Professor Kang Cheng

悼念程康教授

In Memory of Our Great Colleague, Mentor and Friend

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(1962.8.30 – 2016.11.08)

沉痛悼念世界著名科学家,我的好朋友程康教授

海外人医学磁共振学会所有同仁

程康教授任日本理化学研究所fMRI中心主任、认知机能表现实验室co-PI。他于1983年毕业于中国浙江大学地质学院,1989年赴日本大阪大学留学,1995年获得生物物理工程博士学位,随后担任日本理化学研究所担任研究员、PI至今。程康老师长期从事灵长类、人类的视觉研究,对待同事、下属亲切温和,是大家的良师益友。 我们对教授的逝世深感沉痛和哀悼。程康老师通过高分辨率功能磁共振研究人脑功能,做出了一系列重要的奠基性工作,是高分辨率功能磁共振领域的先驱者和国际知名的学术带头人,在高分辨率磁共振领域有举足轻重的学术地位。 他的突然离世是国际和中国磁共振和视觉研究领域的重大损失!天妒英才!

Professor Kang Cheng’s 2006 Personal Research Statement at RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan: We focus on improving the resolution of functional MRI. The goal is achieving the ability of detecting fMRI responses with a spatial resolution of less than 1mm, for visualizing the columnar structures which are about 1 mm in size. The columnar structure is one of the fundamental elements of brain function in the cortex. Individual neurons in columnar structures do not necessarily all react to stimuli exactly same way individually. This function has an important role in representing the outside world flexibly. Using the high magnetic field strength of our 4 Tesla machine requires an advanced technological level, which we have developed to successfully visualize columns in human primary visual cortex for ocular dominance and temporal frequency selectivity, by using new stimulus paradigm. In addition, we continually work to advance our methods and employ them in identifying other columnar structures related to higher order sensations and functions for perception.

More information about Dr. Kang Cheng

CBM Memorial Site in RIKEN for Dr. Kang Cheng

 

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32 thoughts on “Professor Kang Cheng”

  1. Dr. Kang has been a man of exemplary humility, kindness and stellar scholarship. He will be remembered and missed by all of us.

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  2. I have always admired Dr. Cheng’s scientific work and Dr. Cheng himself – a true gentleman scholar. It is such a shock to hear this sad news. Rest in peace, Kang, we will all miss you. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

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  3. I have known Kang for almost 2 decades. We have been friends since then. His sudden departure left a hole among us. He was a great scientist and friend. I will miss you dearly. I am also glad that you was such a upbeat person and enjoyed life to its fullest. You set us an marvelous example for career and life. Rest in peace, Kang!

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  4. Kang and his family are in my thoughts and prayers during this sorrowful time. As a great scientist, Kang has left us with so many wonderful things. He will never be forgotten. My deepest sympathies go out to his family. I pray that God will grant his family and his little son the strength and courage needed to get through this moment in their life, and to face the days ahead.

    May Kang rest in peace.

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  5. Kang was a highly respected scholar in neuroimaging and a kind friend of many of us. Kang’s unexpected departure is certainly a big loss for the community and, of course, for his family and friends. Perhaps the best way to remember him is to follow his academic excellence and genuine kindness.

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  6. I am saddened by the terrible news. Although I did not know Dr. Cheng personally, his outstanding scientific work has been and will continue to be an important source of inspiration for me. My deepest condolences to Dr. Cheng’s family.

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  7. I am really devastated to hear of the sad news. Dr. Cheng was such a humble and truly outstanding scholar. I can’t help thinking of him over the past few days. I wish he could have joined our meeting in Oct so that we could have more fellowship with him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues affected by this tragedy at this difficult time.

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  8. A terrible loss of our society. I came across Kang long time ago at ISMRM meeting. He was very kind individual and very easy going, and we are very proud of him because of his outstanding achievement in the field. We will remember him forever….

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  9. Dear Kang, I was so fortunate to be a friend of you ever since we met in Kyoto in 2004. Over the years, you have tought me through your own example how to be kind and gentle, bring peace to people around you, and enjoy all aspects of life: family, hiking, jogging, mountains, flowers, food, … and science. It is still hard to believe that you would leave us so soon and so suddenly. Will miss you forever!

