University of Sydney to play a leading role in Chinese medicine

The University of Sydney is to take a leading role in researching and developing traditional Chinese medicines with the establishment of a new research centre and a joint chair in the discipline.

The new Australia-China Centre for Research in Chinese Medicines (ACCRCM) was announced in China this week by NSW Premier Morris Iemma.

The Centre is to be established as joint collaboration between the University of Sydney and Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China.

"The Australia-China Centre for Research in Chinese Medicines (ACCRCM) will be a world class partnership between Australia and China to study and develop traditional Chinese medicine for modern health markets," Mr Iemma said.

"Research shows that between 50 and 75 per cent of the Australian adult population use complementary medicine products and services each year.

Mr Iemma also announced the establishment of a Joint Chair in Traditional Chinese Medicine to be based at both the University of Sydney and the University of Western Sydney.

"Each year some $2 to $3 billion is spent on complementary medicine products and practitioners in Australia while the value of the global herbal medicines' market alone is estimated to be 20 times that amount.

"There is huge potential for traditional Chinese medicine to figure prominently in mainstream health regimes worldwide given the right research and development focus and proper scientific validations.

The initiatives were welcomed by Professor John Hearn, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Sydney.

"The new centre will see a professional partnership between the University of Sydney's Herbal Medicines Research and Education Centre and Sun Yat-sen University's Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine."

"This will be the first cooperative venture between Australian and Chinese universities to promote and advance the knowledge of Chinese medicine, the integration of Chinese and Western medicine, and the utilisation of Chinese medicine in the prevention and treatment of diseases worldwide," Professor Hearn said.

The centre will integrate research strengths in the biomedical and clinical sciences among Australian and Chinese universities, and aims to become the leading centre of its kind in the world.

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