(ECNS) -- Shenzhen Medical Academy of Research and Translation (SMART), with renowned structural biologist Yan Ning as the head, held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, marking the beginning of its construction.
SMART is situated in the Guangming Science City in the northwest of Shenzhen. It is adjacent to Shenzhen Campus of Sun Yat-sen University and Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of Chinese Academy of Sciences. The industrial cluster of artificial intelligence town in Dongguan is on its north side.
The project covers an area of 288,000 square meters, with a building area of 753,700 square meters and a total investment of 8.5 billion yuan ($1.18 billion).
SMART will be built in phases, with the animal center, platform for structural analysis of biological systems, public technology platform and institute of infectious diseases, among others in the first phase.
Efforts will be made to turn SMART and the Shenzhen Bay Laboratory into an innovation highland with great influence both at home and abroad, integrating education, science and technology, and talent, said Yan at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Yan called her return to China her "third dream." Yan's move came amid China's efforts to attract more top talents.
"Shenzhen is young and energetic, and there are infinite possibilities," she said.
Yan received her degree from the Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology at Tsinghua University in China in 2000.
She earned her PhD at Princeton in 2004, and returned in 2018 as the first Shirley M. Tilghman Professor of Molecular Biology. In 2019, she was elected as a foreign member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences for outstanding contributions to research.
In November 2022, Yan revealed that she would resign from Princeton University in the U.S. and join the establishment of SMART in the near future.