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Sussex to team up with leading Hong Kong university to launch dual PhD in cancer science

Professor Michael Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Sussex with Professor Karl Herrup, Head of Life Science at HKUST

The University of Sussex is to team up with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) to launch an innovative international PhD programme in cancer science next year.

The dual degree will be run jointly by top scientists from HKUST, one of the world’s top 50 universities, and the Genome Damage and Stability Centre (GDSC) at the University of Sussex, an internationally renowned centre investigating the responses of cells to genome damage and their relationship to cancer and other aspects of human disease.

The programme is the product of close ties between laboratories within the Division of Life Science at HKUST and the GDSC at Sussex. It follows a major workshop at HKUST, sponsored by the Croucher Foundation, which highlighted overlap in approaches used by scientists at both institutions and generated new research questions.

Students on the new programme will work on international research projects developed by collaborating laboratories under the guidance of specialist doctoral supervisors from both universities, spending approximately equal amounts of time at each campus. Students are expected to meet all the requirements at both institutions, but prepare one doctoral thesis. Upon successful completion, students will be awarded two degrees, from each institution.

Professor Michael Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sussex, signed the agreement in Hong Kong. "This is an outstanding opportunity for talented pre-doctoral researchers to work alongside world-leading scientists in Hong Kong and the UK, adapting to international laboratories and building networks for their future," he said.

Professor Nancy Ip, Vice-President for Research and Graduates Studies at HKUST said, “We are delighted to build upon our existing strategic relationship with GDSC. This significant initiative offers students exceptional academic training in cancer research, while providing invaluable opportunities to work with leading experts at both institutions, which will boost research collaborations, foster creativity, and fuel innovation.”

The sharing of scientific techniques and facilities will provide a platform for collaborations between laboratories, facilitating research outputs of international excellence. Up to 40 scientists from both institutions will meet at Sussex next year to discuss problems of common interest in genome damage and stability and neurobiology.

Researchers at Sussex and HKUST are also cooperating on undergraduate research training and have worked together to promote gender equality in the Life Sciences, leading on a forum on Women in Science in partnership with the British Council in Hong Kong.

By: Victoria Shaw
Last updated: Thursday, 8 December 2016

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