Neuroscience is the most challenging frontier discipline and a highly interdisciplinary and integrative field of study.It also ranks among the essential applied sciences for improving human health. The technological advancements in interdisciplinary fields have contributed to facilitate breakthroughs in fundamental neuroscience research and its translation.To translate the accomplishments in fundamental neuroscience research into the regulation of neural system functions and interventions for diseases, it is imperative to advance interdisciplinary technologies.Furthermore, the rapid development of artificial intelligence lays the foundation for extensive data analysis in brain science. Applying our understanding of brain mechanisms to inspire computational approaches will contribute to overcoming the challenges in artificial intelligence development.
Fudan University has excellent research platforms and foundations in the field of fundamental neuroscience research, including the Institutes of Brain Science, the State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, and the Ministry of Education's Frontiers Center for Brain Science. Regarding clinical diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases, the Department of Neurology and the Department of Neurosurgery at Fudan University-affiliated Huashan Hospital are among the top-tier nationwide. Fudan University also possesses outstanding research platforms and foundations in brain-inspired computing, including the Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence and the Institute of Brain-Inspired Circuits and Systems. Therefore, Fudan University possesses a significant advantage in interdisciplinary neuroscience research.
Commencing with the establishment of the Institute for Translational Brain Research (ITBR) based on the Shanghai Medical College, the State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, and the Ministry of Education's Frontiers Center for Brain Science, Fudan University aims to expedite the construction of the Zhangjiang Fudan International Innovation Center, positioning it as a world-class organization, exploring innovative approaches for elevating top universities, and propelling Shanghai to a leading position in neuroscience research within China and on the global stage. The ITBR is committed to developing cutting-edge interdisciplinary research techniques and translational research in neuroscience, and aims to establish a platform and mechanism for interdisciplinary research and integration to promote the development of neuroscience. The institute was officially established in July 2019 and is located in the Fenglin campus of Fudan University.Professor Shumin Duan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences,serves as the inaugural director.The institute is directly affiliated with the university and is under the leadership of the Shanghai Medical College. Under the guidance of the director, it functions with an independent, adaptable, and efficient management support system, with the goal of offering a secure research environment and a superior research platform for researchers. The institute participates in Shanghai's high-level local university construction plan and implements academic particular zone policies for talent recruitment and operational management.
The overall positioning of the Institute for Translational Brain Research (ITBR) is to actively participate in the China Brain Project, focusing on the major needs of national development and the forefront of brain science. The institute conducts fundamental research and applies basic research in conjunction with medicine, pharmacy, and related engineering disciplines, with research directions including advanced brain functions, major brain diseases, and translational neuroscience. The ITBR is committed to researching and developing cutting-edge technologies in brain neural circuit analysis and regulation, overcoming the bottlenecks in the development of brain science, promoting the translation and integration of research advancements between brain science and neuromorphic computing/artificial intelligence, and incubating the brain-intelligence industry. Leveraging the clinical research and treatment advantages of Huashan Hospital and Zhongshan Hospital in brain diseases, the institute aims to apply the discoveries and technological breakthroughs of fundamental brain science research to clinical diagnosis, treatment, and pharmaceutical development. By integrating available resources at Fudan University and aligning with the development of Shanghai's science and technology innovation center, the ITBR strives to evolve into an internationally renowned interdisciplinary and translational research center in brain science with unique attributes.
The ITBR primarily focuses studying the human brain and model organisms to explore the fundamental principles of brain science, cellular and molecular mechanisms of brain diseases, and interdisciplinary research. Aligned with the research focus areas of the China Brain Project, the institute focuses on two main domains with diverse areas:
Fundamental Brain Science Research: Devoted to elucidating neural signal processing mechanisms, the development and plasticity of brain structures and their functions, neural circuit analysis and regulation of brain functions, mechanisms of brain diseases, neural regulation interventions, and neuroimmunology.
Translational Brain Science Research: Through cross-disciplinary integration with medicine, pharmacy, engineering, and other fields, the institute aims to develop cutting-edge technologies in brain science and promote their application in fundamental brain science research, brain function regulation, artificial intelligence development, and the diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases. Examples include biomaterials, disease interventions, neuromorphic chips, and brain-machine interfaces.
The Institute for Translational Brain Research (ITBR) warmly welcomes talented young researchers in the field of neuroscience and its interdisciplinary domains, both from domestic and international backgrounds!