​NJU Sets up Institute of Brain Sciences

The Inaugural Meeting of the Institute of Brain Sciences, Nanjing University(NJU), and Brain Sciences Related Interdisciplinary Symposium, organized by Kuang Yaming Honors School, was held on September 26, 2018, at Zijin Hall of the university’s International Conference Center, Xianlin Campus.    

The brain science research, which is aimed at understanding, simulating and protecting brains, represents not only the ultimate challenge and scientific frontiers for human beings to understand themselves and understand nature, but also issues of great national demand concerning people’s life and health, social development, and economic development. Currently, the world technology is embracing a fresh wave of research on brain sciences and revolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI).    

Nanjing University’s Institute of Brain Sciences will serve as an interdisciplinary research platform which involves multiple schools and departments and integrates multiple disciplines such as medicine, biology, physics, chemistry, computer science and psychology.    

It will be the university’s largest combination of interdisciplinary research on frontier issues. Establishing such an institute can better facilitate the integration and all-round development of brain sciences, AI and the related disciplines.    

 At the nameplate-unveiling ceremony (Photo: She Zhijun)   

Over 200 people attended the inaugural meeting, including Lyu Jian, Nanjing University president and academician; Zeng Zhilang, president of Taiwan’s united university; Zhang Xu, academician and vice president of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS Shanghai Branch); Yang Xiongli, academician, of Fudan University; Guo Aike, academician, of Institute of Biophysics and Institute of Neuroscience, CAS; and Luo Jianhong, vice president of Zhejiang University.   

Also present at the meeting were leaders of Nanjing University’s Office of Discipline Construction Planning and Development, Office of Science and Technology, Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Kuang Yaming Honors School, Medical School, School of Life Sciences, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, School of Physics, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Model Animal Research Center, the Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital, and faculty and student representatives.    

Director of the Office of Science and Technology Xu Xisheng presided over the meeting.    

President Lyu Jian delivered a speech on behalf of the university.    

He extended greetings to all the guests and thanked the experts for the support they gave to the university’s research on brain sciences.    

He pointed out that, in order to actively answer the call of the “China Brain Project” and to further improve the university’s capability of taking the lead in the international scientific research and implementing the national strategic tasks, Nanjing University has decided to set up the Institute of Brain Sciences, which bears far-reaching significance on the university’s interdisciplinary construction.    

He expected, he said, that the institute will focus on the research frontiers of brain sciences, build an internationally competitive and influential research team, make innovative achievements in frontier research, and cultivate outstanding backup talents.   

On behalf of the brain research center of CAS, Academician Zhang Xu extended congratulations on the establishment of NJU’s Institute of Brain Sciences.    

He noted that the “China Brain Project” is part of the strategic plan of major scientific research of the country.    

Research in brain sciences, he said, is a huge challenge to the scientific community, and it exerts great influence on revealing the operating principle of the brain, on advancing the AI science and technology, and on promoting the physical and mental health of human beings.    

CAS has laid solid foundation on brain science research, said Zhang, and it welcomes NJU’s active participation and cooperation in related research.    

President Zeng Zhilang also congratulated on the establishment of the Institute of Brain Sciences at NJU and expressed his full support for the efforts of the institute.    

He pointed out that brain science research is the frontier of international research, and so NJU’s institute will foster a research platform that is forward-looking and supportive and brings opportunities for cross-strait research cooperation and exchange in the future.    

He hoped that the two sides will take the institute’s establishment as a new opportunity to strengthen communication and collaboration and strive to build and make good use of the cooperative platform.   

Then, Zeng presented a souvenir to Professor Wang Wei, dean of Kuang Yaming Honors School and director of the preparatory group of the Institute of Brain Sciences.   

The souvenir was a piece of woodcut with Taiwan characteristics, which implied that the institute will develop smoothly and have a bright future.   

Amid warm applauses, President Lyu Jian and Academician Zhang Xu jointly unveiled the nameplate of the Institute of Brain Sciences, Nanjing University.   

At the subsequent interdisciplinary symposium on brain sciences, scholars and experts delivered important speeches, winning enthusiastic applauses from the participants.    

The speakers include Academicians Yang Xiongli, Guo Aike and Gu Xiaosong; Professor Luo Jianhong; experts from New York University, Taiwan Yangming University, Taiwan Normal University, Oklahoma State University, CAS, Beijing University, Fudan University, Zhejiang University, Beijing Normal University, Nanjing Normal University and other institutions.   

(Source: Kuang Yaming Honors School)   

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