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  10. On behalf of CSMRM, I would like to express my deepest sorrow at the recent passing away of Prof. Kang Cheng. Prof. Kang Cheng was a great scientist and a great human being. We will all miss him. Rest in peace, Prof. Cheng!

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  11. It’s really a big loss of all! What an outstanding scientist and a nice gentleman prof. Kang Cheng was! His sunny smile will always be remembered…

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  12. Kang’s life has been a true reflection of the motto of his alma mater: “seeking the truth and pursuing innovativeness”. I am so sadden by his sudden leave but also feel fortunate for having had many chances sharing thoughts, ideas and laughs…. Kang: your smile and wisdom will remain with us forever….

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  13. A good heart has stopped beating, a great soul will ascend. Will never forget your smile and kindness。

    回首向来萧瑟处, 归去, 也无风雨也无晴。

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  14. A great scientist to the world, a great member to the community, a great collaborator to my lab… and to me, it is hard to tell you are more like a mentor, a friend, or a brother. But today, this is not important any more, because we will never get a chance to see you again…Nothing can fill the hole in my heart by your sudden leaving, but I will try to preserve your smile in it which I believe will always warm my mind as ever before. Rest in peace, Kang.

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  15. RIP, Dear Kang, a great scientist, a very good friend! Your smile will always be in our memory. You will never leave.

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  16. Condolence

    Dear Kang, we are in great sorrow at your loss. We, however, recall all the great things that you left us, both about science and in more general ways as a person, and believe that you will continue to live in our hearts and in our research.

    You joined the Team in the Frontier Research Program, RIKEN, in August of 1989, four months after the team started in April 1989. You and I were both young, 26 years old and 38 years old, respectively. You conducted various types of neuroscience experiments, single-cell recordings from the visual association cortex of macaque monkeys, functional mapping of human cerebral cortex with Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and whole axon reconstruction of single-cells from serial brain sections of macaque monkeys, and you published all of the results in first-level journals, all as the first author. When the 4-Tesla human magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, which was the highest field available in the world at that time for imaging humans, was introduced at RIKEN, you took up the challenge of imaging fine (smaller than one millimeter) functional structures in the human visual cortex, using the system. There were many technical difficulties in MRI at high field, especially when trying to achieve such a high spatial resolution. Our team, which did not have prior experience of functional MRI, had a hard time in solving the technical problems. However, the team, with you as the core, eventually solved the problems and succeeded in reproducibly imaging ocular dominance columns from the primary visual cortex of human subjects. The community of scientists applauded this achievement, which was reported in a paper published in Neuron in 2001. The paper has been widely referred to as the first reliable imaging of columnar organization from the human brain.

    Later in the same year (2001), you became the Deputy Head of our laboratory in the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (RIKEN BSI) and formally started to take the role of overseeing the functional MRI research in the laboratory. You continued to develop the techniques of function MRI on human subjects, especially for high spatial resolution, and obtained wonderful scientific results, which were reported as papers, with you as the first or the senior author, in top journals, such as Science, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, The Journal of Neuroscience, and Cerebral Cortex. Moreover, since you became the Unit Leader of the Support Unit for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research, which was newly established in the RIKEN BSI, in 2006, you have been central to functional magnetic research in RIKEN BSI and supported research in many laboratories within and outside of the institute. Because of these accomplishments combined with your friendly and conscientious personality and fluent English capability, you were widely known and had many friends in the world. You have made several lectures about functional magnetic imaging with high spatial resolution in international meetings, and “The group of functional magnetic resonance research led by Dr. Kang Cheng in RIKEN” was repeatedly mentioned in lectures and conversations. I was sorry for letting you conduct several different types of neuroscience experiments before, but I started to think that this wide experience helped you become a wonderful leader with the broad and unique view of functional magnetic resonance imaging in neuroscience.

    Moving to your life in general, you had a broad heart and you were always ready to provide kind help and support, showing great sympathy and understanding for other people. As an example, seeing the way you took care of young researchers working toward their PhD, as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Joint Program between Saitama University and RIKEN, always impressed me.

    While you have already made great achievements as a researcher, I believe that you had many plans for future research. Loosing you is also a heavy loss for research in RIKEN, Japan, and the world. However, what you have achieved remains in us, the researchers in RIKEN BSI, as well as in your former colleagues and friends distributed all over the world. Your kindhearted mind also continues to live in our hearts. By promising to overcome the sorrow at your loss and to further develop the fortune that you left us, I conclude my words of farewell.

    November 14th, 2016

    Keiji Tanaka, Ph. D.
    Senior Team Leader, RIKEN Brain Science Institute

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  17. 沉痛哀悼程康老朋友!不久前,刘一军教授离世的不幸消息传来,程教授找出一张2006年在日本仙台HBM会议期间的合影。是用他的相机拍的。短短时间痛失两位老友[Sob][Sob][Sob]

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  18. I was sucked into deep sorrow after I knew Kang passed away by emails on Nov. 9, 11:00 pm. I could not sleep that night, Kang was so vivid in my memory as I have worked with Kang together for 11 years. Kang is my mentor, my closest friend and I always treat him like my elder brother.

    I should say, I have very little knowledge of fMRI when I joined Keiji and Kang’s lab in 2002. Kang and Allen trained me by giving lectures from the very basic concepts. Kang once told me, ‘Here we do everything by ourself, you should learn as more as possible skills related to fMRI experiment’. I still remember that he taught me how to make a comfortable bit bar for participant in the MR Simulator room, how to make a bakelite piece to fix goggle on the patient table in RIKEN workshop, and how to write paper clearly by reading each sentence out loudly.

    I believe that every body loves Kang as he is a very kind person. I remembered clearly he picked my wife and I at the Narita airport when we first arrived Japan, he took care of almost all the guests and visitors of our lab, he always gathered friends together and arranged parties on meetings such as SFN, ISMRM, HBM etc. His kindness made him as a key hub for all the friends.

    Kang and his wife Mariko had a son, named Kai (海), in 2006. Kang wished to let Kai learn Chinese and I helped him to arrange Chinese lessons in Beijing in both 2014 and 2015 summer holidays. Kai enjoyed these lectures very much and wanted came back this summer. But as he is going to be in the middle school, Kang said maybe wait for 2017 or 2018. I would like to share with you one interesting thing in Kai’s language development. During our visit to Summer Palace, Kai said he wanted to go toilet, then Kang asked him pee (小便) or stool (大便), then Kai answered choubian (中便), something between or middle, we all started to laugh loudly. Kai always called me Pei-san, he is very close to me, I really hope he can handle this difficult time smoothly.

    So long, my mentor, my dearest friend, my elder brother! Please rest in peace.

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  19. Wei Chen, Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota

    It was a shock when I heard the sad news from my colleague just next day after Kang’s tragedy. I met Kang personally not for many times, I know him more through his outstanding science, publications and conversation from other colleagues and friends about Kang’s accomplishment and kindness. Kang was truly an international citizen of outstanding scholar and we are very proud of him. It is amazing that Kang’s tragedy was resonated by so many Chinese colleagues, friends and more who know Kang. It was also a relief that OCSMRM had a chance to express deep condolence in Kang’s funnel in Japan with the kind help from many colleagues, especially from Drs. Xiaoping Hu, Ed Wu, Debiao Li, Pei Sun, Allen Waggoner…

    Kang left us but his smiling will be in our memory forever.

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  20. I met Kang a few times at meetings. He impressed me as such a nice and warm person, a perfect gentleman. I couldn’t forget his smile. This is truly a sad time for the Chinese MR community.

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  21. Kang, how lucky I was to be your friend, not sure exactly when we first met but I’m sure it must be close to 20 years ago. I always remember those times I visited Riken first to install the 4T MRI in the original building and then moving it to the new building, those were very enjoyable times, even though we had problems but they all seemed to get sorted out and you were always so good and kind to me.
    I remember the many times we all would go out after work and have a few drinks and plenty of food in that little bar that I could never find on my own afterwards.
    This was such a shock, I can hardly believe it, even today when I saw the memorial page and Dr. Tanaka’s eulogy.
    Kang, I will miss you forever!
    Kari

