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Major Events in 2016
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1. Implementation of the National 13th Five-year Plan (“13•5”)


Mar 9
Mr. CAO Jinghua, Director of the Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), along with his delegation, visited Beijing Institute of Genomics (BIG). Dr. XUE Yongbiao, Director of BIG, introduced the general performance of the institute with more focused on the BIG’s “13•5” Development Plan, the CAS Precision Medicine Initiative, as well as the progress in establishing the Big Data Center (BIGD), and advocating the “International Health Data Sharing” Plan, etc.

May 11
Academician WANG Enge, the Vice President of CAS, visited BIG for an in-depth survey on the general performance about the institute, the “13•5” Development Plan and measures for reforms, and the opportunities and challenges encountered for further development. He also visited BIGD, Sequencing core facility, and the CAS Key Laboratory of Genomics and Precision Medicine and talked with the staff members on the site about their research progress.

Nov 30
BIG formulated its “13•5” Development Plan by integrating ideas from all its members over the past two and a half years and refined its institutional positioning, three major research breakthroughs and five specific research priority (“One-Three-Five” Plan) for competency. The establishment of the lead scientists and research groups, clear objectives and ways of implementation laid solid foundations for smooth task performance. The Plan was appraised and was handed up to the Bureau of Development Planning, CAS.


Dec 1
Mr. HE Yan, the Deputy Secretary General of CAS, visited BIG. Dr. XUE Yongbiao, Director of BIG, introduced the general performance, the “13•5” Development Plan and measures for reforms, as well as the implementation of the “One-Three-Five” Plan and outcomes of the three major breakthroughs. A panel discussion was held thereafter with the BIG’s leadership and key personnel for research and administration.

Dec 7
Mr. WANG Keqiang, the Deputy Secretary General of CAS, visited BIG for an in-depth survey on the general performance of the institute, the “13•5” Development Plan, progress made in the “One-Three-Five” Plan and measures for reforms. He also had a panel discussion with the BIG’s leadership and key personnel for research and administration, seeking their suggestions for future development of CAS.

Dec 13
The “BIG Strategic Planning Symposium 2016” was held at the International Conference Center of UCAS. All members of institutional leadership, key research and administrative personnel, as well as representatives for various units attended the symposium. Dr. XUE Yongbiao delivered his speech on the “13•5” Development Plan of BIG. Afterwards, directors of the CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, CAS Key Laboratory of Precision Genomic Medicine, BIG Data Center, and Core Genomic Facility, reported their respective planning and perspectives on further development of their units. The leading scientists in charge of the projects supported by the “One-Three-Five” Plan also reported their work progress. At the end, Relevant leaders from various bureaus of CAS contributed their valuable opinions and suggestions for further development of BIG.

2. Deployment and Promotion of Key Research Programs


1) CAS Precision Medicine Initiative


Jan 15
A general leading team formed for the project of “Precision Medicine Initiative for Chinese Population” with the first meeting held. Five meetings were held in total in 2016, focusing on the overall planning, implementation, and coordination of the project. The major efforts are devoted to establishing reference genome for Chinese population, parsing genetic variations, and constructing a system for standardized electronic health records.


Nov 15
Over 600 volunteers from CAS headquarter and institutes, including BIG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Institute of Microelectronics, and Institute of Psychology, signed the Informed Consent Form for participating in CAS Precision Medicine Initiative. With the completion of baseline data collection and whole genome sequencing, the “Precision Medicine Initiative for Chinese Population” is in full swing.

2) BIG Data Center


Mar 1
BIGD was officially launched for data archiving, integration, and mining, aiming to facilitate the collection, sharing, and application of big omics data with special focus on the “Precision Medicine Initiative” and national strategic bioresources.


Jun 28
The project of “Global Health Data Sharing” proposed by BIGD was funded by the International Partnership Program of CAS, with its goals of establishing the “International Health Data Sharing Alliance” involving Asian countries with China playing a pivotal role to build the largest health data base in Asia.


