Penn President Amy Gutmann announced a collaboration agreement in Beijing on May 27, between the University of Pennsylvania and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The two organizations will develop a joint Center of Excellence in Brain Mapping for the purpose of collaborative research and education in neuroimaging.
In addition, Gutmann and Chinese Academy of Sciences Vice President Li Jiayang signed a Memorandum Of Understanding to establish a cooperative research relationship and to facilitate the international exchange of ideas between the two institutions.
"I am very pleased to formalize and strengthen this dynamic and successful collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China's center for excellence in the natural sciences, technology, and research and development," said Gutmann. "Penn has an outstanding tradition in neuroimaging, and our continued collaborations with eminent Chinese scientists and physicians to advance discoveries and clinical applications in brain mapping will help promote health and well-being."
As part of the current agreement, researchers and scientists from Penn and the Institute of Biophysics (part of the CAS) will develop a center to advance the application of neuroimaging as well as basic science studies for detection, characterization, diagnosis, and image-guided treatment of brain diseases affecting people around the world.
"These agreements recognize a fundamental truth, and one that helps guide all of our work at Penn: the importance of academic and global partnerships," said Gutmann in her remarks. "We know that the most challenging questions, concerns, and problems of our time can only be addressed by integrating knowledge from different disciplines, fields, perspectives, institutions—and nations."
After the signing ceremony, faculty from the two institutions joined researchers and administrators for a symposium on neuroimaging to highlight the range of problems and methods represented by the CAS-Penn Center of Excellence in Brain Mapping, including cognitive and systems neuroscience, criminology and neuroscience, computational anatomy and physiology, and clinical and translational neurosciences.
Several Penn faculty members from the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences presented at the symposium, including Jim Gee, associate professor of radiologic science in radiology and director of Penn Image Computing and Science Laboratory; Geoffrey Aguirre, assistant professor of neurology; Adrian Raine, Richard Perry University Professor and chair of the department of criminology; and Sharon Thompson-Schill, Class of 1965 Term Professor and interim director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience.
The foundational research of Penn neuroscientist, physician, and Lasker Award winner Seymour Kety published in 1945 on cerebral blood flow is widely seen as enabling functional brain imaging, a field which has since revolutionized the study of mental, cognitive and emotional processes. Today, Penn's neuroimaging program is recognized not only for its continued development of novel approaches for image acquisition and analysis, but also for its clinical neuroimaging programs translating these discoveries into applications that promote human health.
Originally published on May 27, 2011