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GIRH and FIRH Co-host Online Round-table Conference “China-Canada Symposium on Chronic Respiratory Diseases” for the First Time


At 20:00-22:30, Saturday, November 27, 2021, of Beijing time (7:00-9:30 North American Eastern Time), the online round-table conference “China-Canada Symposium on Chronic Respiratory Diseases” was convened smoothly, co-hosted by Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health (GIRH) and Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health (FIRH). The conference was co-chaired by Professor He Jianxing, the president of GIRH and Professor Martin Kolb, the president in charge of scientific research of FIRH and the current chief editor of European Respiratory Journal (ERJ), attended by more than 20 leaders, major researchers and scientific researchers of both sides, and about 40 representatives from the collaborative units of GIRH and the National Center for Respiratory Medicine.

First, academician Zhong Nanshan, director of the Guangzhou Lab and National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Disease and Professor Dawn Bowdish, the newly appointed executive director of FIRH, delivered an opening speech respectively, and briefly introduced the institutes’ research progress achieved in the field of chronic respiratory disease in recent years. They said, GIRH and FIRH had been partners for a long time and made important cooperation achievements in quite some fields. Though the cooperation between both sides has been hindered and affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in these two years, they still kept friendly communication and exchanges and helped each other, which highlighted the importance and significance of good international partnerships. Both sides said that they were pleased to meet each other online and hoped that in the near future, they could meet and cooperate both online and offline.

Later, the experts of China and Canada exchanged views on such topics as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasia, interstitial lung disease (ILD) and chronic cough. Professor Zhang Qingling, Professor Zheng Jinping, Research Fellow Guan Weijie, Associate Professor Han Qian, and Professor Lai Kefang from the GIRH team, Associate Professor Helen Neighbour, Professor Dawn Bowdish, Professor Andrew Mclvor, Professor Martin Kolb and Assistant Professor Imran Satia from the FIRH team and other experts delivered a speech in succession. The experts of China and Canada shared their team’s latest research progress in related fields, including the research of registration of severe asthma patients and major research technology platforms; early clinical diagnosis of COPD and application of new technologies such as AI and big data analysis, therapeutic strategy and scheme selection; the actions of the ageing immune system and microbiome on the respiratory infection and acute exacerbation, ecological disturbance and clinical intervention of bronchiectasis; new concept, clinical classification, pathogenesis of ILD diagnosis and development of biomarkers; epidemiologic research of chronic cough and research and development of new detection technologies for cough. They had heated discussions on hot issues of every topic until the meeting was concluded.

Finally, Academician Zhong Nanshan summarized and affirmed the effect of exchanges in the symposium, and pointed out that it was helpful to promote the mutual understanding between both teams, confirmed interest to further the cooperation in various fields with FIRH, and named the possible research directions to explore cooperation opportunities with FIRH. Professor Martin Kolb thanked the GIRH team for organizing the conference on behalf of the FIRH team, and highly praised the brilliant achievements made by the outstanding clinical doctors and basic research scientists led by Academician Zhong and President He, especially their great contribution to the battling against Covid-19 and pandemic prevention and control. The leaders of Canada were satisfied with the progress and achievements of cooperation with GIRH in recent years and hoped to continue to deepen the exchange with GIRH and explore more cooperation opportunities with GIRH in more fields, and wished to visit GIRH again and have a face-to-face exchange with Chinese peers next year when the pandemic was under control.


Leaders of GIRH and FIRH deliver a speech



The discussions among experts of China and Canada


Speech presentations delivered by experts of China and Canada