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Hong Kong's university establishes Asia's first microbiota transplantation, research center

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The Faculty of Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Thursday announced that it has established Asia's first and Hong Kong's only microbiota transplantation and research center.

The center aims to unravel the role of the gut microbiota in human health, and to develop novel strategies for disease prevention and intervention.

"Recent evidence suggests that imbalance in the gut microbiota can lead to many human diseases," Professor Francis Chan, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at CUHK said, adding that although microbiota-based therapeutics appears promising, the science behind this is still in its infancy.

Chan said that CUHK's Faculty of Medicine has been the pioneer in Asia in gut microbiota research. Having set up the center, they will expand research in microbiota transplantation to other conditions such as obesity and metabolic syndrome.

The faculty established a gut microbiota biobank in March 2016 to provide quality-assured frozen microbiota solution for microbiota transplantation.

Professor Paul Kay Sheung Chan, chairman of the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine at CUHK, said safety, optimization and viability preservation are the three key elements of the gut microbiota biobank, which, to date, has supported over 80 microbiota transplantations.

"Not only have we saved numerous patients with life-threatening gastrointestinal diseases using this approach, it has also advanced our knowledge on this new treatment option," he added.

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