The Queensland Brain Institute and The University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute have strengthened their research ties with China by opening a joint laboratory with the Shanghai Changzheng Hospital of the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai. The lead researcher in Shanghai is Professor Huji Xu (Chairman, Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Changzheng Hospital).

This facility is dedicated to exploring how genes influence brain development and function and aims to uncover the genes that cause or make individuals susceptible to certain neurological and mental illnesses. Researchers are focussing initially upon the neurogenetics of motor neuron disease, schizophrenia and epilepsy, but expect to extend these investigations to other disorders such as depression and dementia as the laboratory develops.

A network of neurologists and psychiatrists at various hospitals and universities, co-ordinated by Prof Huji Xu, has already been established.

Professors Perry Bartlett (QBI) and Matt Brown (UQDI) received Honorary Professorships from the President of SMMU, Professor Zhenquan LIU, during the opening ceremony. L-R: Prof Matt Brown, Prof Zhenquan LIU, Prof Perry Bartlett.