The two faculties will work together as equal partners to develop at least two major medical research centres which will have a unified leadership, mission and objectives even though the researchers are an ocean apart.
"This joint research program is another example of the special relationship UBC has with the nations of the Far East," said Faculty of Medicine Dean Dr. John Cairns. "It offers both universities an opportunity for research, cultural and economic growth. Our level of excitement is high as we embark on this joint venture."
The first centres will focus their research on the neurosciences and cardiovascular medicine.
Future centres may include areas which are currently being developed through the UBC faculty's Medicine 2000 plan, such as molecular biology and genetics, child development, cancer research and health care evaluation and planning.
Project development teams drawn from both schools will create proposals outlining how to best collaborate on the centres.
Combining and expanding these efforts will give both Canada and Hong Kong increased international prominence in medical research.
The transfer of Hong Kong to China next June will allow the medical schools to jointly expand their efforts more easily to medical research centres in Shanghai and Beijing.
Development proposals will be used as a basis for fund development to finance the centres both in Hong Kong and Canada. It is expected that each centre will seek funding of $25-30 million.