State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, formerly the Key Laboratory of Neurobiology of Chinese Academy of Sciences founded in 1989, has initiated its establishment after passing evaluation of the experts in October 2007. The lab has succeeded in its extablishment and now asks for evaluation from the Ministry of Science and Technology. The director of the academy committee of the lab is Dr. Mu-ming Poo, who is also the director of Institute of Neuroscience. The director of the lab is Dr. Yi-zheng Wang.
Neuroscience is a leading science in the world and its development is urgently required for the national interest of China. It has of indispensable significance to the social development and human health. To enhance human quality, solve psychological problems produced by social pressures, prevent the increasing aging-related disorders and treat addictions, such as drug addiction and network addiction, all these social issues are requiring neuroscience to contribute to the solution.
State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience aims at uncovering the mystery of human brain and conducts basic studies in neuroscience. The lab in establishment have integrated all its research resources, including neurodevelopment, synaptic plasticity and learning/memory, processing of sensory information, neural diseases and neural stem cells, to explore the fundamental principle of neuroscience and neural diseases. The current main research areas are as following.
Neurodevelopment: to discover the mechanisms underlying neuronal outgrowth and guidance, synaptic formation and modification; to explore the role of neurotrophins and transcriptional factors in neurodevelopment.
Synaptic plasticity and learning/memory: to study the role of neurotrophins and signaling molecules in neurodevelopment, neural circuitry formation and plasticity, to explore the cellular mechanism by which the synthesis, transportation and distribution of neurotransmitters, receptors and ion channels are regulated.
Processing of sensory information: to decipher the highly organized neurocircuitry of the sensory and cognitive systems and study the regulatory mechanisms, to bridge the synapses and cognition.
Neural diseases: to understand the mechanisms underlying the mental retardation in development, neurodegeneration, epilepsy, ischemia-induce neuronal death and chronic pain, to establish the relative animal models for these diseases, to identify disease-related molecule(s) and to discover important drug targets.
Neural stem cells: to isolate the neural stem cells from mature neurons and study these cells after stimulation or genetic manipulations; to study the new-born neurons using morphological and electrophysiology approaches and to unravel the mechanisms by which proliferation, differentiation, integration or apoptosis of these stem cells are controlled.
The lab during establishment has proposed a few key scientific questions and made significant progress in different areas, including the mechanism for formation of neuron polarity, synaptic plasticity, plasticity induced by neuron-glia cross-talk, learning/memory in drosophila in cross-models, pain-stopping effect by opium and morphine tolerance, new mechanisms for stroke and chronic pain. The lab in the last two years has published 43 SCI research papers in the peer-reviewed journals, including 15 papers published in Cell, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, PNAS and Journal of Neuroscience. These achievements earned the lab an international reputation.
The lab now has 18 groups, 20 scientists. Among them, 2 PIs are academicians of the CAS, 2 principal investigators of 973 program (MOST), 1 chief investigator of key scientific project (MOST), 7 excellent young investigators, 13 awardees of the hundred-talented program, 2 chief investigators for creative project from NSFC and 3 winners of HLHI award. In the last few years, 1 post-doctoral fellow, 25 doctoral students and 3 master students have been trained in the lab. Among these students, 1 received the national excellent thesis award, 1 outstanding and 3 excellent award from the Director of CAS, 1 excellent doctoral thesis award from CAS and 2 outstanding LYL awards.
The lab has followed the principle “to establish and to open”. Excellent researchers from medical schools and medical service centers nationwide have been attracted into the lab to study and 15 joint research projects have been launched. The lab has set positions for visiting scholars, in particular for young investigators from the western areas of the nation for advanced training. The lab has also set a special program to financially support more than 10 undergraduate students for their studies in the Institute. Promoting international exchange has been the lab focus. More than 25 seminars were held and 126 foreign scientists were invited to visit the lab. The scientists from the lab also have participated in national or international meetings for 27 or 61 times, respectively. Individual PIs have been invited to give talk in international meetings for more than 30 times. In addition, the lab has organized 6 scientific symposiums on multiple topics.
The lab has been run by the director and group leaders. The appointment runs for 5 years. The academic committee was formed with selected well-known scholars. The daily activities of the lab, including maintaining equipments and reporting on lab establishment progress, have been operated by the affair committee formed by director, deputy director, chiefs of core facilities and a secretary.
The lab will continue to carry out various research in major areas in basic neuroscience in a creative manner. The lab will focus on key scientific questions in basic neuroscience and to keep its leading position in neuron plasticity, neurodevelopment, synaptic function, learning and memory, process of sensory information, novel functions of glia and receptors and ion channels. The lab will make all its efforts to make breakthrough in these areas.
Address：320 Yue Yang Road，Shanghai
Support Organization：Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Contact Person：Ai-Qing Wang