The Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was established in 1958 by Prof. BEI Shizhang, a renowned biologist and distinguished CAS member. Its predecessor was the Beijing Institute of Experimental Biophysics established in 1957. The current director is Xu Ruiming.
The mission of the institute is to give full play to the comprehensive advantages of multi-disciplinary and achieve basic, forward-looking and strategic breakthroughs in the frontier fields of protein sciences, brain and cognitive sciences, infection and immunity, and nucleic acid biology. The institute also strives to strengthen innovative research and development of key equipment in the field of life sciences, achieve key breakthroughs in key technologies and experimental methods, build a transformational research system focusing on biopharmaceuticals and in vitro diagnostics, and lead the innovation in the national innovation system. By 2020, it will continue to produce major leading scientific research achievements and strive to enter the ranks of world-class research institutes in the field of life and health.
Since its establishment, under the leadership of senior scientists such as Bei Shizhang, Zou Chenglu, Liang Dongcai and Yang Fuyu, several generations of researchers at the institute have created a series of innovative achievements and promoted the research and development of the disciplines such as cell biology, radiobiology, cosmology, enzymology, structural biology, membrane biology, neurobiology, biological cybernetics and biophysics engineering technology through teamwork, perseverance, and efforts, which greatly contributes to upgrading national science and technology, promoting modernization construction, improving people’s living standards, and ensuring national security.
The institute has achieved a series of major research progresses in protein sciences, brain and cognitive sciences, infection and immunity, nucleic acid biology, protein and peptide drugs among others. It has two national key laboratories: the National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules (NLB) and the State Key Laboratory of Brain & Cognitive Sciences (SKLBC); two key laboratories of CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Infection and Immunity (CASKLII) and Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of RNA Biology (CASKLRNAB); Laboratory of Protein and Peptide Drugs (LPPD) and Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Research (LIR), as well as the "Beijing Biomacromolecules Drug Conversion Engineering Technology Center" and "Beijing Biomedical Molecular Detection Engineering Technology Research Center".
Relying on the institute, the Core Facility for Protein Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Beijing MRI Center for Brain Research help provide a complete public technical support for scientific research. At the same time, they carry out experimental methodology and experimental technology innovation research, and are open to the public.
The CAS Center for Excellence in Biomacromolecules built by the Institute of Biophysics gathers the most innovative and dynamic talents in the research field of biomacromolecules. Through the guidance of the Strategic Priority Research Program (Category B) "Structure, Function and Regulation of Biological Supra-macromolecular Complexes", the center aims to be built into a world-class research platform for the function and structure research of biomacromolecules, create a new mechanism of innovation, openness, competition and mobility, and become a birthplace of major scientific researches on biomacromolecules in China. It also strives to be one of the world's top biomacromolecules research centers dedicated to scientific and technological originality, and provides scientific and technological support for the health of our population and the sustainable development of society.
The Institute of Biophysics takes the lead in building the School of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. It gathers core talents and superior resources, offers excellent undergraduate and graduate education, making it a platform for the integration of science and education.
The institute is a unit authorized by the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council for granting doctoral and master's degrees, a pilot unit for self-addition of doctoral tutors and a key training base for doctoral students of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Institute currently has three first-level disciplines of biology, psychology and basic medicine. There are 8 masters and doctoral training sites each for the second-level disciplines: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biophysics, Cognitive Neuroscience, Neurobiology, Cell Biology, Bioinformatics, Immunology, and Regenerative Medicine; and one bioengineering major.
The institute has 105 graduate tutors (including 23 part-time workers), and 1,709 graduate students have been trained. By the end of 2018, there were 677 graduate students. In 1987, a post-doctoral mobile station was established. The first-level discipline was biology, and the second-level disciplines include biochemistry and molecular biology, cell biology, neurobiology, and biophysics.
The institute has won two first prizes, 11 second prizes of the National Natural Science Awards, and four second prizes of the National Technology Progress Awards. More than 200 patents have been authorized and are under application, the number of high-level papers published and the number of articles cited are among the forefront of national life science research institutions.
In recent years, the institute has established joint laboratories with a number of scientific research institutions, colleges and universities, and biomedical enterprises, and actively deployed core technology transformation bases in Foshan, Guangdong province, and Huai'an and Suzhou in Jiangsu province. It has also cooperated extensively with foreign scientific research institutions and universities, and has jointly established a Sino-Japanese structural virology and immunology laboratory, and a Sino-Australian brain science and cognitive laboratory.
The institute is the host institution for the Biophysical Society of China, which has three publications, Biophysics Reports, Protein & Cell and Progress in Biochemistry & Biophysics; the later two are indexed by SCI. The institute now has a library of 1100 square meters, and has opened 19 scientific and technical literature databases, which can access more than 2,700 foreign academic journals and most Chinese academic journals.
The principles of the institute are: obey the needs of the country, combine theory with practice, and surpass the world's advanced level; the common vision is: explore the mysteries of life and create human happiness; the core values are: innovation, first-class, responsibility, dedication; and the cultural concepts are: harmony, democracy, freedom.