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Trans-Atlantic agreement a boost to neuroscience research


Published: 10May2010

Imperial College London and McGill University to expand scientific collaboration

Neurological research and clinical care received a significant boost today as Imperial College London and McGill University of Montreal entered an agreement enabling them to work more closely together in this field. Sir Keith O'Nions, Rector of Imperial, and Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill, met in London to sign the partnership documents, which will consolidate existing scientific collaborations and provide new support for creating a framework for regular academic interactions.

"McGill and Imperial share common interests and strengths in such important fields of transformational research as brain imaging, motor neuron diseases, movement disorders and neuroimmunology," Munroe-Blum said. "I am delighted that the long-standing collaboration between these two leading institutions has been broadened, offering us the opportunity to strengthen and expand our research programs and eventually achieve major advances in our understanding of human neurological disorders."

"The neurosciences are an extremely important and interdisciplinary field of research focused on some of the major health challenges we face today," said Sir Keith. "We are making great strides in understanding how the brain works physically and biochemically, and this work is key to improving mental health. We at Imperial are delighted to have as our partner a leading institution that shares our appetite to carry out excellent research and move it quickly out of the lab to create new therapies for the people who need it."

Neurosciences research is one of McGill's top institutional priorities, building on the distinguished history and current strengths of its Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. McGill's integrated program in neurosciences is one of the largest contemporary neuroscience graduate programs in North America. At Imperial, neurosciences research focuses particularly on mechanisms of brain degeneration and restoration of function, systems neuroscience, brain development, pain, anaesthesia, muscular dystrophy, neuroinflammatory disorders such as multiple sclerosis, addiction, molecular neuroimaging, cognitive neuroscience, neurogenetics and various aspects of mental health. Research achievements at the College include the first demonstration that variant CJD is caused by the same prion as BSE.

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality.

Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve health in the UK and globally, tackle climate change and develop clean and sustainable sources of energy.

About McGill

McGill University, founded in Montreal, Que., in 1821, is Canada's leading post-secondary institution. It has two campuses, 11 faculties, 10 professional schools, 300 programs of study and more than 35,000 students. McGill attracts students from more than 150 countries around the world. Almost half of McGill students claim a first language other than English - including 6,200 francophones - with more than 6,800 international students making up almost 20 per cent of the student body.

On the Web:

Imperial College London:        http://imperial.ac.uk

McGill University:                   http://www.mcgill.ca


Contact Information

William Raillant-Clark
Media Relations Office
william [dot] raillant-clark [at] mcgill [dot] ca
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