With a cordial face and a shy smile from time to time, I saw reporters from a distance. Song Weihong, a top international expert in the field of Alzheimer’s disease research and director of the Oujiang Laboratory, stopped talking with people around him, raised his hands to say hello, elegant and gentleman .
As a key talent in Zhejiang Province, he has carried out a series of research on geriatric diseases in Wenzhou since September last year and joined Wenzhou Medical University as the academic vice president. Not long ago, the Oujiang Laboratory in Wenzhou was listed, and the appearance of its "head" Song Weihong received attention again.
When it comes to scientific research, he talks freely; when it comes to the future, he is full of emotion and looks forward to young talents. He allows us to see more aspects of scientists.
"I am also a freshman"
Song Weihong was determined to choose to come to Wenzhou to continue scientific research. From understanding Zhejiang's scientific research environment to entering Wenzhou full-time, the whole process only took two months. In the beginning of the school season in September last year, he came to Wenzhou Medical University and humorously said to the medical students: "Hello everyone, I am also a freshman."
Song Weihong is a native of Sichuan and was born in a medical family in 1964. As early as the 1990s, he had made achievements in the field of neuromedicine research, and then moved to study and live abroad, and taught at a famous university. For a long time, he continued to study Alzheimer's disease and found the pathogenesis and effective prevention and treatment methods of this senile disease, which is his lifelong pursuit.
"In fact, in the past, many people did not understand or knew Alzheimer's disease." Song Weihong introduced that Alzheimer's disease is a neurological disease. As the cognitive function of the elderly declines, memory declines, which brings about a series of Aphasia and ignorance make life unable to take care of oneself, and there is currently no cure after illness. It has become one of the diseases that seriously endangers the health and quality of life of the elderly in the world.
The national conditions of the aging population and accelerated research on senile diseases are also the main reasons why Song Weihong chose to come to Wenzhou for scientific research. In the past 30 years, he has been communicating with relevant domestic experts or participating in academic activities.
After moving to Beijing and Chongqing, he came to Zhejiang. The good scientific research environment, talent atmosphere and policy support attracted Song Weihong to take root in Wenzhou. One month in Wenzhou, he unveiled the Institute for Geriatrics at Wenzhou Medical University. In his mid- and long-term goals, he set a key point: focus on brain health and major diseases in the elderly, and build a research on Alzheimer's disease in Wenzhou. Center and a geriatric hospital.
On the 17th floor of the Biological Medicine Research Building of Wenyi University, the school’s senior research institute was renovated. Song Weihong enthusiastically invited us to visit. The laboratory was filled with various medicines, bottles and jars, and the new office on the other side was still being arranged. The research office is currently in the recruiting stage, and he looks forward to more people joining the geriatric research team.
"Let researchers boldly explore the unknown"
Being hired as the director of Oujiang Laboratory this time, one of Song Weihong's most important tasks is to recruit recruits for the laboratory, gather a group of high-level talents, and promote a series of scientific and technological innovations.
As the Zhejiang Laboratory of Regenerative Regulation and Eye-Brain Health, Oujiang Laboratory focuses on solving the problem of "above the neck", focusing on tissue and organ regeneration and remodeling, eye disease and visual function rehabilitation, brain disease and cognitive function rehabilitation, regeneration Research is carried out in the five major directions of medical materials and high-end medical equipment (equipment). Song Weihong plans to recruit more than 2,000 talents for the Oujiang Laboratory. Among them, he will mainly lead the research on "brain diseases and cognitive rehabilitation", and by the way, "entrain a little selfishness". He also hopes that the team's Alzheimer's disease research will receive more attention .
"We are about to start a big action in the summer, which is to carry out census research around millions of elderly people in the city." Song Weihong's eyes are full of expectation. In his opinion, the pathogenic factors of Alzheimer's disease are becoming more diverse and need to be explored. The key to pathogenesis is to get closer to the patient’s life, to understand the patient’s living habits, and to look for common and individual problems.
And the long period of preparation in the early stage is to prepare for the harvest. In the Oujiang Laboratory Building, Song Weihong also has an office. Next, he will move into some laboratories to build animal models, study genes and molecules, and conduct all-round research. Long-term planning, to understand the characteristics of patients with Alzheimer's disease, to find pathogenic factors, and to develop drugs in a targeted manner.
"Now we realize that patients with Alzheimer's disease and Down syndrome in children are inevitable. Our research has also found that nutritional and vitamin deficiencies during the fetal period will increase the incidence of cognitive impairment in old age. We have reason to believe This is a full life cycle study and it is worthy of continuous in-depth study." Song Weihong has made a lot of ideas about the cause and prevention mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease. He looks forward to the refinement of the samples as the research progresses. , Let various studies be verified.
In the laboratory, he also proposed a flexible training plan for talents. “Science cannot be predicted. Of course, scientific talents must be given sufficient autonomy.” In his opinion, the laboratory must establish an environment that encourages innovation. , Provides a fault-tolerant mechanism, allowing researchers to boldly explore the unknown.
"Let the power of scientific research shine"
Current studies have found that hereditary Alzheimer’s disease accounts for only 1%, most of which are caused by acquired causes. The risk factors for the disease include hypertension, diabetes, cerebral infarction and other senile diseases, and there is insufficient blood supply to the brain. It may be the inducement of Alzheimer’s.” Therefore, the recruitment of Song Weihong’s team is not subject to professional restrictions. The current team also includes graduate students in psychiatry, anesthesiology, and pediatrics.
Carrying out sample surveys for the elderly population in the city, he hopes to seek cooperation with relevant units to establish an early warning mechanism in the community, and while the team tracks for a long time, popularize the knowledge of dementia, so that the elderly in the community can be screened, diagnosed and prevented early.
"It can be said that this is a new research direction." According to Song Weihong's words, this will also be a new node in his scientific research career. "However, 99% of the process of exploring the unknown may be a failure. We must steadily research. , Seek truth and be pragmatic, and wait for the moment when 1% is discovered."
It was Song Weihong's original intention to pursue the brightest scientific star in the vast galaxy. He first studied pediatrics, and then switched to neuroscience, which made him more curious, and worked as a psychiatrist at West China Hospital of Sichuan University for 8 years. He was deeply troubled by Alzheimer's disease during the treatment of elderly patients in the medical process, so he decided to go abroad and explore the unknown again.
Song Weihong (second from right) instructing Wen Medical College students
Song Weihong gave a vivid example to reporters, “When a doctor is dealing with patients, what can change is the lives of patients; when a teacher is dealing with medical students, train more doctors to treat more patients; Scientists, who study the mechanism of disease treatment and even successfully develop drugs, benefit patients all over the world."
Freedom and broad scientific research vision did not make Song Weihong forget about it. He even quietly told reporters that he was in fact horrified when facing the camera. He did not dabble in many fields. Only when he talked about Alzheimer's disease, he did not need to prepare. Talk about "a lesson".
In addition to scientific research, Song Weihong also has many hobbies, like visiting museums, watching musicals, chasing rugby games at home and watching novels and TV shows. "Unexpectedly, I also watch those idol martial arts dramas." He said wittily. This is exactly the same as his philosophy of cultivating scientific talents. He feels that young scientists should not "deadly study", they must cultivate a wealth of hobbies, and they must continue to develop critical awareness and independent thinking in their work and life. "However, first of all You must always maintain the love of the business you are engaged in, so that you can endure loneliness and sit on the'cold bench'."
In Wenzhou for more than half a year, Song Weihong felt a strong atmosphere of talents. “We expect the spirit of Wenzhou people to continue to inspire the spirit of scientific and technological innovation, and let the scientific research power continue to shine.” He said.