China's Tsinghua University has recently signed a cooperative agreement with the McGovern Institute for Brain Research (MIBR) at the US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for a joint neuroscience research program.
The program will promote advances in basic neuroscience research that can be applied to the study of the human brain, as well as devastating brain diseases and mental disorders, according to the agreement.
Chinese scholars from Tsinghua's Institute of Life Sciences and Medicine and US researchers from MIBR will be able to visit each other and conduct collaborative researches, the agreement said.
The program may also sponsor joint scientific meetings for neuroscientists between the two countries, it said.
"The brain disorders we study at the McGovern Institute are global problems. The progress will surely depend on global collaborations," said Robert Desimone, MIBR director.
MIBR, established in February 2000 with a donation from Patrick McGovern, founder of the International Data Group (IDG), and his wife, aims to help those crippled by Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, autism and other mental diseases in search for better treatments.
Hugo Shong, IDG China president, has donated US$800,000 to MIBR to help facilitate exchanges of postdoctoral fellows and scientists between the institute and three Chinese universities, including the Beijing-based Tsinghua.
"I greatly admire and share McGovern's vision in establishing the MIBR at MIT," Shong said. "He has been considering building a similar institute in Europe and Asia, respectively. I really hope the Asian one could be set up in China. This will benefit over 80 million people with brain diseases and mental disorders in China."
IDG is involved in IT publications and research, exhibitions, and venture investment.
(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2008)