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Address from the Director
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2015 is the end of “12th 5-year plan” year. During this period, Beijing Institute of genomics (hereinafter referred to as “BIG”) deployed some major projects, improved the organizational structure and introduced some high talent researchers closely followed the new policies of CAS, and further fully implemented the “One-Three-Five” strategic planning tasks. Meanwhile, we also actively planed the future development strategy for BIG, developed details for “ One-Three-Five” of the “13th 5-year” program which clearly outlines the blueprint for the development of BIG in the next five years.


In 2015, with the concern from Party Group of CAS & Beijing Branch of CAS, under the guidance of BIG leadership team and the joint efforts from all staff, BIG has made sound achievements in different scientific research fields, as well as management.


During the past 2015, lots of efforts had been put on deployment of “Chinese population precision medical research program” in BIG. The plan meets the major demands for precision medical applications on complex diseases. We will develop prospective cohort of occupational population, population with type 2 diabetes and tumor population to build up systematic biological analysis of disease and precision medical database based on phenotypic, genomic and omics data. Then predict some major chronic diseases and precisely diagnose and treat 2-3 tumor diseases. And also lay the foundation for the establishment of the China precision medical research system. The program has been approved by CAS.


In 2015, BIG was actively preparing for and constructing of “BIG Data Center”. The primary purpose is building up a big data management, storage and sharing system for domestic important scientific research programs which could be formed as a national big data resource center. Then emphasizes on the construction of big data pool for national important strategic biological resources. It will be used for making substantial contribution to Chinese innovation-driven development and promoting domestic important scientific research output. Main effort is construction of Chinese high standard genetic variation database and precision medical information platform to lead the national biomedical information center's entity construction. The construction of “BIG Data Center” and its corresponding data resources will fill the blank in the construction of Chinese integrated biological data repository, lay a solid foundation for the accumulation and utilization of biological big data, and provide a strong guarantee for Chinese scientists to obtain the sovereignty of the data set.


During the past 2015, research groups at BIG has made important progress and produced a batch of influential research results: through gene sequencing and detailed data analysis of high coverage of HCC samples, huge amounts of genetic variations “overwhelmed” the effects of cancer treatment and revealed the genetic diversity in tumor cells is far greater than expected. This study was the most in-depth and thorough analysis of the internal diversity of the tumor, and its discovery was selected as one of the eight major events in the biological research community of 2015 by “strategic frontier technology”. As for the strategic science and technology pilot project of BIG, the data integration and information sharing database IC4R was developed for rice multi-omics data, completed the massive rice -omics data integration and rice molecular module dictionary construction which will provide an important basic data resource for the further research on multilevel molecular module design on the basis of the systematic and scientific data. Cooperative study with other group found the important functions of the RNA m6A methylation site selective mechanism and regulation of cell reprogramming, published as a cover report in cell stem cell. In addition, new algorithm for population genetic (TNSFS) also made a significant progress.


In 2015, the national and CAS major projects undertaken by BIG has made important progress. One National Natural Science Foundation of China program “Micro evolutionary processes of polygenic mechanisms” led by BIG also made a series of major breakthroughs and got good grades in the interim assessment of the Fund Committee. The results were published in PNAS, Cancer cell, Nature Genetics, and Blood respectively. The national major scientific research project of “Establishment and basic data integration of medical laboratory model of mini-pig and mouse” past the final project measurement in November 2015. Systematic study of the genomics, transcriptomics and immunomics for miniature pigs and mice acquired some relevant information for development, reproduction, and physiology (including corresponding pathogenic mechanism of animal models), established four corresponding professional database by combining with primate’s and other mammal’s public data, improved relevant genetic modification technical platform for miniature pigs and mice and promoted the medical research using miniature pig model, further advanced the study of human diseases and pig breeding.


Meanwhile, BIG has established cooperative relationships with many domestic and international universities, research institutes and enterprises, has supported genomics research for a number of units both inside and outside CAS, and has provided scientific and technological strength for local economic restructuring and development. The strategic cooperation framework agreement was signed between BIG and Agricultural Genomics Institute at Shenzhen, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The research was conducted in the field of molecular module breeding and integrated gene resource pool. “Weiming -BIG united Gene Research Institute”was cooperatively developed by BIG, the Hefei municipal government and Beijing Sinobioway Group Co., Ltd. With the consideration of strategic needs for China’s precise medical research and health industry, upgrading demands for local industry and medical security system, constructing a new precision medical research and health industry development cooperation model system by government, research institutions and enterprises with features of open joint, coordinated interaction, mechanism innovation and achievement sharing is necessary for closely combining the basic research, industry transformation and clinical application of precision medicine together into application. In addition, BIG also officially signed an agreement with the Ministry of Public Security Forensic Identification Center for building a “Forensic genome Collaborative Innovation Center”. Extraordinary development in technology and application is achieved by co-constructing of a series of public security urgent demanded cutting-edge technologies, developing a public security science and technology guarantee system with independent intellectual property rights in China to meet the major needs of the country and industry, promote the overall development of the discipline and improve the level of forensic genomics technology.


In 2015, there were in total 152 topics/projects including new added and undergoing researches, of which four were key project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, two belonged to National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, plus one Outstanding Youth Science Foundation; CAS Priority Research Program had 8, CAS Key deployment projects were 3. Overall published 109 SCI papers and the impact factor were around 611, and 6 out 17 applied patent were authorized.


During the past 2015, the construction of talent team in BIG continued adhering to the concept of “making good use of the current members, retaining the key talents, introducing the needed talents, and nurturing the future talents”, through series of regulations and policies for the introduction, training and development of talent to provide the support. As of the end of 2015, BIG had 227 employees, 15 post doctoral researchers and 251 graduate students. In this BIG team, there is 15 recipient of the “100-Talent Program of CAS” and one recipient of the “National 1000-Talent Program”, in addition, there is one recipient of the “Youth Science and technology innovation leading talents”, four recipients of “National Outstanding Youth Fund”, one is “National Outstanding Youth Fund” winner, one is "Chinese Academy of Sciences young scientists” winner, also in the team, there include 5 excellent recipients of the “100-Talent Program” by assessment, one recipient of the “introduction of outstanding technical talent”, one recipient of the “Lu Jiaxi young talent award”, one recipient of CAS “key technical personnel” and 9 members of “Youth Promotion Association” of CAS (one outstanding member).


2016 is the beginning of the “13th 5-year” plan, under the overall requirements of the “Pioneer Initiative” program, BIG will further emancipate the mind, with a higher morale to promote the construction of the “genomics and big data science center of excellence” to achieve leapfrog development for BIG during the “13th 5-year” period!


Here, I would like to express my sincere thanks and best wishes to all the relevant departments and friends who have been concerned, supported and helped with work of BIG!