Founded in 1904 as the Peking Imperial University Natural History Department, it was renamed the Biology Department in 1923, among the earliest biology departments in China, and expanded as the Beijing Normal University College of Life Sciences in 1988. Through the rigorous teaching and arduous pioneering of a great number of distinguished scholars from home and abroad including Wang Kunren, Sun Ruyong, Zheng Guangmei, Xue Shaobai, Wang Yongchao, Liu Huitu and Xu Rumei, and the diligent efforts of a large number of young and middle-aged scholars, the College has made remarkable improvement in operating conditions and teaching facilities, and has realized prominent achievements in education and research.
After hundreds of years of growth and development, the College of Life Sciences has won a prominent position in scientific research and high-level talent cultivation and become one of the important institutions for life sciences technological innovation and high-level talent cultivation. It is honored with “National Talent Training Base for Scientific Research and Teaching in Basic Sciences,” “National Talent Training Base for Life Sciences and Technology,” “Experimental Institution of Top-notch Students Cultivation in Basic Disciplines,” and has become a key construction institution under Project 211 and Project 985.
The College is composed of four departments and four research institutions, namely, Ecological Science, Genetics and Developmental Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry and Biotechnology. The academic strength in these four disciplines contributes to the establishment of four innovative platforms and teams in teaching and scientific research. As one of the first institutions awarding the first-level discipline doctor degree in life sciences, the College has two first-class disciplines respectively in Biology and Ecology, and the former has been honored as the first-order key discipline in Beijing. The College awards nine doctor degrees and fourteen master degrees for second-level disciplines, among which Ecology and Cell Biology are listed as National Key Disciplines, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as Key Disciplines in Beijing, and Developmental Biology as the University’s Key Discipline, and has a research center for post-doctoral studies in Biology. The College has a list of technology innovations and high-level talent cultivation institutions, including a Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Ecological Engineering, Ministry of Education, a Key Laboratory of Cell Proliferation and Regulation Biology, Ministry of Education, a Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering Pharmacology and Biotechnology in Beijing, High University Proteomics Research Institute and Medical Research Institute, as well as eight university-level key laboratories and seven specialized research centers.
The College is equipped with a high caliber teaching team with excellent faculty members, including two members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, one specially employed professor of “Changjiang Scholars,” one Changjiang chair professor, two members of “One thousand Talents Project,” four recipients of National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, two selected as candidates of the “National Hundred, Thousand, and Ten Thousand Talents Project,” two awarded as “Candidates of Cross-century Training Program Supported by the Ministry of Education” and three as “Candidates of New Century Training Program Supported by the Ministry of Education,” five winners of “Joint Research Fund for Oversea Young Scholars,” two chair professors and two distinguished professors named as BNU scholars, two honorary professors, as well as over forty adjunct professors from home and abroad. The College has constituted a harmonious, united and innovative faculty team with a reasonable discipline structure, an optimized system, and dense academic atmosphere.
Closely associated with the major practices in the sustainable development of the national economy such as human survival as well as health and safety, the College has the advantage of a comprehensive macro-and-micro-combined discipline group, and forms a scientific research and talent cultivation system with distinct superiority, reasonable structure, and prominent characteristics in cell proliferation and regulation molecular mechanisms, biological diversity and ecological safety mechanism, genetic engineering pharmacology as well as biotechnology product research and development. It has established a complete talent cultivation system with “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” capacity-building as the main objective of undergraduate, master to the doctoral programs. It has built a support system of high operation and management efficiency including varied research institutions and practice bases which combine the experimental teaching center and technology center in life sciences and technology, as well as the College and its research centers and enterprises, laying a solid foundation for the whole enhancement of its research and teaching strength and high level talent cultivation.