19 June 2018
Dean Prof. Reichel and Dr Fraser Hill (Director of CityU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory) recently visited the ‘China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda’ (CCRCGP) in Dujiangyan in Sichuan Province, supported by Mr Mo (Assistant Director (Business Development)).
CityU has recently opened a research institute in Chengdu (City University of Hong Kong Chengdu Research Institute (CityUCRI)) and collaborative research opportunities were explored with the veterinarians on staff at the CCRCGP into the health and diagnostics of the Giant Panda, an endangered species that is also a Chinese national icon. Possibilities for research input with postgraduate students include evaluating the epidemiology and pharmacokinetics of the parasite Baylisascaris schroederi. This parasite is a significant problem in the Giant Panda and a safe therapy for pregnant females needs evaluation.
The CCRCGP visit showed a well-resourced hospital and veterinary diagnostic facility that may require some ongoing support with the running and calibrating of the modern equipment on site.
Upon return to Chengdu, Dr Hill and Prof. Reichel met with the Deputy Director of the Chengdu Zoo (Ms Chen Hongwei) who is also interested in future cooperations with CityU. Currently, they are working on diagnosing and treating the 'whitening eye circles' in the Giant Panda.