Swiss Consulate-General honours Brain@McGill’s Partnership with Neuroscience Center of Zurich

B@M: April 19th, 2013


On March 25th, recently appointed Swiss Consulate General, Mr. Beat Kaser, held the inaugural 5 à 7 Scientifique receptions in honour of Brain@McGill’s ongoing international partnerships with the Neuroscience Center of Zurich.  The McGill-ZNZ partnership, formally established October 2010, promotes scientific exchanges in neuroscience research and is the second major partnership agreement Brain@McGill has signed.  The two other partnerships include Oxford University and Imperial College London.

The reception commenced with opening remarks shared by Mr. Kaser, Mr. Eli Turk, Director International Relations at McGill, Dr Philippe Gros, Vice-Dean-Life Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at McGill, and Dr. Claudio Cuello, Chair for Brain@McGill, on the importance of nurturing networking opportunities between Quebec, Canada, and Switzerland. 


Consul General of Switzerland Mr. Beat Kaser inaugurates the 5 à 7 Scientifique receptions for the coming year.  From left to right: Mr. Sebastian Hug, Higher Education and Partnerships at Swissnex Boston, Mr. Beat Kaser, and Dr. Claudio Cuello, Chair Brain@McGill.


Dr. Anne McKinney, Vice-chair for Brain@McGill, delivered a presentation reflecting on the advances made as a result of this special partnership, including: increased funding opportunities for collaborative projects based on scientific excellence; the exchange of students and staff between the institutions; and the promotion of research initiatives bridging basic and clinical neuroscience based on complementary expertise.  The Brain@McGill and ZNZ have 14 pilot projects funded to date.  Some examples of McGill-ZNZ funded projects include the rehabilitation of patients with Autosomal Recessive Spastic ataxia of Charlevoix Saguenay, pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis, stroke and brain plasticity, spinal injury repair, and mechanisms of neurodegeneration in APP-transgenic rats, a new model of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • In photo: Dr. Anne McKinney, Vice-chair for Brain@McGill, reflects on the neuroscience projects made possible by the McGill-ZNZ partnerships.


Anticipated benefits of the partnership include: increased visibility and impact of science; the fostering of excellence and international recognition; the facilitation of translational research and technological development in biomedicine; the enhanced training and mobility of highly qualified students; and the better use of resources of state-of-the-art infrastructure.


From left to right: Dr. Anne McKinney, Imperial College London neuroscience exchange students Rose Mulvey, Mira Deshmukh, Franceso Fiorini, and Mr. Eli Turk.

The partnership strategy is two-fold: “bottom-up,” to allow individual research groups to initiate collaborations and pilot projects in all areas of neuroscience research; and “top-down” to pursue joint basic and clinical research projects, with the end goal being promoting and facilitating the transition from basic research to preclinical applications and rehabilitation. 

The apex of the event was a sneak preview into the groundbreaking international partnership agreements to be formally signed this summer.

Closing comments from Mr. Sebastien Hug, Higher Education and Partnerships at Swissnex Boston, further endorsed the trailblazing directions set forth by Brain@McGill.


From left to right: Mr Patrick Holdich (British Consulate-General Montreal), Mr. Mario Rivero-Huguet (Science and Innovation Officer British Consulate-General Montreal officer), Mr. Beat Kaser (Swiss Consul General) , Dr. Claudio Cuello (Chair Brain@McGill) , Dr. Anne McKinney (Vice Chair Brain@McGill) , Dr. Phillipe Gros (Vice-Dean, Life Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at McGill), Mr. Eli Turk (Director of International Relations at McGill), Mr. Sebastien Hug (Project Leader Higher Education and Partnerships at Swissnex Boston)