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Stockholm’s Karolinska receives huge donation from Hong Kong

Karolinska Institutet, one of the world's leading medical universities, announced that it will establish its own research base in Hong Kong, following a donation of US$50 million by a businessman based in the city.

The new arrangement will see work spread across two sites – one in Stockholm and one in Hong Kong. It will allow scientists from Hong Kong and around the world to work together in an independent research environment under the auspices of Karolinska Institutet.

Hong Kong’s chief executive CY Leung welcomed the establishment of the Karolinska Institutet's overseas research branch.

“Our healthcare system faces an ageing population. That reality will bring about a long term escalation in chronic diseases,” Leung said. “Regenerative medicine can help us. Stem-cell research can accelerate the development of effective pharmaceutical products.”

The donation gained a lot of attention in China. The government’s official news bureau, Xinhua, wrote: “Founded in 1810, the Karolinska Institutet has long been recognised as one of the world's foremost medical universities. It's responsible for more than 40% of Sweden's academic research in the medical field”.

The centre's research focus will be on three major diseases. One of its objectives is to use stem cell technology to rebuild damaged tissue, focusing, for example, on heart tissue damaged by infection, spinal injury and finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Additionally it will try to repair a damaged liver using stem cell transplants.

Professor Anders Hamsten, vice-chancellor of Karolinska Institutet, said the new centre will “provide our university with a pathway to critically important knowledge and bring us closer to key partners”.

The new research centre will take its name from its donor, and will be known as The Ming Wai Lau Center for Regenerative Medicine. Ming Wai Lau is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chinese Estates Holdings Ltd and Vice Chairman of the Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre. His $50 million represents one of the largest private donations ever received by Karolinska Institutet.

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This article was sponsored by Stockholm Business Region.

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Last Updated (Thursday, 02 April 2015 02:17)


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