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The University of Southampton

Making the vision a success – an interview with Dr Ying Cheong

Published: 20 April 2020
Ying Cheong
Dr Ying Cheong

Dr Ying Cheong is Professor of Reproductive Medicine within Medicine at the University of Southampton and Honorary Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton.

In 2011, Ying co-founded the Complete Fertility Centre Southampton at the Princess Anne Hospital which now treats hundreds of patients with fertility problems. She also works closely with collaborators across disciplines in Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science and Nanoscience in the development of nano-therapeutics and medical biosensors.

Ying is also the Associate Dean, Enterprise for the University’s Faculty of Medicine and recently became part of the co-opted committee that will review projects proposed to the newly-established Wessex Academic Health Science Centre (WAHSC) stablished to accelerate and grow research-based innovations within the NHS through coordinated actions to deliver solutions from all disciplines to improve health and social care.

Here she discusses the new Centre and its potential to speed up research and other activities related to the fight against COVID-19.

Why did you join Southampton?

I joined Southampton because I wanted to go sailing! Secondarily, I thought it has a brilliant university which has top of the class engineering capabilities, and a friendly medical faculty. It suited my innovative enterprising personality trait.

Where does your interest for international engagement come from?

I am from a multicultural background and understand the huge advantage of being international in terms of enterprise. It’s in my nature to engage in interesting innovative multidimensional and cultural work and hence international engagement comes naturally to me.

Please tell us about the work with the Wessex Academic Health Science Centre (WAHSC). What has the Centre enabled you to do?

The WAHSC is a partnership of organisations in the Wessex region, inclusive of the University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and under the umbrella of the Wessex Academic Health Science Network (WAHSN).

Its objective is to catalyse collaborative culture in innovative translational work in the region, with an enhanced agility to respond to national and international health priorities, thereby also having a transformative economic impact. It does this by bringing together the key people within academia, the NHS, the public, industry and business sectors, which traditionally these parties function quite independently.

An example of its great work recently, which I am involved in, is being able to support innovative project calls during the COVID-19 period. Due to its excellent links and networks, the WAHSC was able to link up the regional centres to call upon novel ideas in an innovation competition call. In doing so, we are looking to maximise engagement in these challenging times, not to mention bringing together innovative ideas at speed.

We are in the midst of processing the applications, but I can tell you, there are some brilliant ideas, and I hope the Centre and wider Wessex Academic Health Science Network can further facilitate their testing and bring some of these projects into fruition. 

How would you recommend potential partners go about working with the Wessex Academic Health Science Centre?

I would advise that partners form links with the WAHSN, visit the website, and also get in contact if you are a business looking for help. 

The best way to form links is to join the networking events that the AHSN holds - again sign up to follow the twitter/facebook page, plus visit the website.

So what’s next? 

In terms of the WAHSN, I look forward to working alongside the team, to hopefully make the vision a success. 




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