March 17, 2014 | Phnom Penh, Cambodia
A new regional research platform for Southeast Asia, PRR-ASIE, was inaugurated March 11th on the Institut Pasteur campus in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Fondation Mérieux contributed to the creation of this research facility with other French research institutes (Institut Pasteur, Inserm (IMMI), IRD/AIRD, CIRAD, ANRS) united as part of the Aviesan Sud* alliance. Founded under the authority of the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the platform will foster collaboration among research teams from the North and the South.
PRR-ASIE is dedicated to research and surveillance of communicable and emerging infectious diseases, with the goal of strengthening high-level research capabilities in this field in Southeast Asia. The new research platform comprises over 180 m² of laboratories, including biosafety level 2 labs, and 110 m² of office space.
Fondation Mérieux has nearly 15 years of experience in Cambodia and will provide its expertise for training the future laboratory personnel and preparing research collaborations, especially in the area of antimicrobial resistance surveillance. The foundation also plans to help develop research programs by mobilizing its regional network in Laos and Myanmar.
At the impetus of Dr. Christophe Mérieux, Fondation Mérieux has been a public health partner in Cambodia since 2001. It contributed to creating the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Health Sciences (UHS), in partnership with Fondation Pierre Fabre. Fondation Mérieux also built a laboratory of excellence, the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory, at UHS.
Fondation Mérieux has 3 areas of intervention in Cambodia:
Infectious disease research, through the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory and support to UHS research programs;
Training and education, with the DES in Medical Biology degree program it created;
Strengthening capacities in diagnostics to improve patients’ access to high-quality diagnostics. Fondation Mérieux has thus rehabilitated hospital laboratories in Takéo, Battambang, Kompong Cham, Svay Rieng, Kampot, at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, and soon in Siem Reap. The foundation has focused on enhancing hygiene and safety, improving the technical infrastructures and training the laboratory personnel.
*Aviesan, the National Alliance for Life Sciences and Health, brings together leading French stakeholders in the life and health sciences.
Aviesan’s objective is to enhance the performance of French research by fostering its consistency, creativity and excellence. The alliance ensures scientific coordination of the main research themes as well as operational coordination of projects, resources and funding.