'Father of DNA' Joins Nobel Researchers in Shenzhen

By Adam Robbins, March 26, 2018

2 0

With the official groundbreaking for the International Life Science and Technology Center last Friday, March 16, Dr. James Watson became the seventh Nobel laureate to join Shenzhen’s quest for innovation. 

“Together, I hope that we can develop more effective medicine and build more high-end hospitals to improve the treatment environment for patients,” Watson said at the ceremony, as reported by China Money Network.

The site, selected by Watson, will be modeled on the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where he studied cancer and molecular biology for nearly 40 years. Over 1,000 scientists are slated to work at the Center and Watson, who turns 90 on April 6, will personally head the research teams. 

Given China’s new visa rules for 'Foreign High-End Talent' we expect the winner of a Nobel prize for discovering DNA’s double-helix structure will get his work visa approved in a matter of days.  

Shenzhen aggressively pursues scientists in fields like new energy, two-dimensional materials, and genetic medicine. Beyond dedicated areas like the new Shenzhen International Bio Valley Baguang Launch Area that hosts Watson’s center, the city budgets RMB1 billion annually to support cutting-edge research. 

READ MORE: Shenzhen Has 7 Nobel Prize Winners' Labs, 3 More Planned

The funding was surely a deciding factor for Watson, who sold his golden Nobel prize at a 2014 Christie’s auction for USD4.1 million, partly funding research at Trinity College and partly compensating his losses after a disastrous book tour turned him into an 'unperson.' 

His comments about Africa – “there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically” – were generally considered racist. 

Dr. Watson’s arrival might be a step forward for Shenzhen’s genetic research, but – like CCTV's infamous Spring Festival Gala skit – it could also prove a stumble in the context of China’s deeper involvement in African economies.

more news

The 10 Best Things to Do This Week in Shenzhen

Your weekly guide to the best of Shenzhen.

3 Best Live Shows in Shenzhen This Weekend

The best live music shows in Shenzhen this weekend.

Urbanization Forces 150,000 Tenants Out of Shenzhen Village

Urban villages or ‘chengzhongcun,’ are slowly disappearing due to redevelopment.

Rainstorm and Thunderstorm Warnings Issued in Shenzhen

Three weather warnings have been issued for today, July 10.

Shenzhen Stadium Collapse Leaves 3 Dead, 3 Others Injured

The stadium was under construction and was slated for completion in 2020.

The 10 Best Things to Do This Week in Shenzhen

Your weekly guide to the best of Shenzhen.

3 Best Live Shows in Shenzhen This Weekend

The best live music shows in Shenzhen this weekend.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsShenzhen for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shenzhen With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's PRD!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.