Public Release:  NTU and University of Warwick boost brainpower in global neuroscience research

Nanyang Technological University

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has linked up with the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, to launch a joint global programme for neuroscience research.

The universities- both ranked among the top four in the world in 2012 QS Top 50 ranking of young universities under 50 years old - have jointly funded two appointments to the new Warwick-NTU Neuroscience Research@Singapore programme and will hold their first annual symposium at Warwick today (September 13 -15).

The collaboration will allow Warwick to tap into the research powerhouse of Singapore's world-renowned Biopolis biomedicine hub and the critical mass forming in neuroscience research in the country.

Dr Ayumu Tashiro and Dr Albert Chen have been taken on as the first professors to the Warwick-NTU joint programme based at Biopolis. A joint PhD in neuroscience is also currently being developed by the two institutions.

In addition a small research team will be formed with a post-doctoral research fellow being assigned to each of the two new academics, and graduate studentships will be made available.

The two professors, who hold a joint-appointment with the two universities, will be teaching undergraduate and post graduate students at NTU. Students from Warwick are set to benefit from the programme through two-way visits and exchanges of materials.

Professor Tim Jones, University of Warwick Pro Vice-Chancellor: Research (Science and Medicine), Knowledge Transfer and Business Engagement, said: "Both the University of Warwick and NTU are ambitious, globally-connected universities with a strong track record in neuroscience research.

"Neuroscience at Warwick is one of our strategic priorities and has undergone significant investment and expansion in recent years. This link up with NTU offers significant opportunities to accelerate our activities in this area."

Professor Stephen Smith, NTU's Vice President (Research) said: "It is an opportune time for NTU to tie up with Warwick for neuroscience research as Singapore pushes towards research in the biomedical science industry.

"With NTU's focus on interdisciplinary research and with our new medical school starting next year, I believe the joint-research effort will see synergistic collaborations between our institutions, yielding important research insights into the workings of the brain and eventually, enabling scientists and doctors to develop new treatment and biomedical tools."

Scientists at Biopolis are working on optogenetic tools - genetically-encoded light-activated ion channels and pumps used to map neural circuitry.

The new Warwick-NTU partnership aims to build a complementary strand of research in this area for use in investigating how the brain develops specific synaptic connections between neurons, how neural stem cells in the adult brain contribute to plasticity of neural circuitry; and how the brain creates spatial maps to memorise locations.

The programme will take place in laboratories provided to it by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore's government agency dedicated to supporting science, technology and research.

The partnership will also enable both partners to participate in the expanding Neuroscience Research Partnership in Singapore, a collaboration between A*STAR and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.

###

Media contact:

Lester Kok
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6804
Email: lesterkok@ntu.edu.sg

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to four world-class autonomous institutes - the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering - and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore's science and tech hub, one-north and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore's medical district. For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.