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 Success conclusion of the 4th CLS/McG neuroscience summer school



On July 23, 2016, a farewell party of a one-week summer program of neural & cognitive sciences was held in the Dengyoucai hall, Jinguang Life Sciences Building of Peking University. With all the awesome shows and beautiful blessings, the challenging and fully scheduled week came to the end, making every participant enjoyed and benefited a lot.


2016 Summer Program of neural & cognitive sciences, co-funded by Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences and IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, appealed 92 students from ~40 universities all over the country. The program invited world-class neuroscientists to introduce cutting-edge progress in several fields. What is more, the students also took laboratory visiting, lunch talk with scientists, paper presentation and team sports.


The first class, Overview of Neurobiology, was kicked off right after the welcome-dinner, given by Dr. Yi Rao. Drs. Yi Zhong, Jisong Guan, Jing Yang, Qin Shen, Chen Zhang, Yichang Jia, Jian Li, Yulong Li, Bailong Xiao, Zengcai Guo, Shihui Han, William Yang (from UCLA) took turns to present in the subsequent days. The presentation includes the fields of forgetting, memory code, neural development, human empathy, synaptic transmission, tactile sense, axonal death and neuropsychiatric diseases/disorders. Hopefully, these lectures will enlighten the way of neuroscience to the students.


In each lunch talk, professors and a selected group of students communicated scientific questions and educational experiences freely for an hour. The predecessors gave their opinions on students’ early twenties confusion and hesitation.



In the evenings of Thursday and Friday, the presentations, considered as the most challenging part of the program, took place at the Dengyoucai hall. Instead of principle investigators, students took over the pointer and answered questions about what they presented. To have a logical speech, some of them even stayed up for a couple of nights to discuss and practice. It was not easy for them to have a profound comprehension of the given three papers in an unknown field. We hope that this experience would make them have a better understanding of real research and open a door towards neuroscience.


The faculties of IDG/McGovern Institute of Brain Research at Tsinghua University gave strong support as well that they introduced all related labs in details and led a round of lab visiting. Either in the disease group or the circuit group, students closely watched how advanced devices obtained data which only existed in fantasy in the past.



The farewell party shows covered a variety of styles that  drew several rounds of applauses from the audience. The first chorus Those Flowers brought a slight sense of warmth and nostalgia. Then the comedy performed by two hilarious actresses sparked the atmosphere and the News-Broadcast-style talk show continued the humor. The drama Slow and Fast exhibited professional spirits of the actors so that everyone fit in with the performed situation. Afterwards, a group of students dubbed a self-made film about a popular TV couple Ge Hu and Jianhua Huo split up by reality. The addicting song the King Makes Me Petrol in the Mountain and Children's Rhymes by teaching assistants heightened the enthusiasm of the audience up towards a climax.


Besides, a brisk song Invisible Wings, a Chinese folk dance Sadness of Dropping Flowers, moving poems accompanied by delicate violin and Chinese bamboo flute pleasantly surprised us. At the end, two of professors from Peking University and Tsinghua University separately winged songs, which made us particularly impressed. An elegant girl gave her calligraphy scripts as gifts to the two professors who represented the two parts of the Center for Life Sciences. How can you imagine that these great shows were prepared within only three days!


In the end, many students said that they not only had a peer of the latest results in neuroscience but their curiosity towards sicence deep down inside were aroused up. Moreover, they have spent a dreamy week with new friends all over the country. A portion of students grabbed this opportunity to dig deeper and they decided to learn lab skills in their interested labs for a couple of weeks.


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