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The School of Life Sciences

Publish:2013-08-14 14:57:05

The School of Life Sciences at Peking University (PKU) was established in 1952 by merging three departments of Biology, including the one established in 1923 at Yenching University, the one established in 1925 at Peking University, and the one established in 1926 at Tsinghua University.
Three graduate students supervised by Pro. T. H. Morgan, the founder of modern genetics, made their effect on the Department of Biology at PKU in its early days. They are Prof. Alice M. Boring, who taught at Yenching University from 1923 to 1950, Prof. Ruqi Li who taught at both Yenching and Peking University, and Prof. Ziying Chen who taught at both Yenching and Xiamen University. Among them, as the Chinese Ph.D. students who were mentored by Dr Morgan, Prof. Li Ruqi taught at Peking University until retirement, and is considered as one of the founders of genetics in China.
As a result of great efforts of a few generations of faculties, the School has been continuously strengthened over the years. Added to the initial majors of Zoology and botany were plant physiology, animal physiology and animal genetics in the early 1950s, biochemistry and biophysics in 1956, cell biology, microbiology, environmental biology and ecology in 1980s, and biotechnology in 1993. The Department of Biology was renamed as School of Life Sciences in 1993. Currently the School possesses two state key laboratories, one key laboratory of the Ministry of Education, five state key subjects and eight majors for Ph.D. education.
The School currently enrolls over 636 undergraduates, who take courses for the first three years and practice research in the last year of study. The School also currently enrolls over 400 graduate students, who participate in research in a wide variety of areas in life science and pursue a Ph.D. degree.
The School makes all effort to provide high quality teaching, such that the students will be able to obtain a solid knowledge background and meanwhile to exert their potentials to the largest degree, and eventually to be competent at the international stage. Some of our graduates have achieved their recognition either as researchers in life science or as professionals in other areas.
The School possesses more than 40 laboratories directed by one or more professors (as principle investigators, or PIs), covering the following areas: biochemistry and molecular biology, plant biology, physiology, neurobiology, cell biology, developmental biology, behavior science, bioinformatics, evolutionary biology, conservation biology, ecology, and etc.
The School also encourages its faculties to undergo frequent exchange and close collaboration with colleagues in other universities, institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS, located nearby PKU) and other research organizations. Under the principle of mutual benefits, the School permits its faculty members to become jointly-appointed professors of another institution. The School is also willing to provide teaching and scientific research consultation to the society.
Last but not least, constructive exchanges with life science researchers all over the world are highly valued and enthusiastically promoted by the School.
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