Faculty members from Yale and Shanghai Jiao Tong universities jointly launch an immune-metabolic institute.[Photo provided to China Daily]
Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Yale University on March 23 jointly launched an immune-metabolic institute in Shanghai that focuses on the research of the immune system's metabolism.
The institute is the first of its kind that Yale University has established outside the United States.
Richard Flavell, an academician at the National Academy of Sciences in the US and the founder of the immunology school at Yale, and Su Bing, director of the Shanghai Institute of Immunology, School of Medicine of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, will serve as the deans of the institute.
"The area the institute will work on - immune-metabolism - is a critical area for the treatment of human diseases such as obesity. By bringing together world-leading medical institutions at Shanghai Jiao Tong and Yale, we aim to build the best international institute in the field, contribute to the health of people, and tackle the medical problems we cannot deal with at the moment," says Flavell.
According to Su, up to 30 medical experts from around the world will help with the research at the institute, which aims to produce pragmatic research achievements in the industry within three to five years.
"We will do our best to jointly establish a world-class joint laboratory with Yale, and fully support this project by incorporating it into Shanghai's high-level university development project and the national 'double first-class' initiative," says Chen Guoqiang, chancellor of the school of medicine at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Chen says the school is now communicating with the Shanghai government to incorporate the institute into the overall scientific and technological plans of Shanghai Zhangjiang Science City.
Vaccines and antibodies based on immunological theory are important in the prevention and treatment of conditions such as polio, leukemia and lymphoma.
According to scientists, the study of the emerging medical field of immune-metabolism has also opened up a new way for the prevention and treatment of major chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Chen adds that immune-metabolic research would have a significant impact on the treatment of age-related diseases.
"Diseases common among the elderly are mostly due to deterioration of the metabolism of immune cells. We hope to strengthen the basic research in the geriatrics field as the average life expectancy of Chinese people continues to grow," says Chen.
In China, the average life expectancy rose from 35 years in the 1940s to 76.5 years in 2016. The country is aiming to hit 77.3 years by 2020 and 79 years by 2030, according to the Healthy China 2030 blueprint released in 2016.