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Research

The college consists of the following centers for research and training:

1. Department of Microbiology
2. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
3. Department of Genetics and Cell Biology
4. Department of Plant Biology and Ecology
5. Department of Zoology and Developmental Biology
6. Institute of Molecular Biology
7. Institute of Entomology
8. TEDA Functional Genomics Research Center
9. Experimental Center for Biology Teaching

In addition, the college also houses the Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials, Ministry of Education.

Department of Microbiology

The Department of Microbiology was founded in 1993, but the specialty of Microbiology has a history of more than fifty years in Nankai University. The Department centers its scientific research on four domains: Microbial Genomics and Proteomics, Molecular Virology, Modern Mycology, Resource Bacteriology and Engineering. Labs of Molecular Virology, Modern Mycology, Petroleum Microbiology, Insecticide Microbiology, Microbial Enzyme, Molecule Microbiology, Microbrial Resources and Environment have been set up in succession. Microbiology was certified as a national key subject in 2001and the Key Lab for Functional Genomics of Microbiology was founded in 2003.

The Department has been authorized to confer both Ph.D. and M.Sc. programs. Currently, there are 14 professors including 10 supervisors of Ph.D. programs and 1 Cheung Kong Scholar, 8 associate professors and 3 lecturers. A highly qualified group with rational age distribution, the Department has undertaken many key projects granted by the national or local organizations, such as National 863 Project and National 973 Project. The total research funds are more than ¥20,000,000.

 

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology was founded in 1993. The biochemistry specialty, one of the earliest specialties in our country, was offered in 1958.

The Department offers programs leading to B.Sc, M.Sc, Ph.D and M.D/Ph.D degrees, of which the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is one of the excellent curricula at Nankai University. In the past years, over 80% of the undergraduates with B.Sc. degree have been enrolled to postgraduate study leading to M.Sc. and Ph. D. degrees in the famous universities or gone abroad for further education.

The Department has 19 staff members. Among them, there are seven full professors and four associate professors, including three extraordinarily retained professors. It covers a wide range of research areas, with interests mainly focused on tumor cells and the signal transmission of immunology cells, the molecular basis for the prostate matrix hyperplasic, the molecular basis for the muscular contraction, topological structure of DNA, the relationship between HBV and liver cancer, and the calmodulin protein with signal transmission.

With a dense academic atmosphere, the Department has accomplished impressive achievements in teaching and research. It has carried out many research projects, such as National 863 Project, 3 x 3 or other projects supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and some projects funded by the Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin.

 

Department of Genetics and Cell Biology

Subordinated to the College of Life Sciences, Nankai University, the Department of Genetics and Cell Biology was founded in 2003. There are three major research directions of Molecular Genetics, Genetic Engineering and Molecular Cytogenetics, and the related laboratories. It has been entitled to confer Ph. D. and M. Sc. degrees in genetics.

The Department has strong teaching capability. At present, there are 6 professors including 4 Ph. D. program supervisors, 4 associate professors, 2 lecturers and 2 senior engineers. Two main curricula, Genetics and Cell Biology, are offered to undergraduate students. Compulsory courses such as Genetic Molecular Biology, Advanced Molecular Genetics, Principle and Technique on Plant Gene Manipulation, and Bio-statistics are given to graduate students pursuing doctoral and master degrees. The Department has been equipped with a complete set of advanced equipment and multi-media facilities that make the study possible at gene, cell and individual levels and that are needed in teaching genetics and cell biology.

The Department also has strong faculty in the scientific researches. The project “Research on the Chromosome of Chinese Main Plants” conducted by Professor Ruiyang Chen and Professor Wenqin Song was recognized highly by academic fellows at home and abroad and was awarded a second-class national science prize in 2003, which was the first time to gain such laurels in the life sciences in Tianjin.

 

Department of Plant Biology and Ecology

Department of Plant Biology and Ecology was founded in December 2003. It is made up of the Lab of Plant Molecular Biology, the Lab of Physiological Ecology, the Lab of Resource Botany and the Lab of Structural Botany. At present, there are five full professors, four associate professors and one lecturer. The Department is well equipped with relatively advanced teaching and research facilities.

The Department confers Ph. D. and M. Sc. degrees in botany and ecology. In the early 1980s, Nankai University was authorized to award M. Sc. degrees in botany and plant physiology. With the development of related branches, awarding master degree in ecology was also qualified in 1993. In recent years, the faculty members of the Department are working in the research areas covering plant physiology and molecular biology, gene transfer and biotechnology, resource botany, environmental botany, structural botany, physiological ecology, etc. Most of the research projects are supported by the National 973 Project, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Education and the Science and Technology Committee of Tianjin. The research is fruitful and many important research papers have been published in the national or international key journals.

 

Department of Zoobiology and Developmental Biology

The Department of Zoobiology and Developmental Biology was established in December 2003, and developed from the doctoral program in zoology of the previous Department of Biology.

There are seven full professors/ supervisors of Ph. D. program, seven associate professors and one lecturer. The staff members of the Department conduct researches over a broad spectrum of areas relating to animal physiology and biochemistry, systematics of zoology, entomology, Hydrobiology, neurophysiology and neuroinformatics. The Department has undertaken many research projects granted by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Ministry of Education Foundation of Doctoral Program, Municipal Natural Science Foundation of Tianjin and 21-Century Science Foundation for Young Scientists. The researches have gained significant achievements in recent years, with a number of projects won national, provincial or ministerial awards. Several monographs and around 600 academic papers have been published.

The Department also has a specimen room in zoology that holds a collection of about 4000 specimens. 70 of these species are listed as the state protected species.

The Department currently has two postdoctoral staff, 25 doctoral candidates and 27 master candidates. The Department takes in postdoctoral researchers and admits students pursuing Ph. D. and M. Sc. degrees from home and abroad. It also provides research opportunities to visiting scholars in China.

 

Institute of Molecular Biology

The Institute of Molecular Biology of Nankai University was founded in August 1978 as the first institute of molecular biology approved by the State Education Committee. Southern, the international renowned molecular biologist, held the first-term training class of molecular biotechnology in 1981. This training had significant meaning for the development of biochemistry and molecular biology in our country, which educated a group of elites for the key universities, the Chinese Academy of sciences and the Chinese Academy of medicine. The training program also earned a national and international reputation for the Institute in this discipline.

Currently, the Institute focuses the researches on medical molecular biology, plant molecular biology, molecular microbiology and microbial engineering, protein biochemistry and proteomics, biodegradation and environmental biotechnology, enzymology and enzyme engineering.

The Institute has 26 faculties, including 11 professors, 6 associate professors and 2 senior engineers. Of them, 10 with Ph. D. degrees were recruited from abroad in succession after 1996.

 


Institute of Entomology

The Institute of Entomology was founded in December 2003 on the basis of the Teaching and Research Section of Entomology. Subordinated to it are Labs of Hemiptera, Diptera, Lepidoptera, Insect Molecular Systematics, Insect Physiology, Insect Pathology and Pest Control. All the faculty members earned Ph. D. degrees and four of them are Ph. D. program supervisors.
The Institute has a collection of over 700,000 specimens, including hundreds of type specimens in Heteroptera, Diptera and Microlepidoptera as well as a number of rare species.

The Institute has undertaken many projects supported by the state, province or ministry with impressive achievements, some of which have obtained awards. In recent years, it has been undertaking a project commissioned by the state as a National Base for the Talent Training in the Insect Systematics of the Fundamental Sciences. Current research focuses on the taxonomic study of Hemiptera, Chironomidae and Cecidomyiidae in Diptera, and Microlepidoptera based on morphology and cellular and molecular systematic methods. More than 500 academic papers and some monographs have been published.

There are 2 postdoctoral staff, 17 doctoral candidates and 16 graduate students pursuing their master degrees. The Department recruits postdoctoral research fellows and enrolls students studying for doctoral and master degrees.

 

TEDA Functional Genomics Research Center

TEDA Functional Genomics Research Center was instituted in July 2002. The Center is devoted to the research of bioinformatics, genomics and proteomics. Recently it is also engaged in the study of virus molecular biology.

The Center was set up by Prof. Lei Wang, an awardee of Cheung Kong Scholar Program and the winner of the National Outstanding Youth Foundation. There is a group of elitists working in the Center. With a total fund of about 20 million, the Center is carrying out a number of research projects, such as the National 863 Project, the National Outstanding Youth Foundation, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and some key projects funded by the Tianjin Science and Technology Committee.
The Center has a complete platform for the study of genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics. We have finished the analyzing work of over 100 bacteria O-antigen cluster sequences and the sequencing work of two genomes. Two papers have been published in the world authoritative journals and some published in the key journals of China. Meantime, we have applied for 81 patents, including a world one.

 

Experimental Center for Biology Teaching

The Teaching Experimental Center for Basic Biology, located in the multi-experimental building, has an area of up to 2,074 sq. meters. It is made up of 5 experimental laboratories, which are labs of Botany, Zoology, Microbiology, Cell Biology and Genetics, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The Center provides a total of 14 experimental courses for about one thousand undergraduate students, who will receive training as the next generation of researchers.

There are more than twenty teachers and technicians, of whom 50% have received the senior technical titles. The equipment of the Center costs more than 7 million RMB, which makes it possible to provide the basic experimental courses for undergraduate students at various levels of biological colony, individual, tissue, cell and molecule.

The Center is striving to carry through the reform of experiment contents. It has offered many new experimental courses and brought several advanced scientific researches into the courses. During these years, the Center has published four experiment-teaching reference books and has another two to be published. It is undertaking “the constitution and practice of biological experiment-teaching innovation system for undergraduate students”, a project of the new century advanced teaching reform in high education. The Center has impressed by their “Open Experiments” for creative undergraduate students and won many honors from Tianjin city and Nankai University for their educational reform. The Teaching Experimental Center has been exerting itself to be one paragon of the national experimental teaching centers.

 

Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials, Ministry of Education

The Key Laboratory of Bioactive Materials was founded in 1978. Of the 25 current faculty members, there are 12 professors and 4 associate professors, including 5 Ph.D. program supervisors. Since 1978, the Laboratory has carried out more than 60 projects including the state “973 project”, “863 project”, “National Natural Science Foundation”, etc. The Laboratory has obtained over 10 academic awards and 10 patents, and has so far published more than 300 papers.

The Laboratory has established a broad and close collaboration with many universities and research institutions in USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, etc. In 1995, due to the excellent study in biomaterials and artificial organs, Nankai University became the tenth member of the International Faculty of Artificial Organs (INFA, an international joint University). Professor H. Klinkmann, the president of INFA, is currently the honory director of this laboratory.

Research interests include blood purification materials, tissue engineering, stem cell and gene therapy; biosensor and new diagnosis technologies, advanced materials and nano biotechnology.

 

© 2006-2008 College of Life Sciences, Nankai University