The Division of Life Sciences and Medicine of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) stemmed from the Department of Biophysics, one of the first 13 departments at its founding in 1958. Academician BEI Shizhang, who was also the founding director of the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), served as the first head of the Department. In 1978, it became the Department of Biology (the 8th Department) in USTC. It expanded in 1998 as the School of Life Sciences under the leadership of Academician SHI Yunyu. In the next two decades, the School gradually expanded and exceeded well in basic medical sciences. On December 23, 2017, the School of Life Sciences became an integral part of USTC’s Division of Life Sciences and Medicine, which was established officially by CAS, the National Health Commission of China and Anhui Provincial Government. The Division comprises additional three schools and a teaching/research hospital. Professor CHENG Linzhao, an internationally renowned scholar and researcher who was a chair professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, served as the founding director. Professor XUE Tian who was a former Executive Dean of School of Life Sciences served as the executive director since 2017. Anhui Provincial Hospital, a leading local hospital with more than 5000 beds, has become a critical part of the Division of Life Sciences and Medicine. It was officially named as "The First Affiliated Hospital of University of Science and Technology of China (Anhui Provincial Hospital)".
The Division of Life Sciences and Medicine of USTC now includes the School of Life Sciences, School of Basic Medical Sciences, School of Clinical Medicine, School of Biomedical Engineering, as well as the First Affiliated Hospital of USTC (Anhui Provincial Hospital). For undergraduate education, there are two national first-class undergraduate majors: bioscience and biotechnology. Biomedical science has been selected in the national “dual first-class” elite discipline list. The Division is responsible for or participates in four departments of the Hefei National Research Center for Microscale Material Sciences operated by USTC. At the same time, The Division is the host of nine key laboratories of CAS, Anhui Province and the Ministry of Education, including structural biology, innate immunity and chronic diseases, brain function and brain diseases, non-membrane organelles and cell dynamics, molecular medicine, cell dynamics and chemistry, biomedicine and health, aging biomedicine, as well as blood cell research and applications. In addition, a brand-new Clinical Research Hospital of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Hefei) is under construction. It has one national key discipline (biology) and four first-level disciplines (biology, ecology, clinical medicine, biomedical engineering).
The Division of Life Sciences and Medicine in USTC adheres to the university-wide concept of "high-quality school-running and elite education", adheres to the fine tradition of "broad and solid foundation, professional excellence and innovation". We intend to fulfill the mission of "devoting oneself to moral education and persistent innovation in tackling key problems", give full play to the advantages of the frontier disciplines of USTC, and rely on the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In accordance with the requirements of "high-end, elite and international", we should build three internationally competitive life science and medical personnel training systems, namely, biomedical scientists, medical scientists and outstanding doctors, and train leading talents in the field of life and health science and technology with profound scientific and technological background and humanistic care. As a national talent training base for life science and biotechnology, there are six academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and two academicians of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States and Canada, and more than 200 alumni are working as faculties in world-class universities and research institutions.
Opening to the world, the international exchanges and cooperation of the Division of Life Sciences and Medicine of USTC have been expanding and deepening. Its "Life Science" is ranked 52 in the world and third in China in the 2020 subject ranking of Times Higher Education World University (THE), reflecting its outstanding international reputation.
In terms of discipline layout, the Division of Life Sciences and Medicine of USTC takes the discipline group of biomedical science as the core, takes the basic research of biology and the applied research of medicine as the two wings, promotes the interdisciplinary integration and collaborative innovation by closely linking up the frontiers of science and technology, and promotes the interdisciplinary integration of science, engineering and medicine, the collaborative innovation of medicine, teaching and research, and the integrated development of life sciences and medicine. In the past five years, the scientific research funds (excluding external allocation) exceeded 670 million yuan, and the total amount of technology transfer fees exceeded 320 million yuan. As the only unit, it won the second prize of National Natural Science Award in 2019, and in 2018 and 2019, it won the top ten advances in life sciences in China, and was selected as one of the best nine achievements in the whole year of 2019 by Cell Press. Seven disciplines have entered the top 1% of ESI disciplines in the world (biology and biochemistry, clinical medicine, environmental science and ecology, botany and zoology, molecular biology and genetics, immunology, pharmacology and toxicology).
Through the hard work of several generations, life sciences and medicine of USTC welcomes a new historical development opportunity. Adhering to the spirit of biological-medical collaboration and collaborative innovation, and to better people's life and health, we will continue to strive to build the Division of Life Sciences and Medicine of USTC into a top world-class institution for scientific and educational innovation in the field of life and health!