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UQ chemist to take on China’s diabetes challenge

Professor Robert Gilbert, a polymer chemist from UQ's Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, has been named as one of the first appointees under the “1000 experts” programme run by China, the university said on 7 August.

In January this year, China announced plans to invite scientists from abroad to work in areas such as agriculture and manufacturing over the next five years.

The appointment has funding attached, although further details were not given. Gilbert will use the money to establish a research laboratory in the city of Wuhan in central China. He will work to deepen understanding of how starch is synthesised by plants and digested by humans. The research aims to better treat diabetes and control obesity, the university said in a statement.