Australia and China team up to tackle stomach ulcer bug

The University of Western Australia and the Australia-China Council have joined forces in a research partnership to tackle the world’s most common infection that causes stomach ulcers.

The Australia-China Helicobacter Fellowship, launched today by Nobel Laureate Professor Barry Marshall, offers exceptional Chinese medical scientists the opportunity to work with world-leading bacterium researchers at UWA.

Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria that infects the stomach and can lead to serious conditions such as stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.

It is a major public health issue in Asia where virulent strains are common, leading to frightening rates of gastric cancer.

The first two successful fellowship recipients, Dr Xiangyu Wang (Shenzhen Hospital) and Dr Xiawei Dou (Guizhou Medical University), will take part in a four-week program at the Helicobacter Research Laboratory at QEII Medical Centre undertaking specialist helicobacter culturing, sequencing and analysis.

Working with members of the Helicobacter Pylori Research Group, the Chinese scientists will support the development of new diagnostics and treatments to target H. pylori in China.

Professor Barry Marshall, who first discovered H. pylori and its causative link to stomach cancer, said the Australia-China Helicobacter Fellowship offered a unique opportunity for cross-cultural research.

“China is the next great frontier for H.pylori,” Professor Marshall said.

“Twenty per cent of the world’s population lives in China and more than 500 million Chinese are infected with helicobacter.

“I hope this Fellowship builds the skills, knowledge and expertise to make inroads to reducing H.pylori infection rates in China.”

The deadline for applications for the 2019 Fellowship is 30 November 2018.

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