The Preferred Biotech Resource in Asia-Pacific
Vol 19, No 07, July 2015
Biotech in China
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EYE ON CHINA
iHuman Institute inauguration held
The unveiling ceremony of iHuman Institute was held at Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Park of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Dr. Mianheng Jiang — President of CAS Shanghai Branch, Dr. Xiaoming Shen — Vice Mayor of Shanghai Municipal Government, Mrs. Tiehui Weng — Deputy Secretary-General of Shanghai Municipal Government, and Prof. Raymond C. Stevens unveiled the plate of iHuman Institute. Academicians of CAS, Dr. Zihe Rao and Dr. Xiaoya Chen also attended the ceremony.

Dr. Jiang stressed in his speech that attaining the goal of building a moderately prosperous society as set out at the Government’s Eighteenth National Congress depended on innovation-driven development strategy, which underpinned economic growth and national strength. The establishment of ShanghaiTech University served as a response to the new requirements for technology upgrading and talent cultivation. The founding of iHuman Institute, led by world-renowned scientists in medical science, could be regarded as a significant step for ShanghaiTech University in realizing a close connection between basic scientific research and productivity transfer. Dr. Jiang hopes the researchers under the leadership of Prof. Stevens would usher in a brighter prospect featuring innovation-driven development that made concrete contributions to new drug research and development.

Dr. Shen pointed out that technological innovation, an indispensable element in transitional development, embodied national strength and competency. He underlined that bio-pharmaceutical research, having a close bearing on people’s livelihood, was an essential field in new drug R & D. The founding of iHuman Institute was not only an implementation of innovation by ShanghaiTech University, but also reflected the exploration on advancing innovative urban construction by the Shanghai Municipal Government. The institute was supposed to be a role model in boosting local scientific and technological breakthroughs.

The unveiling ceremony of iHuman was presided over by Prof. Jie Yin — Deputy Director of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission. Prof. Jiarui Wu — Vice President of Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (SARI), who made a brief introduction. Prof. Hualiang Jiang — Deputy Director of Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM), Prof. Songlin Feng — President of SARI, and Dr. Zihe Rao — Academician of CAS also delivered speeches respectively. Leaders of related departments of Shanghai Municipal Government, Heads of CAS as well as scholars and principals from other universities and from industries concerned were present at the ceremony.

iHuman Institute, affiliated to ShanghaiTech University, aims to discover new drugs by researching on human cell signaling transduction, thus facilitating the integration of technology application into basic research and cultivating a number of scientific talents. The institute works on G protein coupled receptors, the largest protein family in human body, which are involved in 80% of human cell signal transduction and wildly participate in various physiological activities. At present, more than 40% of the clinical drugs act on GPCRs. iHuman will focus on new cellular signal transduction pathways and find more receptors for new drug development.

iHuman adopts executive responsibility system under the leadership of an advisory board, with members from ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai Advanced Research Institute as well as leading institutes in biotechnology industry. Prof. Raymond C. Stevens, Founding Director of iHuman, is a famous structural biologist from the Scripps Research Institute — a well-known institute focused on bioscience and technology. And he is an outstanding expert of the National 1000-Talents Program.

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