Dec 2
A research paper entitled The BIG Data Center: from deposition to integration to translation contributed by BIGD was published online on Nucleic Acids Research, which comprehensively introduced the construction, organization and achievements of BIGD, which marks a substantial progress made by BIGD and recognition from its international peers for the development of comprehensive genomic resources in China.


Dec 5
BIGD held the First International Forum on Big Data in Life and Heath Sciences. Experts from multiple countries conducted in-depth discussion on the standards for health data, data access and authorization mechanism, as well as on the rules and policies governing data sharing according to ethic and related regulations. They have also put forward valuable comments and suggestions on the development of BIGD

3) Organization and Promotion of the National Key Programs


Jun 16
“Microevolution”, a national key program led by BIG, was voted unanimously to be excellent in the Mid-term evaluation. BIG hosted meetings on program selection (June, Beijing), evaluation (August, Qingdao), and integration (April and October, video conferencing; November, Guangzhou).


Jul 1
The projects “Construction of Standardized Technological Systems for Big Data Processing and Application in Precision Medicine” and “R&D of Testing Technology for Epigenomics and its Clinical Application” conducted by the BIG were funded as the special projects by the national Key R&D program for “Precision Medicine”.


Aug 17
The projects “Dynamic Changes of Three-dimensional Chromosome Conformation and its effects on the Early embryonic Development of Mice” and “Epigenetic regulation of DNA Damage and Repair by Non-coding RNA and Its Interacting Factors” conducted by BIG were funded as the major projects by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.


Nov 4
CAS Key Laboratory of Genomic and Precision Medicine held its annual symposium and Academic Committee meeting at the International Conference Center of UCAS, focusing on the laboratory’s future developing strategy, integrating research teams, further refining research orientation, and strengthening data analysis capability.

Nov 10
The project “R&D of Testing Technology for Epigenomics and its Clinical Application” led by Dr. YANG Yungui started in Zhengzhou. Experts on epigenomic sequencing, information processing and clinical applications came together, aiming to open a new sphere in theory and technology of epigenome, and promote wider clinical application of precision medicine in China.

Dec 4
Start-up meeting for the project “Construction of Standardized Technological Systems for Big Data Processing and Application in Precision Medicine” led by Dr. FANG Xiangdong was held in Beijing. The project aims at establishing standardized technological system for processing and utilizing big data in precision medicine, effectively protecting China’s biomedical data resources, realizing equal sharing and effective utilization of medical data, and promoting the smooth implementation of precision medicine.

Dec 6-8
BIG hosted the annual symposium for the NSFC key program “Functioning mechanism involving multiple genes in the Microevolution Process” was held in Guangzhou, which attracted about 300 worldwide scholars, representing a grand meeting of its kind in microevolution field.

3.Academic Communication and International Cooperation


1) BIG Forum


May 16
The 9th BIG forum was held with keynote speaker of Dr. Ewan Birney, the director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (UK) and European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). He gave a speech titled “Biological big data–challenges and opportunities”, and introduced the development of genomics discipline, biological big data, and the opportunities and challenges.

Jul 1
The 10th BIG forum was held with keynote speaker of Dr. ZHOU Qi, the vice director of Institute of Zoology, CAS. He gave a speech titled “Progress on the basis and transformation of stem cells”, and introduced a series of internationally-advanced major scientific achievements obtained by himself in the field of stem cell research, and his own understanding and experience on scientific research.

Sep 12
The 11th BIG forum was held with keynote speaker of Dr. LI Dangsheng, the standing deputy editor of Cell Research and chief editor of Life Sciences Press, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS. He gave a speech titled “How to publish scientific papers with high influences?”, and explained the main ideas for publishing scientific papers.

Nov 11
The 12th BIG forum was held with keynote speaker of Dr. XU Guoliang from Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, SIBS. He gave a speech titled “DNA oxidative modification and epigenetic regulation of mammals”. His speech was full of his love and insistence for scientific research and his persistent efforts.

Dec 15
The 13th BIG forum was held with keynote speaker of Dr. FU Qiaomei, the director of the Ancient DNA Laboratory of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CAS. She gave a speech titled “New approach for obtaining human evolution mapping–ancient DNA”, and introduced the relationship between the ancient human extinction and gene exchange among modern human beings by means of molecular genetics, the formation process and characteristics of early populations under different time and space frames, the migration route of early modern human beings in Asia, and the genetic relationship between the early and the current modern human beings.

2) International Communication


Mar 11
The director of the EBI (UK) and his delegation visited BIG. Both sides exchanged ideas on the research direction, research field, cooperation direction, and science and technology policies, and intended to jointly establish the sharing mechanism of life and health data between Europe and Asia.

Mar 14
A delegation from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) visited BIG. Dr. Olivier LE Gall, the vice president of INRA, gave an introduction to the profile and international cooperation of INRA. Both sides exchanged ideas on the matters of scientific research cooperation, academic exchange, and dual culture of postgraduates, and intended to deepen the cooperation on the research field of agricultural genomics.

Mar 28
A delegation from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) visited BIG for seeking cooperation opportunities in the fields of genomics, food science, sustainable agriculture, personnel exchange, and achievement transformation. Both sides intended to carry out in-depth cooperation in the fields of data exchange, technology sharing, and crop genomic structures.

Jul 27
The “2016 Genomics Frontiers Symposium” was successfully held in Shenyang. Twenty-five invited speakers presented their new findings and perspectives at the symposium and attracted approximately 100 registered audiences.


3) Cooperation in China


Jan 16
A BIG’s patent “Application of Y-chromosome specific methylation loci as markers on the cancer diagnosis” was successfully transferred to Wuxi Shenrui Bio-Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. with a total of 15.3 million RMB.

A delegation from the Party Secretary of Wuxi Huishan District visited BIG. Both sides carried out a discussion on deepening the transformation of scientific and technological achievements following the previously conducted transformation of patents, and intended to strengthen communication and exchange, aiming at meeting the major demands of the health field for Chinese population.

Apr 20
A delegation led by director XUE Yongbiao and deputy secretary WANG Liping from BIG visited Wuxi. They carried out in-depth discussion with Wuxi Huishan District Government, Wuxi (Huishan) Life Science & Technology Industrial Park, and Wuxi Shenrui Bio-Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd, mainly focusing on the precise detection technology on tumors to promote the transformation of scientific achievements.

Apr 22
A delegation led by director XUE Yongbiao and deputy secretary WANG Liping from BIG visited Children’s Hospital of Soochow University. They carried out in-depth discussion with the hospital focusing on the precision medicine researches on acute leukemia treatment, tumor treatment, clonal evolution, and children’s health, hoping to strengthen cooperation and integrate superior resources by giving full play to academic skills of both sides.

May 20
A delegation led by TIAN Shuhuai, the deputy secretary of Liaoning Benxi Municipal Party Committee and YANG Junsheng, the vice mayor and the secretary of High-tech Zone Party Working Committee, visited BIG. Both sides carried out extensive exchanges and discussions on the detection methods of diseases and detection technologies of decent medicinal materials, and expressed strong desire for further cooperation.

May 24
To meet the calls of innovation-driven development and protection of scientific and technological achievements, BIG invited a group constituted of patent examiners from the State Intellectual Property Office of China. Both sides discussed the patent application and the current situation on tumor gene detection and prenatal diagnosis.


Jun 3
A delegation led by JIN Wuwei, the deputy director of the Education, Science, Culture and Health Department under the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council and SHEN Jianzhong, the deputy director of the Biology Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology visited BIG. Both sides discussed the topic of “How to promote data sharing, establish data standards, and prevent improper data loss?”



1) Appointment and Dismissal of Leadership Members


Jun 3
Appointment and dismissal meeting of leadership members was held. HE Yan, a member of the CAS’s leading Party group and deputy secretary general, announced the appointment and dismissal decision. WANG Liping was appointed as the deputy secretary of the Party Committee; ZHAO Jian, the secretary of the Committee for Discipline Inspection. Simultaneously, WANG Liping was removed from the post of the secretary of Committee for Discipline Inspection, and YANG Weiping from the posts of secretary of the Party Committee and vice director of BIG.

