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Agreement reached on brain research
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Tsinghua University has signed an agreement with the McGovern Institute for Brain Research (MIBR) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 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 brain diseases and mental disorders, according to the agreement.

Researchers from Tsinghua's Institute of Life Sciences and Medicine and MIBR will exchange information and conduct collaborative research.

The program may also sponsor joint scientific meetings for neuroscientists between the two countries.

"The brain disorders we study at the McGovern Institute are global problems. The progress will surely depend on global collaborations," MIBR director, Robert Desimone, said.

The brain research institute, established in February 2000 with a donation from Patrick McGovern, founder of the International Data Group (IDG), and his wife, aims to help people suffering from Parkinson's disease, and those with schizophrenia, autism and other mental illnesses, by searching for better treatments.

Hugo Shong, president of IDG China, has donated $800,000 to MIBR to help facilitate exchanges of postdoctoral fellows and scientists between the institute and three Chinese universities.

"McGovern has been considering building similar institutes in Europe and Asia.

"I really hope the Asian one will be set up in China so it can help the more than 80 million people with brain diseases and mental disorders there," Shong said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2008)

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