POSTECH & DGIST Sign a Memorandum of Understanding to Collaborate in Mapping the Human Brain

2020-01-30 334

– POSTECH & DGIST signed an MOU for a research partnership, participating in the ‘International SYNAPSE Project’ as representatives of the Republic of Korea.
– It is anticipated that they will play an essential role in conducting the international research on neuroscience and brain science.

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POSTECH and DGIST signed a memorandum of understanding to initiate ‘International SYNAPSE (Synchrotron for Neuroscience: an Asia-Pacific Strategic Enterprise) Project’ as representatives of Republic of Korea on the 28th of January. The agreement between the two institutions for close collaborative research brings expectations for constructive effects in this international effort for mapping the human brain’s neural network.

‘International SYNAPSE Project’ is a consortium of six Asia-Pacific countries (Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Australia) to construct a human brain map. The purpose of this collaborative effort is to pave the way for research innovation that can understand and identify brain disease, cognition, behavior and sense and is planning to conduct the research for five years which could take up to 30 years if each participating country was to investigate on the research.

Based on this MOU, DGIST will utilize super computers of Super Computing & Big Data Center and POSTECH will use synchrotron facility of Pohang Accelerator Laboratory for the research. First, they will collect images of human brain’s neural network through the synchrotron facility and save these images in super computers. Later, they will calculate interactions between synapses of the brain and establish a related network system. Through this research, POSTECH and DGIST will play a major role in setting a milestone for development of neuroscience and brain science.

President Moo Hwan Kim of POSTECH said, “As research these days need to investigate on bigger projects to bring the world a step forward through collaborations among different countries, I anticipate that POSTECH and DGIST will play a key role in creating research breakthroughs with other six Asia-Pacific countries in neuroscience and brain science which have the most unknown field to be studied. Especially, the 3rd and 4th generation accelerators will help obtaining high-quality images of brain which will be critical in mapping the human brain’s neural network.”

Also, President Young Kuk of DGIST said, “I hope six Asia-Pacific countries participating in the Project will lead in neuroscience and brain science research with expansion of research accomplishments created by facilitating the exceptional super computers of DGIST which is initiated by this MOU. I also anticipate that this research will create a virtuous cycle of rapid research establishments.”

Pohang Accelerator Laboratory (PAL) is established in 1994 as the first synchrotron facility in South Korea. Since its establishment, it has been leading growth of the national research competency in the field of synchrotron, resulting in about 6,000 SCI papers. Currently, PAL is operating Pohang Light Source, the 3rd generation accelerator and PAL X-Ray Free-Electron Laser, the 4th generation accelerator.