Life science has a long history at Tsinghua University. Established in 1926, Department of Biology was one of the earliest bases that started biological education and scientific research in modern China. It has cultivated a large number of well-known biologists in China. Among the academicians of the Division of Life Sciences and Medical Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Division of Medical and Health of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, more than 40 of them have studied or worked in Tsinghua University. After the nationwide reconstructuring of universities and colleges undertaken in 1952, the Department of Biology of Tsinghua University was merged into other institution, leaving the field of life science blank in Tsinghua University. However, after 32 years of silence, Department of Biology was resumed and renamed the Department of Biological Science and Biotechnology in 1984. Professor Mu-ming Poo, a well-known neurobiologist, was the first Department Chair, and Professor Nanming Zhao was the Executive Vice Chair. To meet the needs of the rapid development of life science, School of Life Science (SLS) was established in 2009, with Professor Yigong Shi as its first dean.
During the 95 years since its establishment, especially within the 37 years after the re-establishment, the Department of Biology has taken educational advantages of Tsinghua University to target the international frontier. With the support of the national “211 project”, “985” project" and other major national plans, it attracts outstanding talents from home and abroad, seizes opportunities, develops rapidly, and has made major achievements in personnel training, scientific research, faculty team building, and discipline construction.
After its reestablishment, stable development and rapid growth, the School of Life Science has become one of the most distinctive and influential institutes for scientific research and senior talent education in the field of life science in China. It is a National Base for Talent Cultivation in Scientific Research and Teaching, a National Base for Talent Cultivation in Life Science and Technology, and an Experimental Teaching Center of Modern Life Science, which is one of the first national experimental teaching demonstration centers. The School awards doctoral degree to Biology primary discipline, with biophysics, biochemistry and molecular biology, and developmental biology being state key disciplines with great advantages. In the fourth round (2017) of China Discipline Ranking organized by the Degree and Graduate Education Development Center of Ministry of Education, Biology of Tsinghua University was rated as an A+ discipline.
As it continuously reforms its personnel system, the School of Life Sciences has established a high-level faculty team with Tenure-track. At present, it has recruited 129 full-time faculty and staff members, including 69 tenured or tenure-track faculty members, 9 teaching staff, 20 research staff, 28 technical staff, 3 administrative staff, as well as 214 post-doctoral fellows and more than 336 contract employees. Among them, 7 were awarded academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 30 percent were supported by national high-level talents programs, and 32 percent were supported by national young talents programs.
In addition, the School engages in constructing public research facilities and novel research institutes, including National Tsinghua-Peking University Center for Life Sciences, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Structural Biology and National Scientific Infrastructures for Protein Science, all of which consolidates the foundation of the life science development of Tsinghua University.
The excellent faculty team and high-level research platform lead to rapid development of scientific research and produce a great number of influential and innovative achievements which received extensive attention in the field of life science all around the world. Since 2016, the School has 58 publications with cutting-edge research achievements in the top-rated international journals (CNS).
Taking talent cultivation as its primary task, the School carries out vigorous education and teaching reforms, continuously improves the undergraduate and graduate recruitment and selection models, creates an excellent education environment, explores the idea training mode for top innovative talents, emphasizes the whole-process education for graduate training, and formulates new standards for graduate degrees evaluation. All these strategies lead to remarkable enhancement in talent training, with more and more eminent students and alumni standing out.
Life sciences in Tsinghua University have broad space for development! We actively engage in communication and cooperation with our counterparts at home and abroad, promote multidisciplinary and collaborative innovation, and strive to make original and ground-breaking academic achievement in the history of science. The School aims to become not only the training ground for young Chinese scientists and the teaching reform center for undergraduates and graduates, but also an international hub for communication and cooperation in life science, providing a good platform for Chinese biologists to integrate into the international arena.
We sincerely welcome outstanding scholars and aspiring students around the world to join the School of Life Sciences of Tsinghua University.
Songhai Shi, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean