On Feb. 27, 2019, the Basic Research Management Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology announced the 14th edition of China’s Top 10 Scientific Advances. The research team led by Prof. HU Hailan from the ZJU School of Medicine offers a systematic explanation for the mechanism of depression that the bursting activity of lateral habenula neurons inhibits downstream monoaminergic reward centers and drives depression-like behaviors. Their discovery on this neuronal circuit disproves the previously dominant monoamine hypothesis of depression and provides a simple model to explain the antidepression property of anesthetic painkiller ketamine. This work provides a framework for developing new rapid-acting antidepressants, which will benefit some 300 million people worldwide.
Discoveries by two ZJU alumni also make it to the list. Dr. LI Dong (Optical Engineering, BS'06), a researcher in the CAS Institute of Biophysics develops a technology to visualize intracellular organelle and cytoskeletal interactions at nanoscale resolution on millisecond timescales. Dr. FU Xiangdong (Agricultural Sciences, PhD'01), a researcher from the CAS Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology develops an approach to modulating plant growth–metabolism coordination for sustainable agriculture.
ZJU professor's depression research published in Nature
TECH IT OUT: Unlock the secret of ketamine to fight depression (CGTN)