Specialty: Biological Sciences (candidates’ foreign language is limited to English)
School of Life Sciences (SLS), Tsinghua University, the former Department of Biological Sciences & Biotechnology (DBSB), which was founded in 1926, has fostered a large number of noted biologists for our country. And there are more than 30 academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Biology Department) who studied or worked here. In 1952, DBSB was combined into other university as the reform for national education. It was rebuilt in 1984, and its name was changed to SLS in Sep. 2009. It has become one of the most important research centers and training cradles for advanced professionals in the field of biological sciences and related technologies.
SLS has a "national science (biology) basic scientific research and teaching personnel training base" and "national life sciences and technology incubators." And it has been appraised as "National science (biology) outstanding basic science training base" for several years; from 2004 to 2006, "national life science and biotechnology incubators" was selected as the excellent based three times during the annual inspection. In 2006, biological experimental teaching center was selected as the demonstration teaching center by the Ministry of Education. There are a number of research centers in SLS, including: State Key Laboratory of Biomembrane and Membrane Biotechnology, National Engineer Laboratory for Antitumor Protein Therapeutics, Key Laboratory for Protein Sciences of Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory for Bioinformatics of Ministry of Education and Beijing Key Laboratory of Protein Therapeutics.
Currently, the School of Life Sciences has 92 full-time faculty and staff members, including 70 tenure track faculty, 9 teaching staff, and 13 research staff. Among them, there are 6 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 Awardee of the National Teaching Master, 24 Outstanding Young Talent Scholar of the National Science Foundation of China, and 5 chief scientists of National Program on Key Basic Research Project (973 Program), 8 chief scientists of National Major Program, and 10 Excellent Young Scientists.
Student training and curriculum
In 2003, 4 courses were approved as brand-name programs of national science (biology) research and teaching training base. SLS has unique characteristics in China, with which it made extensive use of advanced original materials for teaching, including 3 key courses taught in English: biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, and two bilingual courses: cell biology, molecular biology. Each professor has to bear the task of teaching, 88% of whom also assumed the task of teaching two courses. SLS has identified a relatively "simple" course structure, which reduces the required courses and increases selective courses, thus broadening the students' space for personal development.
The teaching function is designed to strengthen the students' inquiry-based learning ability, to develop scientific logics, and to encourage exploration and innovation. At the same time, SLS provides high-level scientific research platform for undergraduates in order to encourage them to participate in laboratory research and training which may improve the ability of learning and innovation
Since 2010, the school has selected 15-20 candidates each year from the sophomore and junior undergraduate students to set up a "Tsinghua School of Life Sciences Experimental Class". Through a flexible curriculum, the challenging practice of scientific research, outstanding scientists guide, and a variety of channels and other means of international communication, the candidates strive to develop into an outstanding future in the life sciences research and development talent.
SLS offers the required courses: general biology and experimental course, biochemistry and experimental course, molecular biology and experimental course, cell biology and experimental course, microbiology and experimental course, genetics and experimental course, biochemistry and molecular biology comprehensive experiments, cells, Genetics and developmental Biology comprehensive experiments. Some selective courses: physiology and experimental course, biophysics, biophysical experimental techniques, developmental biology, immunology, neurobiology, bioinformatics, Introduction of pharmacology, basic biostatistics, molecular mechanisms of major diseases.
The major research goals of life sciences focus on major international cutting-edge science and the national economy and national security technology. The main research interests include: membrane molecular biology, molecular biophysics, structural biology, proteomics, molecular enzymology, molecular immunology, molecular cell biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, microalgae biology, marine biology, bioinformatics and system biology, bio-chip, membrane bio-engineering, microbiology and fermentation, plant molecular biology and genetic engineering, biomedical materials and tissue engineering, modernization of tradition Chinese medicine and biological agents, and so on. In basical research, the number of biological research papers (SCI) is in the first class among the universities nation-wide. Several high impact research achievements have been published in Science, Nature, Cell, PNAS, EMBO, MCB, Journal of Neuroscience, JBC, The Plant Cell, Plant Physiology, Nucleic Acids Research, AIDS, Journal of Molecular Biology, Journal of Virology, Developmental Biology and other internationally renowned journals.
Significant progress is also made in the field of bio-technology including Protein drugs, bio-chips, bio-materials. The national first class protein drug with independent intellectual property rights, which is in the charge of Professor Luo Yongzhang, has been approved to enter markets by SFDA; Degradable bio-plastics Invention which gained the National Invention Award (second class) by Professor Chen Guoqiang is on the way to industrialization.
In recent years, SLS undertakes a large number of national projects "973", "863", projects from National Natural Science Foundation and other national research projects, with an annual research funding of about 40 million yuan. SLS have gained 7 awards of state-level research and teaching achievements, 16 provincial achievement awards and more than 100 domestic and foreign patents. And the average scientific research efficiency is in the leading rank of the country.
Exchange and cooperation
SLS pays a lot of attention to student exchanging programs, which take methods such as students exchange, cooperative research, international conferences, and complementary educational resources to expand students' points of view. In recent years, some students exchanged to other universities abroad for one semester, such as the University of Melbourne, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, University of Hong Kong, National University of Singapore, University of Toronto, Canada Simon Fraser University, University of Darmstadt, Germany, Sweden Wupusaila University etc. Since 2009, SLS and the University of Michigan exchanged students in summer for 2-month scientific research annually. Those students benefited from the exchange and research, and said the exchange program not only brought them to the forefront of biological research today, but also enriched their experiences, broaden their horizons a lot. In addition, SLS also invited a large number of well-known scholars for academic reports. Meanwhile, the school set up seats for Chair Professors, and hired well-known scholars and alumni to share their experiences with students. Three Nobel Prize winners (Michael Brown, Joseph Goldstein, Phillip A. Sharp) who participated in the "21st century frontier life sciences forum" held discussions with undergraduate students. Their impression was "Tsinghua University is a very beautiful garden, especially the students gave us a deep impression".
With the rapid development of life sciences and technology, the graduates of SLS have a very optimistic employment prospects. At present, more than 95 percent of undergraduate students went to the well-known universities and research institutes for further studies, many of whom have made outstanding achievements in their positions and are very active in the biological sciences, biotechnology biological information, basic medical and management around the world.