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  22. 认识他是37年前,虽然不是一个专业更不是同班,但他身上有一种特别的地方让人喜欢,后来碰巧我们的寝室分在了隔壁,才知道这个长一头罕见卷发喜欢弹吉他与政治无涉招女生折腰但从未有女友的男生是如此文静。他学习并不象别人一样拼命,而我晩自习也从来不去教室,整个晚上4楼只有他弹弹琴,我听听半导体断断续续的音乐。他父亲是黄岩空军基地的政委,寒假回校他拿了二卷飞行员使用的高曝光度底片,我借了姐夫的相机,一起去植物园拍了很多只看得清脸庞的大作。几年后我已住中关村准备考托福,他让他成都地理所的导师从日本带给我一个信封,里面正好是考试所需的美元!想当年没有正规换汇渠道且黑市昂贵,他说“送你了”!那时他刚到日本,寄来的理化所所刊上有一篇关于他的报道,附上这个年轻人手持网球拍笑得比往常更灿烂的照片……一个来自中国西南地区的大学生交流生能引起向来自负的日本研究人员的兴趣,可想程康之魅力无国界!几年后去日本公差,后面几天索性就住在他当时甚是高档宽敝的宿舍,一为省汇二来好玩,参观他的实验室,才知世上还有email这样的神器!那几天他陪我去了东京很多地方。一直到96年我和太太去日本,他还是单身,还是在东京最好的地方请我们吃最好的Sushi……以后的每年这时候,一定会有他自己编辑的家庭贺卡用email送来,只有今年例外。你是这么一个有才华但从不骄傲的真正的中国绅士,如果不是最好的时候和最好的地方,我相信你绝不会先我而去,连个道别都没有,你从来不会这么无礼。

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  23. I knew Kang Cheng for 25 years and have always had the greatest respect for his pioneering work.

    We would meet every year at international neuroscience meetings. In the impatient commotion there, I would always look forward to running into him, and getting an update on his work and life. His kind and peaceful personality would never fail to make me feel calm and centered again, even after just a few minutes chatting.

    At SFN this year, wondering why I hadn’t already run into him, I heard the unexpected and final news. Best wishes to his family and friends in this difficult time. I will miss him.

    Marty

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  24. I respected Kang deeply for a number of reasons – because he was always unflappable and genuine. He was completely in the moment and ready to talk about any aspect of his work to anyone who approached him, and, at least to me, never dwelled in negative gossip. He was steady and positive. His science was also extremely careful. He’s one of the few people from which I completely trusted everything coming from his group. He suffered the details as was clear in how he wrote and talked about his work. Over the years, I became good friends with him. Following my marriage, he packed in his suitcase an incredibly nice tea set to present to me while we attended a meeting. One year, he gave me sets of Japanese clothing for my boys. We always exchanged Christmas cards. During the SFN meeting in Washington DC he again, brought with him an entire train set for my kids when I had him over to my house for dinner. At every meeting we always made sure to have dinner together. He was liked by everyone and for good reason! He was a great person and a dear friend. He is deeply missed.

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  25. Kang Cheng was a special talent who was a brilliant scientist, fluent in several languages, and a hub for scientific and social connections. I admired his approach to scientific research, which aimed at doing the highest quality of work, disdaining mediocrity, rather than pursuing quantity or fashionability. He and his colleagues at RIKEN Japan continuously produced ground-breaking and high-impact work for decades. He enjoyed travel and interactions with physicists and neuroscientists from Asian countries, the US, Europe, and other parts of the world. Together with a colleague in China (YJ Luo), Kang and I co-edited a Chinese-language textbook of cognitive neuroscience 10 years ago, which included contributions of scientists from all over the world. I am aware that Kang was pursuing an initiative to host a future OHBM conference in Japan recently. His unexpected passing is a great loss to multiple fields.
    A true neuroimaging scientist who studied the visual cortex, he produced beautiful images at the submillimeter scale that extended our understanding of primary visual cortex using high-field functional MRI. He also had a passion for taking amazing pictures of sunsets, birds, and cherry blossoms. Many of us received treasured photos that he took while we gave conference talks or at various gatherings.
    Linguistically gifted, he was fluent in Chinese (Mandarin and Sichuan dialect), Japanese (learned from singing Karaoke), and English. He also mastered German well enough to fully appreciate the Octoberfest experience. Kang had many interesting stories to tell, always with the same mild manner accompanied by a smile, anecdotes ranging from delivering a lecture at Oxford University to comforting a family dog who was jealous of his young son.
    I offer my deep condolences to his family for losing him at such tender age, in his early 50s. Kang Cheng will be remembered by many of us as an extraordinary colleague and unforgettable friend.

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