Chinese neuroscientist honoured with award

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN) - In a statement, the IBRO-Kemali Foundation Prize Committee said earlier this week that Hu was selected in recognition of her impressive work on the fundamental neurobiological mechanisms of emotional and affective behaviors.

Chinese neuroscientist Hu Hailan has been awarded the 12th IBRO-Kemali International Prize for Research in the field of basic and clinical neurosciences.

In a statement, the IBRO-Kemali Foundation Prize Committee said earlier this week that Hu was selected in recognition of her impressive work on the fundamental neurobiological mechanisms of emotional and affective behaviors.

Hu will receive the award given by the IBRO president at the next FENS Forum in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 11-14 next year. She will also give the forum’s IBRO-Kemali special lecture, From Pecking Order to Ketamine — Neural Mechanisms of Social and Emotional Behaviors.

Hu is a professor at the Center for Neuroscience, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

This is the first time that the prize has been awarded to a scientist outside of Europe and North America since it was established in 1998.

The prize is awarded every two years to an outstanding researcher, under the age of 45, who has made important contributions in the field of basic and clinical neuroscience.

In February 2018, the international science journal Nature published two research articles by a Chinese team led by Hu, who led the research on ketamine block-bursting in the lateral habenula to rapidly relieve depression.

The article revealed that scientists had discovered how the anesthetic painkiller ketamine worked to block the neuronal activity that drives depression-like behavior. It may help scientists develop new and safer antidepressants.

The other research paper suggested the enhanced bursting activity of neurons in the brain was a key factor in driving depression-like behavior.

There are some 300 million people worldwide suffering from depression, which can be accompanied by an altered appetite and unhealthy sleep patterns. Major depression is classified as a mood disorder.

Xinhua contributed to the story.

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