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2008--Tsinghua Signed a Collaboration Agreement with McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT

Tsinghua’s Institute of Biomedicine and McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology signed a collaboration agreement on January 14 to enhance joint brain research efforts.

Tsinghua’s Deputy President Chen Jining, Dr. Robert Desimone, Director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Mr. Hugo Shong, Executive Vice President of ID, President and CEO of IDG Asia/China, and Dr. Lu Bai, Chief, Section on Neural Development and Plasticity, PNRC, LCSN, NICHD, NIH, attended the signing ceremony.

Mr. Shong donated $800,000 to MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research to support the cooperation between McGovern and three Chinese universities including Tsinghua.

Tsinghua’s President Gu Binglin had a discussion with Dr. Desimone prior to the signing ceremony, exchanging ideas on broader future collaboration.

During their talk, President Gu noted that Tsinghua attaches great importance to and will fully support the development of life science and medicine at Tsinghua. President Gu said that the collaboration agreement between McGovern and the Institute of Biomedicine demonstrates that Tsinghua has made great progress in its development of life science and medicine. He hoped that the cooperation between the two could be effective and further enhanced in the future.

Dr. Desimone also emphasized the importance of global cooperation in research to benefit mankind.

Dr. Desimone paid visit to the Second Hospital of Tsinghua University and the laboratories of Tsinghua’s School of Medicine and had a discussion with some Tsinghua professors and experts in brain research earlier that day.

To better know the secret of human thinking has always been a goal for scientists. In recent years especially, the development of various neural imaging technologies and neural information processing techniques has enabled researchers to overcome limitations and to explore more deeply neural functions. As a result, a complete research system, from the cellular level to the behavioral level was established. Major contributions to this research system were made by molecular, cellular, computational neuroscience, and cognitive neuroscience.

Tsinghua University sponsors significant research in the area of brain studies. In the field of neurobiology, Professor Liu Guosong, from School of Medicine, successfully explored the mechanism of noise suppression of neural computation at the level of neural circuitry, by screening the synaptic change of cultured neurons from rats. His research goal is to develop certain kind of medicine for the treatment of the neural degeneration. While, in the field of neural engineering, Professor Gao Shangkai from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, is leading a research group to develop advanced neural information processing methods to read the ongoing human minds under certain experimental paradigm, for implementing a brain-computer interface to help people operate computers and home appliance just by will and thought. Her group has won several top prizes in the international brain computer interface competition during past years. Professor Li Luming’s lab in the School of Aerospace is making progress of developing unique deep brain stimulators for the treatment of neural diseases like Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and drug addiction. By Li Han, http://news.tsinghua.edu.cn