The research would provide a powerful tool for investigating mechanisms behind neurological diseases related to abnormal structure or dysfunction of the PFC and for exploring potential therapies, he added.
According to Xiaoqun, the ongoing cell-census projects of “The BRAIN Initiative’’in the U.S. mainly focus on the rodent brain atlas.
“We focus more on identifying and characterizing neuronal and non-neuronal cells in the human brain, which will directly help understand the molecular and cellular mechanism of human brain disorders,” Xiaoqun said.
China has seen intensified research in brain science to advance basic understanding of the brain as well as to find treatments for brain-related disease.
Xiaoqun hopes that the Chinese government will attach more importance to research on brain science and offer more support.
He also said that interdisciplinary research and teamwork among people from different disciplines are vital in advancing brain science study.
“In the research, another team member, Tang Fuchou from Peking University, is an expert on single-cell sequencing in stem cell biology, and we have complementary advantages, which make research go more smoothly,” Xiaoqun said.
“Research on the human brain atlas needs interdisciplinary collaboration from different areas such as cell biology, neuroscience and computer science.
“We hope to see more labs focusing on the interdisciplinary study of brain science,” he added.
Currently, Xiaoqun and his team are working on the non-neuronal cells in the human brain, which make up about half the total volume of the brain and spinal cord.
“We hope to figure out how those cells work together with neuronal cells and further explore the mystery of the human brain, Xiaoqun said.
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