Oxford University Clinical Research Unit


Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam (OUCRU) was established in 1991 and is one of the Wellcome Asia Programmes.  It is based within the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD), at tertiary referral hospital for infectious diseases for southern Vietnam, under the direction of the Health Service of Ho Chi Minh City and the Ministry of Health. OUCRU also has a base in the capital Hanoi at the National Institute of Infectious & Tropical Diseases (NHTD) and has satellite research units in Kathmandu (Nepal) and Jakarta (Indonesia).

OUCRU has a large clinical and scientific research programme which focuses on the most significant infectious diseases in Vietnam. Many of these are also among the greatest threats to global health in the 21st century. The work covers clinical research and aspects of immunology, host and pathogen genetics, molecular biology, virology, mathematical modelling, bioinformatics, biostatistics and epidemiology. The research is supported by its extensive Clinical Trials Unit and Data Management Centre. It concentrates on the following core areas:

OUCRU has established a formal training programme for Vietnamese and expatriate clinicians and scientists in partnership with HTD HCMC and NHTD Hanoi, the Health Services of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and national universities. The programme includes training courses for postdoctoral scientists and research clinicians; medical elective placements; and Vietnamese undergraduate BSc and MSc projects. In addition, OUCRU offers internationally registered PhD fellowships. To date over 40 Vietnamese scientists and clinicians have been awarded UK PhDs and DPhils, and another 30 are registered through OUCRU.

OUCRU promotes better understanding and communication of science and health issues in the social, cultural and historical context of communities. The OUCRU public engagement team aims to bring the local communities together with the scientists by involving them in the research, and by improving understanding of the public’s motivations and perceptions. Initiatives such as science theatre productions and media writing generate dialogue and help to develop appreciation of value and need for scientific research.

OUCRU has sister units in Nepal and Indonesia.