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Vietnam workshop discusses traditional medicine and skin research

A researcher at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has co-organised a workshop that focuses on herbal medicine in Vietnam and its application in translational research on skin.  

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The QMUL team also visited a traditional herbal medicine garden in Ben Tre province.
The QMUL team also visited a traditional herbal medicine garden in Ben Tre province.

Professor Mike Philpott of QMUL’s Blizard Institute organised the Translational Skin Biology Workshop in January, together with colleagues from the Centre for Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research and the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City (UMP HCMC). 

Vietnam has a long history of relying on traditional herbal medicines to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses. Herbal medicines have traditionally been preferred by the poor, as they are locally available and inexpensive.

But despite their popularity, there has been little research on the safety and efficacy of herbal medicines, according to the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023.

The three-day workshop at Ho Chi Minh City aimed to address this lack of research and develop ideas for future collaborations in translational skin research. The presentations focused on better understanding of skin diseases, technical approaches and novel natural products in skin disease research, as well as industry partnerships in the development of natural pharmaceutical products. 

Supported by the Newton Fund and British Council, the workshop led to participants identifying two key areas for further collaboration: the genetics of rare skin diseases, and the biological activity of extracts from Ginseng. 

Professor Mike Philpott said: “The workshop was a considerable success and we would like to thank our colleagues at the UMP HCMC for their excellent hospitality and great enthusiasm. We particularly enjoyed visiting a traditional Vietnamese herbal medicine garden in Ben Tre province and have identified a number of key areas where we can work together with colleagues at the UMP HCMC in their research. We also hope to welcome scientists from Vietnam to QMUL in the future.”

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