1. Discipline Basis
The School of Life Sciences at Nanjing Normal University is a base for national science research and teacher personnel training. The origins of the school can be traced back to the Department of Agricultural Science of Sanjiang Normal College in the early 20th century, the Department of Biology of the private Ginling Women Arts and Sciences College in 1930s and Department of Biology of Soochow University in the 1940s. In 1952, during the national college adjustment phase, relevant departments of Nanjing University and Nanjing Ginling University combined to form the Department of Biology of Nanjing Normal College. In 1955, the Department of Biology of Jiangsu Normal College (renamed from Soochow University) was merged with Nanjing Normal College entirely and the Department of Biology was established. In May 1999, Nanjing Normal University set up the School of Life Sciences.
The School of Life Sciences has one “first-level discipline” doctoral program of Biology, one “first-level discipline” doctoral program of Ecology, one “first-level discipline” master program of Microbial and Biochemical Pharmacy, one professional master program of Pharmaceutical Engineering, and mobile postdoctoral centers of Biology and Ecology. Zoology is a “second-level national key discipline”. Biology (first-level discipline), Ecology (first-level discipline) and Cell Biology (second-level discipline) are key disciplines in Jiangsu Province. Biology is also one of the Jiangsu distinctive disciplines. Botany and Zoology rank in the top 1% in global ESI.
2. Team Building
The School has a staff of 120 people, 87 of whom are full-time teachers. We have 51 professors (doctoral advisers) and 28 associate professors. Among them, there are two national and two provincial experts with outstanding contributions, two experts receiving the State Council special allowance, one distinguished professor in the“Yangtze River Scholar program” implemented by Ministry of Education of the PRC; one was granted “National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars”; one was awarded “One Hundred Talent Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences”; one was graded “Excellent” in the evaluation of their “National Natural Science Fund for Young Scholars” project; one chief scientist in “the Outstanding Youth Science Foundation of National Basic Research Program of China”; five were awarded “New Century Excellent Talent Program” funded by the Ministry of Education; four “Jiangsu 333 Talent Program” awardees; three were granted “Jiangsu Natural Science Funds for Distinguished Young Scholars”; there were three distinguished professors of Jiangsu Province; two were awarded the “Jiangsu Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program”; two, “Six Talent Peaks Project” recipients in Jiangsu Province and twelve teachers were awarded “The Blue Project” in Jiangsu Province.
3. Talent Cultivation
The majors of Biology and Ecology in the school enroll both doctoral candidates and master’s candidates; Pharmacy and Pharmacological Engineering enroll master candidates. There are 4 majors in the undergraduate program, including Bioscience (National Science Talent Training Base and National featured major), Bioscience (Teaching Personnel Training), Biotechnology (Provincial featured major), Bioengineering (Bio-pharmaceutical Engineering). Microbiology is a National Bilingual Language Model Teaching Course. The Life Science Experiment Teaching Center is a national model center for life science experiments and teaching. There are 116 doctoral students, 491 postgraduates and 570 undergraduates. There is one nominee of the National Hundred Outstanding Doctoral Dissertations, seven Provincial Outstanding Doctoral Dissertations and thirteen Provincial Outstanding Master’s Theses awardees.
4. Scientific Research
The school has a number of key labs, including the Jiangsu Key Lab for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Microbes and Functional Genomics, Jiangsu Engineering and Technology Research Center for Industrialization of Microbial Resources, Jiangsu Provincial Engineering Research Center for Technical Industrialization of Dendrobiums and Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Aquatic Crustacean Diseases. In recent years, the school’s scientific research has developed rapidly, with faculty winning the second prize of the State Natural Science Award held by the Ministry of Education of the PRC, and the first prize, second prize and third prize of the Jiangsu Technology Progress Award, the second prize of the Shen Nong China Agricultural Science and Technology Award and the first prize of the Jiangsu Ocean and Fishery Technology Innovation Prize. The amount of papers published in SCI is over 130, and some papers are published in international renowned journals including PNAS, Nature Communications, ISME Journal, Molecular Biology & Evolution, Nucleic Acid Research, Diabetes and Oncogene. In past five years, thefaculty has over 100 national projects, including one supported by the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, three key programs supported by the national fund, 86 general programs and young scholar programs supported by the national fund, two programs supported by the National Fund for Outstanding Young Scholars, one program supported by the National Basic Research Program of China for Young Scholars, one project supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (a 973 Program), and over 150 provincial and transverse projects, with a total funding of more than 120 million yuan.
5. International Exchange and Cooperation
The school enhances extensive academic cooperation in multiple forms with international institutions. The school makes arrangements for teachers to have further study and academic communication abroad every year and employ two foreign professors as long-term faculty. In the recent five years, the school has enrolled 5 foreign postdoctoral candidates and nine foreign undergraduate students. We carry out an undergraduate cultivation program that collaborates with international academic institutions.For instance, undergraduates in our school will have the chance to participate in internships at renowned colleges and universities abroad. Furthermore, we have held two international conferences, inviting scholars from other countries to deliver academic speeches and reports at the school.
6. Social Service
The school has made prominent achievementsin plant and animal resource protection and put into practice under the principle of serving the society with science and technology. Experts at the school have achieved significant ecological and social effects in the protection and management of endangered aquatic animals in China such as the Chinese white dolphin and neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis, thus providing solid scientific evidence for the government to protect cetaceans. Also, the scholars in our school have tackled realistic problems in aquaculture, delving into the major diseases that plague aquatic crustaceans in fisheries. After which, they were the first in the world to discover the spiroplasma pathogen in crustaceans and in their living environment, which arousedgreat concern domestically and internationally. Then a corresponding method was put forth to help with the diagnosis, prevention and control of spiroplasma eriocheiris, contributing greatly to the economic viability and health of fisheries in Jiangsu Province. They also have made great efforts to the industrialization of dendrobiums through a protection and innovation study on a rare dendrobium species. In order to tackle the problem of the inadequacy of active ingredients in artificial-cultivated rare crude medicine-Atractylodes lancea, theystudied the symbiotic microorganism of Atractylodes lancea. Additionally, teams of researchers within the school made a series of achievements and realized the goal in the efficacy in the treatment of many diseases like tumors, diabetes, inflammation and cardiovascular disease, and got three new drug certificates.