China: A Rising Star in the Life Sciences

(DGIwire) – Having become a leader in global trade, China isn’t resting on its laurels. As recently reported in the journal Science, the populous nation is now focusing its efforts on the sciences. According to the Science article, Chinese universities, along with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have created award schemes aimed at attracting scientists trained in the U.S. or Europe to take positions across the nation.

For example, reports Science, universities and the local government in Shenzen are channeling funds into making advances in life science research and applications. Genomics giant BGI is moving forward with plans to create a specialized life science college in partnership with the South China University of Technology. According to one Chinese genomics expert, one of the most exciting projects is the Chinese Million-ome Project, aimed at decoding one million Chinese genomes across the entire country.

Meanwhile, the potential use of genomic engineering to eradicate the genetic bases for diseases is also being explored by groups of university researchers in Guangzhou. And at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, scientists have been conducting research on structural changes in the brain that occur when students begin studying a second language, according to Science.

“Smart life science companies in the United States ought to be paying close attention to what is going on in China today,” says Jeff Duchemin, President and CEO of Harvard Bioscience. “This country represents a new stage for the next groundbreaking advances not only in the life sciences themselves but also the global pharmaceutical industry.”

Holliston, MA-based Harvard Bioscience offers the highest-quality tools and equipment for university, government and other research laboratories, including those doing research with potential applications to neuroscience. Its product range is extensive, from molecular analysis instruments to electrophysiology tools. The company’s subsidiaries offer a complete line of instrumentation in multiple sectors including laboratory fluidics, molecular analysis, cell physiology and animal physiology.

Duchemin is an expert on life science research and its growth in China. In 2013, when he became head of Harvard Bioscience, he prioritized growth in China and other Asian markets. During the company’s most recent earnings call, Jeff reported the company’s intention to continue to invest in its business in China, where Harvard Bioscience has established a strong presence and what the company believes to be a positive future. In fact, the company’s revenues increased approximately 16 percent in China during the last quarter of 2016.

“The next rising star in the global life sciences sector is very likely to be the giant country in the east,” Duchemin adds.