About Fudan

PONS is a newly established centre at ISTBI that thrives to be a worldwide leader in population neuroscience, an emerging discipline investigating the complexity and heterogeneity of behaviour and mental illness on a population level by identifying environmental and genomic factors that shape the structure and function of the human brain.

PONS works in close partnership with the Charite (https://charite.de), one of Europe's largest university hospitals and research institutions, affiliated with Humboldt University and Free University Berlin, which is ranked fifth best hospital in the world and best in Europe (Newsweek 2019/2020). PONS integrates neuroimaging, cognitive neuroscience, (epi)genomics and epidemiological research with novel tools for environmental assessments, such as ecological momentary assessments using smart phone applications, social media analyses, and satellite-based remote sensing acquisitions. It aims at the identification of markers and brain mechanisms of risk and resilience for mental illness in different environmental contexts, such as pandemics, pollution, climate change, migration or urbanicity. This knowledge will be applied to develop neurobehavioural interventions targeted at causal brain mechanisms for prevention and early intervention of disease on a public health-relevant scale. PONS is in a unique position to address these challenges. We coordinate the GIGA consortium (https://giga-project.org) consisting of cohorts of up to 195.000 people, including >25.000 neuroimaging scans in China, Europe, India and the United States, such as the European IMAGEN (https://imagen-europe.com), STRATIFY and the Indian cVEDA (https://cveda.org) cohort. Our work is embedded in strong international collaborations and partnerships with leading research centres in Europe and the US, for example at Cambridge University, Kings College London and USC in Los Angeles, the TReNDs Centre at Emory University/Georgia Tech/GSU in Atlanta, USA.

ISTBI (https://istbi.fudan.edu.cn/lnen/), established in 2015, is the first scientific research and innovation institution that integrates brain science, artificial intelligence, and brain-like research in China. It leverages Fudan University's multidisciplinary strength in mathematics, computer, information, and life sciences, to carry out original basic research and applied research in brain cognitive mechanisms, neuromorphic simulation, brain-like intelligent algorithms, intelligent diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases, general intelligence and swarm intelligence. In addition to the PONS Center, ISTBI hosts the Centers for Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Systems Biology, Artificial Intelligence Algorithms, Neural and Intelligent Engineering, Brain-like Intelligent Transformation and Cooperation, and Human-Computer Interaction. Research of the centres is supported by several technology platforms at its two campuses, Handan and Zhangjian. At its Zhangjian campus ISTBI hosts a Brain Imaging Center with one 7T, one 3T and  one 3T-connectome human MRI scanner as well as a 11.7T animal scanner, and a Brain Bank. At its Handan Campus there is  a high-performance computing equipment platform, a cognitive neuroscience technology platform, and neural and intelligent engineering platform. ISTBI is leading the science and technology project of ‘Basic transformation and application of brain and brain-inspired intelligence’ of Shanghai municipality. It is the network unit of the Shanghai Brain Science and Brain-inspired Research Center. ISTBI has formed strong collaborations with Oxford University and Cambridge University.

Fudan University. (https://www.fudan.edu.cn/en/), founded in 1905, is is one of the top five universities in China, and ranked at #34 in QS University Ranking 2021. As a worldwide-leading research university it covers 11 disciplines including medicine and life sciences. In June 2009, Fudan University became the national "overseas high-level talent innovation and entrepreneurship base".

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