Brain research breakthroughs the goal

Scientists (from left) Wickliffe Abraham, Xiangjun Chen, Ping Liu, Chunbo Li and John Reynolds...
Scientists (from left) Wickliffe Abraham, Xiangjun Chen, Ping Liu, Chunbo Li and John Reynolds mingle at Otago Museum as part of Brain Research New Zealand's China collaboration conference. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Scientific breakthroughs are the goal as brain research collaborations are pursued between Dunedin and China.

Nine Chinese neuroscientists and clinicians, mostly from Dunedin's sister city, Shanghai, are in town to build research relationships between the two cities. They also visited Auckland for the week-long trip, organised by Brain Research New Zealand, which ends on Saturday.

Yesterday, both Chinese and Otago scientists presented research in a day-long workshop.

Brain Research New Zealand co-director Wickliffe Abraham said collaboration in neuroscience between New Zealand and China was limited.

``The whole point of this is to find which ways we can help each other.''

Shanghai was developing a brain bank, which collected central nervous system tissue for research into neurodegenerative diseases which could be of use to New Zealand scientists.

China could benefit from Dunedin's strength in blood and saliva sampling as well as longitudinal studies.

As part of the trip, a memorandum of understanding will be signed between Fudan University in Shanghai, the Shanghai Mental Health Centre and Brain Research New Zealand.

Fudan University Institute of Neurology vice director Xiangjun Chen said there were exciting prospects for both countries, which would add to the ties they already had in the trade of goods such as fruit.

A small New Zealand delegation was sent to Shanghai and Beijing in May and it was hoped more would go again soon.

jono.edwards@odt.co.nz

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