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University of Ottawa signs MOU with Chinese science body

Ottawa, ON – The University of Ottawa has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which it says will lead to a major program of research exchanges and collaborations in the area of reproductive health.

The MOU, said to be the only one between a university and a research institution in China, was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Paul Martin and Chinese President Hu Jintao at a ceremony on Parliament Hill on Friday, September 9.

"We look forward to a productive and exciting exchange program," said Gilles G Patry, the university’s president.

Dr Ben Tsang, a professor in the university’s Faculty of Medicine and a researcher at the Ottawa Health Research Institute, is the project’s leader. He previously initiated a similar research initiative in Japan which has developed into a multi-institutional research consortium involving numerous Canadian and Japanese scientists.

"Research on the effectiveness and safety of assisted reproduction and contraception, the impact of environmental contaminants on reproductive health as well as cancer of the reproductive organs are important priorities in both Canada and China and this exciting collaborative initiative will be a key step in improving the reproductive health of Canadians and Chinese." He says. "This MOU is the beginning of an exciting period for researchers at our institution and across China and will provide an important impetus to our overall efforts."

Dr Tsang will lead a 25-member Canadian scientific delegation to Beijing in November to begin implementing the exchange program.

The MOU has a term of five years with an option for renewal.