cancer Research Center of Lyon, and so on. Experts from both sides conducted extensive and in-depth exchanges and discussions at the symposium.

After the symposium, Raymond Ardaillou, Member of the French National Academy of Medicine, went to the Fourth Military Medical University located in Xi’an for a visit upon invitation, who made an enlightening presentation entitled “History of Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR): an Increasing Complexity”. Raymond Ardaillou also conferred a “French National Academy of Medicine Medal” to CAE Vice President Fan Daiming on behalf of the French National Academy of Medicine. (By Zhu Yu, November 2012; translated by Liu Chang)