Conferences & SeminarsBACK

2014 Mini Symposium of Graduate Students and Poster Exhibition held at Tsinghua-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research (IMIBR Tsinghua)

2014 Tsinghua McGovern Mini Symposium of Graduate Students and Poster Exhibition was held at the McGovern Hall at the Cheng Yu Tung Medical Sciences Building on the afternoon of May 13, 2014. Ms. Lore Harp McGovern, one of the sponsors of IMIBR Tsinghua and Dr. Robert Desimone, Director of McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT were in attendance. Professor Bai LU, Dean of School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Professor Yi ZHONG, Director of IMIBR Tsinghua, and Professor Bo HONG, Vice Dean of School of Medicine, Tsinghua University were also in attendance at the seminars and related activities. McGovern Institute professors and investigators, post-doctoral and graduate students all actively participated in the symposium.

Four graduate students and two post doctoral students reported their research findings at the seminar, which was hosted by doctoral student Fangfang CHEN. Postdoctoral student Cheng Xuebo from the Jiayi CHANG’s lab reported her research on “Mutagenesis Screening on Potential Genes Involved in Contextual Memory”. Cheng used the mouse as a model to study the genetic mutagenesis of learning and memory. Cheng’s use of very innovative strategies captured the attention and interest of both professors and students alike.

PhD student Xinlu Ding from the Yoshimatsu tube laboratory reported his findings on “Histone Code Regulating Splicing Isoforms and Stabilizing Memory Traces”. Ding described important scientific issue of the epigenetic regulatory role in the process of memory consolidation through rigorous experimental design and a great deal of compelling data.

Masters student Peng JIANG from Xiaodong LIU’s laboratory and doctoral student Xiaoyang LONG from Kexin YUAN’s laboratory reported their findings on the “Molecular Physiology of Electrical Resonance in Neurons” and the “Inhibitory Development and Control of Cortical Temporal Processing”. They studied brain activity and explained the problem in unique and interesting ways. Those in attendance actively participated in discussion on their findings.

Postdoc student Rui XU from Hong Bo’s laboratory and doctoral student Xue ZHANG from Lihong WANG’s laboratory looked at Synergized Hierarchical processing underlying object representation in human visual cortex and Inhibitory development and control of cortical temporal processing from an engineering perspective. From a macro perspective, they looked at more than just neurons, neural networks and looked beyond brain activity to understand the brain and brain -related diseases.

After the presentation of researching findings and the ensuing discussion, Professor Robert Desimone gave his thoughts on the symposium. Professor Desimone felt that a wide range of topics were covered, much like symposiums at the McGovern Institute at MIT. He felt the big challenge that both Tsinghua and MIT face is how to bring researchers in different fields together to engage in meaningful discussion and through this discussion, ask the questions that lead to progress. He hoped that the students of the McGovern Institute of Brain Research at Tsinghua University will organize or participate in more future seminars to promote research knowledge exchange. Mrs. McGovern emphasized that she would continue to support brain research at Tsinghua University and looked forward to future research results. She stressed that these research findings would not only be used in China but also for patients of neurological disorders around the world. McGovern Institute Director Professor Yi ZHONG reminded all who were present that this research institute was established thanks to Patrick McGovern’s vision, encouragement and support. This symposium should be dedicated to Mr. McGovern, and that the future work of this research institute should be done to carry out Mr. McGovern’s vision.

After the seminar, presenting and non-presenting graduate students warmly welcomed each other to engage in discussion about their research progress by displaying their research posters. At the McGovern Research Institute, fourteen giant posters were on display, each like a mini-thesis.

Professor Desimone and Mrs. McGovern carefully read with interest every poster, and engaged students in a discussion about their research findings. Many students felt that this symposium was a rare opportunity for them to better understand the research of other laboratories. Students and McGovern investigators in attendance felt that although the research interests were different, research methodology was different, and the focal point of the research is different, the symposium helped expand their understanding of brain research as a whole.