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11 March 2009

Queensland Brain Institute neuroscientists have returned from high-level talks in China hopeful of establishing a new international scientific research centre, which is expected to have considerable health benefits for both countries.

Queensland Brain Institute neuroscientists have returned from high-level talks in China hopeful of establishing a new international scientific research centre, which is expected to have considerable health benefits for both countries.

At a meeting late last week, QBI Director Professor Perry Bartlett and other senior QBI scientists met with colleagues at the Institute of Biophysics (IBP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing.

As QBI and IBP both conduct research into fundamental neuroscience, there is a growing feeling that many advantages would result from the establishment of a joint centre.

“There is wonderful synergy between research being conducted at the IBP and that being done at QBI, particularly in the areas of brain function and cognition,” Professor Bartlett said.

“The overall aim is to establish long-term collaborations and ultimately a China-Australia joint centre for brain and cognitive sciences. This will bring together key scientists from China and Australia to progress selected priority research in neuroscience.”

During joint workshops, which formed the foundation of the preliminary talks, scientists from QBI and IBP explored areas for possible future collaboration.

The workshops showcased the latest research in neurogenesis, axonal guidance, nerve cell survival, synaptic plasticity and advanced imaging – all key areas of modern neuroscience.

"These disciplines are some of the most promising new fields to emerge in neuroscience,” Professor Bartlett said.

Established in 1958, the IBP is a national research centre for basic life sciences in China and has initiated or advanced research in many disciplines, including cell biology, structural biology and neurobiology.

The first discussions took place at the IBP in Beijing on 4–5 March 2009 and representatives from IBP are expected to visit QBI during the second week of May 2009.

QBI senior scientists visit China

ABOVE: In March 2009, QBI scientists visited the Institute of Biophysics (IBP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing to discuss possible future collaboration.

Ends

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Notes to the Editor

QUEENSLAND BRAIN INSTITUTE
The Queensland Brain Institute was formed in 2003 as part of the Queensland Government’s Smart State Initiative, building on a long history of neuroscience at The University of Queensland.  QBI is dedicated to understanding the molecular basis of brain function and applying this knowledge to the development of new therapeutics to treat brain and mental health disorders.