The Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is a leading biological research institute in China. It was founded in July 1999 by merging eight CAS biological science institutes in Shanghai. SIBS’s constituent institutions are located on seven campuses across Shanghai.
Focusing on human health and the frontiers of biology, SIBS is dedicated to pursuing research excellence. SIBS encourages collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach as a means of enhancing progress.
Institute scientists have received a wide array of science and technology awards for original achievements in neuroscience, molecular cell biology, genomics, genetics, immunology, tumor biology, nutrition and metabolism, and biotechnology between 2000 and 2015. Among them were one first-grade Shanghai Science and Technology Advancement Award, one third-grade Shanghai Natural Science Award and two Tan Jiazhen Life Sciences Awards bestowed to SIBS scientists in 2015.
As of December 2015, SIBS had 2,078 employees. SIBS is especially proud to count 22 CAS academicians and two academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering among its staff.
SIBS has a strong commitment to training young researchers as evidenced by its well-designed graduate programs. SIBS offers a master’s-doctoral program, which takes five to six years. As of December 2015, SIBS had an enrollment of 1,947 graduate students, including 1,261 Ph.D. students and 686 M.Sc. students. Most of the latter group will be assessed for transfer into the Ph. D. program.
SIBS offers a two- to three-year postdoctoral training program. As of December 2015, 272 postdoctoral fellows were in training. The postdoctoral research program at SIBS was consecutively named a National Excellent Postdoctoral Research Program in 2005, 2010 and 2015. This selection is made every five years by China’s Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security.
SIBS has undertaken extensive collaboration with research institutes, universities and companies in more than 30 countries. Two of SIBS’ constituent institutes are the result of such international partnership, i.e., the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai and the CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology. SIBS also has several joint research centers. These include the Center of Molecular Life Sciences, formed in partnership with UC Berkeley; the Center for Cassava Biotechnology, formed in partnership with ETH Zurich; and the Translational Research Centre for Pre-Diabetes, formed in partnership with Novo Nordisk. Joining hands with their international counterparts, SIBS scientists have jointly carried out hundreds of collaborative projects, including EU Framework Program projects, and the C4 Project, etc.
The Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (SIBCB) was founded in 2000 through the merger of the former Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry of CAS and the Shanghai Institute of Cell Biology of CAS. Dedicated to basic research in biological sciences including biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology, the institute focuses on gene regulation, RNA and epigenetics, protein science, signal transduction, cell and stem cell biology, and cancer and other critical illnesses. SIBCB strives for breakthroughs in three major areas, i.e., regulation of chromatin structure and function, regulation of cell lineage establishment and transdifferentiation, and regulation of inflammation and cancer by cellular signaling.
The Institute of Neuroscience (ION) is dedicated to basic research in the forefront of neuroscience. It was founded in 1999 and aims to build a world-class neuroscience research base. ION is focused on molecular and cellular neuroscience, developmental neuroscience, systems, computational and cognitive neuroscience, and nervous system diseases. Its main goals are to understand the molecular basis of neuronal differentiation, growth and regeneration; understand the neural circuitry of cognitive functions; and define new approaches or targets for the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders.
The Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM) enjoys the longest history of drug discovery among comprehensive research institutions in China. The institute is committed to basic and applied research in drug discovery and to developing new theories, methodologies and technologies. SIMM focuses on the discovery of new drugs for the treatment of malignant tumors, neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic diseases, infectious and autoimmune diseases, etc. SIMM also endeavors to strengthen the development and modernization of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology (IPPE) was founded in 1999 through the merger of the CAS Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and the Shanghai Institute of Entomology. In line with China’s strategic demand for sustainable agriculture and environmental protection as well as bioenergy and biomanufacturing, IPPE carries out basic and applied research on the physiological processes of plants, microorganisms and insects, and the interaction among these processes. It aims for breakthroughs in three major research areas, i.e., the molecular and genetic basis for high-yield and high-quality rice; plant stress physiology and biotechnology to improve resistance; and metabolic systems biology and the synthesis of artificial biological systems.
The Institute of Health Sciences (IHS) was founded in 1999 as the Health Science Center by SIBS and the Medical School of Jiao Tong University. It assumed its current name in 2005. IHS is dedicated to translational research involving biomedicine and the major diseases of human beings. It conducts basic and applied research in association with clinical practice, focusing on three main areas: stem cell research and applications; immune regulation and critical diseases; and cancer prevention and novel therapies.
The Institute for Nutritional Sciences (INS) was founded in 2003 to conduct application-oriented basic research in nutrition and health as well as food security. The institute focuses on three main fields, i.e., discovering nutritional, genetic and metabolic characteristics of the Chinese population; elucidating key regulatory pathways and networks of nutrition and metabolism; and discovering pathogenic mechanisms of metabolic disease and developing early nutritional intervention methods. The institute is devoted to providing scientific support in the following areas: creating public health systems to prevent nutritional diseases; developing technologies for nutritional intervention; the formulation of governmental policies concerning nutrition and health; and the development of related industries.
The Institut Pasteur of Shanghai (IPS) was jointly established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Institut Pasteur and the Shanghai Municipal Government in October 2004. The institute is dedicated to understanding infectious disease pathogenesis; the mechanisms of immune response and regulation related to viral infections; and prevention and treatment approaches to infectious diseases. IPS endeavors to achieve breakthroughs in three areas, i.e., the key pathogenesis mechanisms of HCV and other major pathogens; the development of novel vaccines for hand, foot and mouth disease, and influenza, etc.; and establishing fast diagnostic technology for respiratory and other emerging diseases.
The CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology (PICB) was cofounded by CAS and Germany’s Max Planck Society (MPG) in 2005. It is an international research institution dedicated to the development of the life sciences. It aims to bridge theoretical and experimental work in biology, thus uncovering the secrets of life through simple mathematical methods. PICB provides a cooperation platform open to the world, attracting and inviting scientists of different nationalities to do joint research, thus enhancing S&T development and international collaboration in China.