Life Science has a long and prosperous history at Tsinghua University. The Biology Department, established in 1926, was one of the first bases in China to carry out biological education and scientific research. It has trained 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 have studied or worked at Tsinghua University. After the nationally major adjustment of departments in 1952, the Department of Biology of Tsinghua University was merged into other institutions, and life science was once left blank at Tsinghua University. However, after 32 years of silence, Tsinghua University resumed the biology department in 1984 and changed its name to the Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology. Professor Mu-ming Poo, a famous neurobiologist, was the first Department Chair, and Professor Nanming Zhao was Executive Vice Chair. In 2009, in order to meet the needs of the rapid development of life science, the Department of Biological Science and Biotechnology was formally replaced by the School of Life Sciences (SLS), and Professor Yigong Shi was the first dean.
During the 92 years since its establishment, especially within the 34 years after the re-establishment, the School of Life Sciences has relied on the advantages of Tsinghua University to target the international frontier, and under the support of the National “211” and “985” projects, it widely recruits talents both nationally and internationally, seizes opportunities, develops rapidly, and has made major achievements in personnel training, scientific research, faculty team building, and discipline construction.
Currently, the School of Life Sciences is one of the most distinctive and influential institutions for scientific research and senior education in biology nationwide. The School of Life Sciences 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 the first National Experimental Teaching Demonstration Center. The School awards doctoral degree to Biology primary discipline. Biophysics, biochemistry and molecular biology, and developmental biology are state key disciplines with great advantage. In the fourth round (2017) of China Discipline Ranking organized by the Degree and Graduate Education Development Center of Ministry of Education, the Biology primary discipline of Tsinghua University was rated as A+.
The School of Life Sciences has continuously reformed its personnel system and has established a high-level faculty team with teaching and research staff as its main body. At present, it has recruited 124 full-time faculty and staff members, including 70 tenured or tenure-track faculty, 9 teaching staff, 13 research staff, 29 technical staff, 3 administrative staff, as well as 120 post-doctoral fellows and more than 400 contract employees. Among them, there are 6 members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 6 One-Thousand-Talents Scheme Scholars, 14 Distinguished Professor of Cheung Kong Scholars, 1 Awardee of National Famous Teacher in Universities, 24 Outstanding Young Talent of the National Science Foundation of China, and 24 Youth One-Thousand-Talents Scheme Scholars.
The excellent faculty team has led to a rapid development in scientific research and has produced a number of achievements that are influential in the world and have received extensive attention in the field of life science. Since 2015, the School has 35 publications in world-renowned journals such as Nature, Science, and Cell , with 13 published in 2017.
The School always regards talent cultivation as its primary task, actively carries out education and teaching reforms, continuously improves the undergraduate and graduate recruitment and selection models, creates an excellent education environment, explores the cultivation mode of top innovative talents, and receives a remarkable improvement in talent training. More and more outstanding students and alumni come to the fore.
The life sciences of Tsinghua University has a broad space for development! We will always take talent cultivation and scientific research as our own responsibility, actively engage in exchanges and cooperation with domestic and foreign counterparts, promote multidisciplinary and collaborative innovation, and strive to acquire academic achievements that would make major breakthroughs in the history of science. The School will become not only the training ground for young Chinese scientists, the teaching reform center of undergraduates and postgraduates, but also a world-class center for exchanges and cooperation of life sciences, providing a good platform for Chinese biologists to integrate into the international arena.
We sincerely welcome outstanding scholars and potential aspiring students around the world to join the School of Life Sciences of Tsinghua University.
Hongwei Wang, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean