Dear colleagues, current and retired staff, fellow researchers, and your families, on behalf of Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), I would like to wish you all a happy new year.
The ending of one year and the beginning of the next is both a time for looking forward and a time to look back on our achievements. 2015 was a productive year for our institute, with an impressive progress made on many fronts. While I wish I had the time to recount every event, there are a few highlights of the past year I would like to share with you all.
The heart of our work at the institute has always been building up our talented research teams. Last year, three research groups were set up, with one of them were elected and supported by the CAS Hundred Talent Program. Our researchers received support from the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, the prestigious National Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars, the Yunnan Province High level Scientists Program and other national and provincial talents attraction programs.
Our staff was also recognized for major contributions of their research and for KIZ’s capacity for handling large-scale research projects. In 2015, KIZ has 96 new research projects which including one National Basic Research Program (973) project. This past year we also made great strides in advancing our research on “One-Three-Five” strategic planning, and two key research priorities, “evolution and genomics” and “cultivating genetic resources of domestic animals and their wild counterparts”, were graded as Excellent in CAS International Assessment. The institute has fulfilled “the 12th Five-Year Plan”, and two research areas, “Primate Animal Models and Disease Mechanisms” and “Genetics and Evolution” were graded as Excellent in CAS Review.
Totally, at the end of last year we had published 289 academic articles (231 SCI Indexed), 21 of which were published in journals with an impact factor greater than 9, including Chemical Reviews, Nature Biotechnology, Cell Stem Cell, Immunity. We also applied for 16 patents, 12 of which were authorized. Our research groups also won three prizes for the Scientific and Technological Progress Award of Yunnan Province.
We have also taken considerable steps forward in modernizing our research platforms. The inter-institutional CAS-Yunnan Government Laboratory of Biodiversity in Southwest China has reached completion. The Center for Drug Safety Evaluation from the Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ) acquired Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) Certification from the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) on June 30, 2015. The institute is also applying for setting up the national key science and technology infrastructures.
While our progress in research and modernization have been impressive, the final achievements of the year research are perhaps the most important for the future of KIZ—our growing international partnerships. This past year KIZ recruited several new international faculty sponsored by the Thousand Talent Program for Foreign Experts and the Fellowship of CAS President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) and will spend the next several years conducting their doctoral research with us in Kunming. We signed three new international cooperation agreements with the National Museums of Kenya, University of Ibadan in Nigeria, and University of Ruhuna in Sri Lanka. We also advanced several of our ongoing collaborations, including the International Barcoding Project of Amphibians and Reptiles, better known as “Cold Code,” as well as key members of CAS’ Sino-Africa Joint Research Center and Chinese Academy Sciences -- Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute.
In summation, the institute has had another great year filled with many accomplishments, none of which would be possible without the dedication and contributions of each and every one of you. Without the support and contributions from every department and research team, KIZ would not be the vibrant, dynamic institute it is today.
Again, thank you all. May your new year hold all the excitement, promise and good wishes that we have shared in 2016.
Director of Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS