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Department of Neurobiology

Edit:0916032 Date:2018-03-27


The Department of Neurobiology is a key laboratory of the Ministry of Health of China (2007) and a key laboratory of Zhejiang province (2010). It contains the Institute of Neuroscience of Zhejiang University founded in 2005, which was formerly known as the Lin Bai-Xin Brain Function Laboratory of Zhejiang University. The Department of Neurobiology has obtained the titles of National Innovation Research Group, Innovation Research Team of the Ministry of Education of China, and Innovation Research Team of Zhejiang Province. There are 20 research groups which include the group of the president of China Society of Neuroscience (Prof. Shu-Min Duan) and of the president of Zhejiang Society of Neuroscience (Prof. Jian-Hong Luo). It is also the project-office of the major research program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China ‘The Neural Circuit Foundation of Emotion and Memory’, and is entitled one of ‘The Most Important Subjects’ for Development in Zhejiang Province and Zhejiang University. The Department of Neurobiology focuses on basic and translational research, with special attention for the combination of basic neurobiological research and research of neuropsychiatric diseases. Starting from common neuropsychiatric disorders such as cerebral ischemia, epilepsy, depression, social behavior disorders and sleep disorders, basic research on animal models and research on the pathogenesis and diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disorders are performed using novel concepts and techniques in order to reveal new potential drug targets. The Department of Neurobiology has its own technology service platform for neuroscience research. The fixed assets of the instruments and equipment amount to more than 50.58 million CNY. All the equipment are open to researchers both inside and outside Zhejiang University.

Department of Neurobiology is cooperating with Departments of Neuroanatomy, Neuropharmacology, and Optical Imaging of the Medical School, as well as with Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, Anesthesiology, and Radiology in the affiliated hospitals, forming the Center for Neuroscience of Zhejiang University. In 2015, the Center for Neuroscience of Zhejiang University took a leading role to establish the Zhejiang University Brain Research Consortium, which includes also teams from Qiushi Academy for Advanced Studies, College of Computer Science and Technology, and College of Optical Science and Engineering, of Zhejiang University. Within the frame of this consortium, scientists, engineers and clinicians of Zhejiang University break the boundaries between traditional disciplines to integrate basic research, technological developments and clinical treatment. At present, Zhejiang University Brain Research Consortium has gained international impact in the fields of the study of emotions, brain-machine interface and neural signal acquisition technology. 

Moreover, to meet the needs of translational neuroscience research, the Department of Neurobiology has set up a China Brain Bank, working with experts from Department of Anatomy and Department of Pathology. The brain bank collects and stores well-documented postmortem human brain material and medical histories of neuropsychiatric patients and control subjects and makes neuropathological diagnoses for each brain according to international brain banking standards. The brain tissue samples, medical history, and neuropathological diagnosis report are distributed anonymously to researchers through formal application and approval procedures. Since the collection of the first donated brain in November 2012, the brain bank has collected and stored 126 fresh human brains in accordance with the international standards.
Staff and honors
At present, the Department of Neurobiology has 59 scientific staff members, which include 20 professors/researchers, 4 associate professors, 3 lecturers and 9 post-doctors. Prof. Shu-Min Duan is Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academician of Third World Academy of Sciences, and winner of the He Liang He Li Science and Technology Progress Award. Chief scientists of the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) or Major Research Projects of the Ministry of Science and Technology include Profs. Shu-Min Duan, Jian-Hong Luo, and Dr. Wei Chen. In addition, Drs Wei Chen, Han Xu, Yu-Dong Zhou, Zhen-Zhong Xu, and Zhi-Ping Wang obtained National Top 1k Young Talents Program. Profs Xiao-Ming Li and Hai-Lan Hu obtained Changjiang Outstanding Professorship. Profs Xiao-Ming Li, Hai-Lan Hu and Ying Shen obtained National Outstanding Youth Science Found support and Dr. Wei Chen and Prof. Hao Wang obtained National Excellent Youth Fund support. Profs. Jian-Hong Luo, Xiao-Ming Li and Ying Shen obtained the title of New Century Excellent Talents of Ministry of Education. The Department of Neurobiology attaches importance to postgraduate training, issued the rules of master students lab-rotation and tutor-group for PhD candidates, which greatly improve the education levels of graduate students. Every year graduate students of Neurobiology obtain the ‘Zhejiang Province Excellent Graduate’ title. At present, there are 111 PhD candidate and 67 Master-degree candidate postgraduate students. 
Department of Neurobiology provides courses ‘Neurobiology’ for undergraduates, ‘Special Topics of Neuroscience’, ‘Training of Research Skills V (Principles and Operation of Large-Scale Instrument)’, ‘Academic Quality’, ‘Experimental Technology of Molecular Biology (experimental courses)’, ‘Modern Neurobiology’ for postgraduates, and ‘Brain and Society’, ‘Exploring the Deepest Mystery of Life’, ‘The Evolved Brain and Accidental Mind’ as the general education curriculum courses for undergraduates of Zhejiang University. These courses effectively promote the spread and popularization of Neuroscience knowledge in Zhejiang University.
Scientific Research         
Department of Neurobiology has undertaken many national research projects, including National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), Youth 973 Program, National High-tech R&D Program (863 Program), Innovation Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation, and Major Research Plan of National Natural Science Foundation. In addition, it has undertaken many provincial and ministerial research projects, including the Innovation Science and Technology Team of Zhejiang Province, Key projects of Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province, and Outstanding Youth Fund of Zhejiang Province. During the last year, the Department of Neurobiology has published 31 papers in SCI journals, of which 20 in first-class international SCI journals with IF > 5, and 6 with IF > 10, including Science, Nature, Neuron, Nat Neurosci., Nat Comm., J Neurosci., Brain, Autophagy, eLife, Journal of Cell Biology. The research has provided a series of important original scientific findings in the frontier of international scientific research and has an important impact on the national and international neuroscience field.
Communication and Cooperation      
Department of Neurobiology values national and international exchange and cooperation, keeping a long term frequent, active and productive communication with first-class neuroscience research institutes in the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, and the UK. In the recent two years, domestic and foreign professors have been invited to conduct short-term academic exchange with 56 lectures for teachers and students of the Department of Neurobiology, which have strongly promoted the development of our department. 
Department of Neurobiology aims to gain new insights into the basic issues of neuroscience and to provide new methods and technologies for the prevention and treatment of major brain diseases on an international level of brain research. Meanwhile, it strives to  be a high level training center for neuroscience research-talents in China.