Brief introduction of CSHL

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) is a private, not-for-profit research and education institution at the forefront of efforts in molecular biology and genetics to generate knowledge that will yield better diagnostics and treatments for cancer, neurological diseases and other major causes of human suffering.

Home to eight Nobelists, the Laboratory was founded in 1890 as one of the first institutions in the world to specialize in genetics research. CSHL has played a pivotal role in the emergence of molecular genetics, the scientific foundation of the contemporary revolution in biology and biotechnology. At the CSHL Symposium in 1953, James D. Watson presented his first public lecture on his and Francis Crick’s discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA, for which each later won a Nobel Prize. As director and then president of the Laboratory from 1968 to 2003, Watson was instrumental in developing CSHL into one of the world’s most unique and influential institutions of education and research in life science.

Today, CSHL President Bruce Stillman leads more than 400 scientists who are pioneering the frontiers of biomedical research. A designated Center of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, CSHL has broken new ground in the study of cancer-causing genes and signaling pathways implicated in their activation. Key findings on mutations and structural variations of the human genome have been important in this work and in the Laboratory’s efforts to understand what causes devastating neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative illnesses such as autism, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. CSHL is also a global leader in plant genetics and an innovative force in the emerging discipline of quantitative biology.

CSHL Meetings & Symposia

In the history of biology in the 20th century, the Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology have served an almost unique purpose by every summer bringing together groups of the world’s leading scientists irrespective of race or nationality, to discuss and debate particular topics at times when those fields were making rapid progress. At each Symposium, scientific advances in the chosen field were celebrated not only amongst attending participants, but also through publication of the conference proceedings, to a wider audience of researchers. Started in 1933, the history of the Symposia in many ways reflect the history of biological discovery in this century - and frequently, major discoveries in biology were first publicly announced, discussed or debated at the annual Symposium. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory aims to preserve and maintain the pivotal importance of its annual Symposium to biological and biomedical research in the 21st century.

For the past eighty years, CSHL meetings and courses has nurtured a plethora of prominent scientists, including many Noble laureates, helping to propel the advancement of modern biology. Every year, more than 8,000 researchers from around the world come to CSHL to participate in a wide range of meetings and courses. The Laboratory has a long and distinguished history of being the forum where new discoveries, concepts and scientific techniques are discussed. The Laboratory’s famous Banbury Center meetings are small, by-invitation conferences that are acknowledged as being amongst the world's best discussion workshops for topics in molecular biology, molecular genetics and science policy, and have often proved to have an impact and significance far in excess of expectations. Through these programs, CSHL has effectively helped to foster the birth and development of many divergent fields in biology.

CSHL's world wide strategy: Cold Spring Harbor Asia

As biology has grown more prominent in the natural sciences, and the overlap with medicine has strengthened, the CSHL meetings and courses programs have expanded beyond the existing infrastructure at Cold Spring Harbor. Over the past 30 years, we have witnessed profound changes in Asia, particularly in China, yielding some of the most dynamic, robust and promising “economic dragons” in today’s world. This transformation is echoed in the spectacular advances in scientific research throughout the region, growth that CSHL believes deserves the development of an international hub for scientific exchange within Asia.

CSHL is building upon the success of its educational programs through the development of an equivalent program in Asia and the Pacific Rim, to be centered in Suzhou, China – Cold Spring Harbor Conferences Asia (CSHCA). CSHA’s principal aim is to develop and operate an annul program of scientific conferences in Asia modeled on the Cold Spring Harbor meeting format and style. This program includes large conferences, training workshops and Banbury-style meetings, covering a broad spectrum of biomedical research topics, including molecular biology, molecular genetics, neuroscience, cancer, developmental and cell biology, and plant biology. Bringing together CSHL’s long tradition of open scientific exchange and debate with Asia’s rich academic and cultural heritage will help to accelerate scientific discovery, cultivate future scientific stars, and promote collaborations both formal and informal, both national and international, between scientists, fostering friendships that extend well beyond the traditional laboratory bench.

Cold Spring Harbor Asia

Suzhou and SIP: ancient past and dynamic future

Suzhou and SIP: ancient past and dynamic future

Suzhou is a 2500-year-old city of 6 million people located about 40 minutes inland by high-speed train from the coastal megacity of Shanghai, population 20 million. Suzhou's old town has been preserved, recognized the world over as a treasured cultural site. The city's peerless gardens are among the Wold Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO. The old city is equally famous for its canals and thousand stone bridges, which evokes references to Suzhou as the “Venice of the East."

On the eastern outskirts of Suzhou, Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) is the largest economic and technological cooperation project between the governments of China and Singapore. Basically a new high-tech city, SIP is home to 400,000 people and major industry clusters in electronics, IT, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, optoelectronics, aeronautics and astronautics. SIP has attracted tens of thousands of investment projects by local and foreign companies , attracting more than 15% of Fortune 500 multinational corporations. The biotechnology cluster, Biobay, is alone host to more than 170 biotech start-ups and early stage companies. SIP is now rapidly evolving into a major center for high tech R&D, particularly in the field of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and nanotechnology. SIP’s partnership with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory reflects the city’s growing interest in attracting world-class educational and academic programs, and offers the opportunity for CSHL to establish an important life sciences hub within Asia in a dynamic, accessible and vibrant location.

Cold Spring Harbor Asia: Conferences

CSHL has partnered with SIP to set up a 25 acre lakeside campus beside Dushu Lake of Suzhou, where a purpose-built 600,000 sq ft conference center and hotel meeting specific architectural and landscaping guidelines was completed at the end of 2009. This campus combines throughout ultramodern convenience with world class architectural and landscape design. The program initiated a series of international scientific conferences and courses at the Suzhou Dushu Lake site in 2010.

During its inception, the Cold Spring Harbor Asia project earned enormous support from the Laboratory, Frequent visitors to Asia, Chancellor Emeritus James Watson and President Bruce Stillman, respectively visited Suzhou in 2006 and 2007 to view the proposed site and enter into the formal agreement with SIP. In 2008, Cold Spring Harbor Asia was formally incorporated as a registered entity able to conduct business in China. Cold Spring Harbor Asia then appointed a Scientific Advisory Board comprising prominent scientists in a range of biological disciplines from China, Asia, Europe and USA/Canada. to advise and promote on the scientific scope and nature of the developing program in Asia. SAB members include:

Honorary Member
James Dewey Watson
Zhu Chen
Guangzhao Zhou

SAB Member
D Balasubramanian
Nam-Hai Chua
David Ho
Bruce Stillman
Lap-Chee Tsui
M. Vijayan
Andrew Wang
Xiaodong Wang
Jeongbin Yim
Mu-ming Poo
Tadatsugu Taniguichi
Shin-Ichi Nishikawa
Svante Pääbo
Patrick Tam
Depei Liu
Edison Liu
Richard I. Morimoto
Nancy Yuk-Yu Ip
Li Jiayang
Xiaoliang Sunney Xie
Michael Zhang

The inaugural year (2010) of the CSH Asia program includes the following conferences and summer schools:
April 6-11 James Watson Cancer Symposium
April 12-17 Francis Crick Neuroscience Symposium
May 10-14 Membrane Proteins: Structure & Function
May 17-21 Epigenetics, Chromatin & Transcription
July 11-24 Summer School : Computational & Cognitive Neuroscience
Sept 6-10 Human Genetics & Genomics
Sept 21-25 Molecular Switches and Genome Function in Stem Cells & Development
Sept 27-Oct 1 Computational Biology
Oct 18-22 Emerging Infectious Diseases
Oct 25-29 From Plant Biology to Crop Biotechnology
Nov 1-5 RNA Biology
Nov 8-10 Frontiers of Immunology in Health and Diseases

In the first half of 2010, more than one thousand top scientists, researchers, students and corporate representatives from over 20 countries have joined CSHA conferences & courses and shared their new and unpublished work. Nobelists James Watson and Linda Buck attended and spoke at the first two symposiums. In the summer 2010 edition of CSHL’s Harbor Transcript, President of CSHL Bruce Stillman writes "I am pleased to see the CSHL model for scientific meetings take root in Asia. At the opening ceremonies of the CSH Asia meetings program in our new facility in Suzhou this spring, we unleashed the power of intellectual freedom in a society hungry to actualize its scientific potential….CSH Asia is not CSHL "going global." It's about taking a proven concept and transplanting it, like the strong shoot of a venerable plant, in new soil. Suzhou Is centrally located, proximate to the largest Chinese city, Shanghai, and with three hours by air from Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Taipei and Hong Kong. Singapore and Sydney are most distant, but within easy reach and a similar time zone. We expect our new facility to be a major hub at which scientists primarily from these places, but also from Europe and the Americas, meet and exchange ideas about important areas of life science, freely, openly and productively, as they do in New York."