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Nobel laureates set up labs in SZ


THE city has received fruitful gains in introducing high-end overseas talents this year, with three more Nobel laureates setting up research institutes in Shenzhen, bringing the total number of labs named after Nobel laureates to five.

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, Andre Geim, inaugurated a graphene research center at the Graduate School of Shenzhen, Tsinghua University on Dec. 4 as the fifth lab to be set up by a Nobel laureate in Shenzhen.

Funded by the Shenzhen Municipal Government, the new research center will serve as an international platform for graphene studies with support from Tsinghua University's graduate school in Shenzhen and the Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute.

This April, two institutes directed by Nobel laureates Arieh Warshel and Brian Kobilka were inaugurated at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen).

One of the institutes is named the Arieh Warshel Institute of Computational Biology, while the other will focus on R&D for a new drug. The two Nobel Prize winners were also appointed as the honorary directors of the institutes and will be involved in research, teaching and sharing academic research results with the students at the university.

In a speech delivered at the inauguration ceremony in April, Warshel said that Shenzhen's fast-paced development had caught his attention and eventually convinced him to set up a lab in the city.

Kobilka also spoke about his lab, sharing his vision for the lab as an innovative center for drug discovery that brings together the brightest and most creative young scientists in the disciplines of receptor structural biology, computational and medicinal chemistry, physiology and pharmacology.

Additionally, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Barry Marshall, recently signed deals with Dapeng New Area to set up a biological medicine lab in the near future.

Among the five labs led by Nobel laureates in Shenzhen, the first two were officially inaugurated in 2016.

The first lab, the Shenzhen Grubbs Research Institute, is named after Robert H. Grubbs, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry. It was set up in October last year and is expected to become a world-leading research center in new pharmaceuticals, new materials and new energy resources.

Grubbs, a professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in the United States and co-recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on olefin metathesis, has been appointed as dean of the institute, which is based at Southern University of Science and Technology (SUStech). He works at least one month a year at the institute.

The second lab is the Nakamura Laser Laboratory named after Shuji Nakamura, a Nobel Prize winner in physics for his discovery of LED. Nakamura's laboratory was established in December last year.

There has been a trend in recent years of world-known Nobel laureates setting up labs or research centers in Shenzhen. It is also part of the city's plan to build Shenzhen into an international hub of technological and industrial innovation by 2020.

The plan, also known as the "Ten Actions Plan," was announced by Xu Qin, a former Party chief and mayor of Shenzhen, at the beginning of this year. To achieve the goal, detailed plans have been mapped out. Part of the plan is to build 10 laboratories led by Nobel Prize winners in chemistry, medicine and photoelectricity.

Last year, the Central Government noted in China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) document that Shenzhen's future was developing in the direction of an international technological and industrial innovation center.

Under the proposal, the city will build more technology-based institutes and laboratories, and give more favorable policies to the key industries of technology and innovation in order to lure more overseas and domestic talents in these fields to the city.

Source:Shenzhen Daily

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