Professor Zhanfeng Cui awarded ‘Suzhou International Academician Workstation’

OSCAR Director and Principal Investigator, Prof. Zhanfeng Cui, has received the ‘Suzhou International Academician Workstation’ award by the Suzhou Municipal Science and Technology Department. He is one of only a handful of world-class scientists who have received this high-profile recognition this year. A ‘Suzhou International Academician Workstation’ grant is an inhouse technological innovation platform set up within a local business, research institute and university, with eminent academicians of foreign nationalities leading innovative research initiatives to deliver breakthrough technologies as well as to cultivate talent and enable international sci-tech engagement. Granted Workstations receive RMB 1m in funding for their start-up, and after one year of full operation, up to RMB 300,000 each year in performance-based research subsidies for up to 3 years.

Prof. Cui’s ‘Suzhou Foreign Academician Workstation’ at OSCAR will commit to developing needs-driven technology and products with active involvement of industrial partners. Specifically, the foci will be two tracks of research: molecular diagnostics and in vitro cell amplification technologies.



Prof. Zhanfeng Cui, CEng CSci FIChemE FAIMBRE FREng

•Donald Pollock Professor of Chemical Engineering, Oxford

•Director of Strategic Projects (China), MPLS Division

•Director, JITRI IMPACT Institute at the University of Oxford

•Academic Founder of 5 spin-out companies



Molecular diagnostics technology platform

Building on the award-winning OxLAMPTM technology, Prof. Cui’s team will seek to develop rapid tests for a wide array of infectious diseases, such as influenza, dengue, Zika and hepatitis. Researchers will also work on developing low-cost, automated apparatus for household nucleic acid testing, allowing for in situ testing outside of the lab environment. Such nucleic acid testing apparatus will have applications in myriad scenarios, such as airports, train stations and schools where there’s there is high people traffic, as well as community health centres, community hospitals and clinics which struggle to provide specialised equipment and lab.


In vitro cell expansion platform

Prof. Cui and his team’s area of expertise lies in the in vitro isolation, purification, directed differentiation and massive expansion of mesenchymal stem cells, embryonic stem cells, neural progenitor cells, skin fibroblasts and chondrocytes, as well as transgenic and nuclear transplantation techniques. The goal is to provide novel cell therapy techniques for clinical settings for the treatment of diseases such as spinal cord injury, stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, osteoarthritis, osteonecrosis of the femoral head and intervertebral disc degeneration.