2) International Evaluation


Apr 6
A meeting for PI international evaluation was held. Objectives and characteristics of related policies were announced, and some questions and suggestions were proposed. This meeting indicates the beginning of the PI international evaluation organized by BIG.


3) Talent recruitment


Mar 30
The first annual meeting of Recruitment Committee was held, aiming at making arrangement on talent recruitment and setting requirements for the introduction of senior talents. The interviews for the first group including four candidates and for Dr. BAO Yiming Bao, a candidate of the “CAS 100 Talents Plan”, were adopted.


Apr 14
A defense meeting for the “CAS 100 Talents Plan” (Class B) of the “Take-the-Lead Actions” was held. Dr. BAO Yiming passed the defense by voting among nine related experts.


Jun 3
The second annual meeting of Recruitment Committee was held. Drs. REN Jie and LI Mingkun were recommended to apply for the 2016 “Thousand Talents Program”. Meanwhile, Regulation on housing subsidy standards for senior talents during 13?5 issued by BIG was passed in principle.


Aug 11
Dr. BAO Yiming, a senior talent introduced by BIG, was officially admitted to the “CAS 100 Talents Plan”, which will promote the construction and development of BIGD.


Aug 27
Three young overseas scholars including associate professor ZHANG Hui from American St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Dr. HAN Dali from University of Chicago, and Dr. PANG Baoxu from Stanley University Medical College, were invited to visit BIG and give academic reports.

Sep 19
The third annual meeting of the Recruitment Committee was held. The recent process on talent recruitment was reported, and the “Thousand Talents Program for Youth” was followed up. Dr. BAO Yiming was appointed as the director of BIGD.


Dec 13
The fourth annual meeting of Recruitment Committee was held, in which Agreement on execution and management of entrant BAO Yiming from the “100 Talents Program” was passed in principle. The 2016 talent recruitment was summarized, and plan for 2017 was discussed. Dr. YANG Yungui was newly recruited in the Recruitment Committee of BIG.


4) Team Building

Jan 8
The First Youth Innovation Forum was held. Dr. ZHANG Dake from the Key Laboratory of Precision Genomic Medicine introduced his achievements obtained from the Department of Genetics of Baylor College of Medicine. Five Youth Innovation Forums was successfully held in 2016 by inviting worldwide young scientists.


Apr 26
The 2016 CAS Interdisciplinary Academic Forum was held. Profs. LIU Jingnan from Wuhan University and XU Zongben from Xi’an Jiaotong University were invited to give speeches focusing on “The big data era–opportunities and challenges”.


May 31
Dr. ZENG Changqing was selected as the distinguished talent of the 2016 “CAS Specially Invited Research Fellows”.


Jul 31
Dr. LIU Jiang was selected as the leading personnel of the “Ten Thousand Talents Program”.


Aug 12
The Fifth Youth PI Seminar of Bioinformatics was held, focusing on the development of bioinformatics in China.

Nov 3
Dr. YANG Yungui obtained support from The National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars for his research in the field of “Gene expression regulation and epigenetics”.


Nov 8
Drs. SONG Shuhui, LUO Yingfeng and LI Yueying were selected as the members of the 2017 CAS Promotion Association for Youth Innovation. The BIG group of the Promotion Association for Youth Innovation was selected as an excellent group with an additional member quota.


5) Graduate students


Jun 15
The 2016 Graduation Ceremony was grandly held. All members of BIG’s leadership, supervisors, functional managers and all postgraduates participated in the event.

Jul 18
The 2016 summer camp entitled “Genome science frontiers” was held, which attracted 111 students from 70 universities countrywide. Students enjoyed various activities such as opening ceremony, popular science report, rotation internship in laboratory, visiting and exchanging, closing ceremony, and group interviews. It was really a wonderful and unforgettable scientific journey for all students.


Sep 10
2016 Opening Ceremony for Postgraduates was grandly held. Members of BIG’s leadership, graduate supervisors and functional managers attended the event.

Dec 17
A welcome party for freshmen was held. Over 30 undergraduates from Class 1604 with class teacher XUE Yongbiao were invited. They spent warm and happy three hours together with over 170 postgraduates of BIG.