Director’s Message

The 2020 is an extremely unusual year. A sudden new coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) has closely linked the Beijing Institute of Genomics (BIG) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (China National Center for Bioinformation, CNCB) with major national needs and people's lives and health. 

Facing the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the leadership of the institute acted promptly and led all staff to fully devote to the scientific research on our fight against the disease. Strategic planning was put in place and significant progress has been made on a construction of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Resource (2019nCoVR), tracing of virus origins, dynamic monitoring of virus genomes, viral variation analysis and literature mining. Since its release online on January 22nd 2020, the 2019nCoVR has provided data service for over 186,000 visitors from 175 countries/regions, with accumulated data download over 200 million pieces. In addition, the 2019nCoVR was listed in the white paper entitled “Fighting COVID-19: China in Action” issued by the State Council of China. In the past year, over 200 scientific reports on the coronavirus have been submitted by the institute to the relevant state ministries and commissions, providing solid support for our fight against the pandemic based on scientific data analyses. 

2020 also is the end of the 13th Five-Year Plan. CAS evaluated the achievements of the first stage of its “Pioneer Initiative”. One of BIG’s Major Breakthrough – Novel Mechanism of Epigenetic Regulation on Complex Traits has been assessed as one of the excellent breakthroughs. The Next-generation of Embryo Screening Technology for Assisted Reproductive Technology performed by LIU Jiang’s group has also been assessed as an excellent breakthrough. Other research targets were all assessed as successful. 

The institute has also made a series of significant progress in genome science and technology, big data and bioinformatics research. For examples, collaborative studies revealed the important mechanism of RNA m6A modification to regulate chromatin state and transcriptional activity, and mapped the molecular network of different tissues and organs under aging and calorie restriction. 

The total omics data archived in the National Genomics Data Center (NGDC) has exceeded 6.1 PB, with an average of 1 TB of data uploaded/downloaded per day. The CNCB-NGDC has been consecutively listed as one of the major global database providers together with NCBI and EBI in the last four years by the international journal Nucleic Acids Research.  

In 2020, we have published a total of 99 SCI papers, obtained 3 invention patents and 12 software copyrights. Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics (GPB) had its official impact factor announced to be 7.051, ranking 17 out of 178 journals in the WoS category of Genetics and Heredity. 

The Institute continues to strengthen the development of high-level talent teams. We have recruited three outstanding young scientists and a group of excellent researchers was elected as the member of National Hundred, Thousand and Ten Thousand Talents Project, CAS Youth Innovation Promotion Association, and CAS Key Technology Personnel. 

In the fight against COVID-19, a group of young scientists played a significant role in this battle with the faith of "innovating science and technology, serving the country and benefiting the people". 

2021 is the first year for implementing the 14th Five-Year Plan, and a crucial year for developing CNCB as well. I hope all our staff will do a great job in building up CNCB.  

I would like to extend my sincere appreciations and best wishes to all of our colleagues and friends at home and abroad for their enduring supports.