On Wednesday 2 November, the Centre of Excellence for Plant and Microbial Science (CEPAMS), jointly established by China Academy of Sciences (CAS) and John Innes Centre, officially launched in Beijing with its first laboratory open for research.
CAS Vice-President Zhang Yaping and Martyn Roper, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Beijing, attended the opening ceremony for CEPAMS.
The centre is a collaboration between the John Innes Centre and two CAS institutes, the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) and the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology (SIPPE).
CEPAMS brings together three world-leading laboratories from the UK and China to tackle global challenges of food security and improved health and wellbeing, and nurture excellent science. Its transnational research team focuses on the improvement of food crops and investigating high-value, beneficial products from plants and microbes.
CEPAMS opens its first laboratory at IGDB in Beijing with appointment of Dr Yang Bai. Dr Bai worked for Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany, before he joined the centre. He will focus his research on plant root-associated microbes and agricultural productivity.
Dr Bai said “I look forward to doing ground-breaking research, and further strengthen scientific partnership between the UK and China.”
CEPAMS has three campuses located in Beijing, Shanghai, and Norwich respectively. CEPAMS group leaders have the opportunity to conduct their scientific research in JIC and to co-operate with the John Innes Centre faculty.
CEPAMS was established with funding from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), one of the UK’s seven Research Councils (RCUK). About 20 CAS-JIC collaborative projects have been launched by CEPAMS since 2014.