The Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ) is directly affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Located at the head of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, KIZ is dedicated to research in the fields of biodiversity, evolution, conservation, and sustainable utilization of resources in southwestern China, Eastern Himalayas, and Southeast Asia. Furthermore, KIZ is committed to excellence in two major areas, i.e., Genetics & Evolutionary Biology, Primate Animal Models & Human Disease Mechanisms.
Since its establishment in 1959, KIZ has changed hands among different academic, national, and provincial governing bodies. In 1958, an initial application to incorporate existing facilities in Kunming was submitted to the Yunnan Provincial Government and CAS in Beijing. Following the approval of this application in 1959, CAS established the institute and monitored operations until its incorporation into the Southwest Branch of CAS in 1962, which was renamed the Southwest Institute of Zoology, CAS. In 1970, this organizational scheme was abandoned, and the entire Southwest Branch of CAS was dissolved, leaving the institute under the authority of the Yunnan Provincial Government, where it was known as the Yunnan Institute of Zoology. Eight years later, the institute was returned to CAS, and renamed the Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS.
Since the implementation of the CAS Knowledge Innovation Program, KIZ has experienced rapid development in scientific research. Currently, KIZ contains the State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and CAS Key Laboratory of Animal Models and Human Disease Mechanisms. KIZ also established the KIZ-Chinese University of Hong Kong Joint Laboratory of Bioresources and Molecular Research in Common Diseases. Accordingly, major KIZ breakthroughs, which include the development of non-human primate models for disease and pharmaceutical research, theoretical advances in evolution and genomics, and cultivation of genetic resources of domestic animals and their wild counterparts, have had a strong emphasis on fostering innovation with profound implications for health, conservation, public education, and management of the diverse biological resources of Yunnan Province and proximate regions with rich biodiversity.
KIZ houses the leading National Resource Center for Non-Human Primates, National Research Facility for Phenotypic & Genetic Analysis of Model Animals (Primate Facility, under construction), and Kunming Biodiversity Regional Center for Large-Scale Facilities. Several supporting technology platforms and field stations, including the Kunming Cell Bank of Type Culture Collection and Yunnan Wuliangshan Western Black-Crested Gibbons Monitoring Station, also play an important role in research programs. KIZ cooperated with Yunnan Province to build the Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology, the largest and richest animal museum in Southwest China, containing a current collection of about 0.9 million animal specimens. There are four societies and organizations affiliated with KIZ, including the Yunnan Zoological Society, Yunnan Cell and Biology Society, Yunnan Immunology Society, and Yunnan Experimental Animal Society. KIZ is responsible for editing and publishing Zoological Research, which has been officially included by SCI-E since December 2018 and ranked twelfth among 168 journals in the zoology field according to the latest information from the Web of Science.
As of 2020, KIZ includes 41 research groups belonging to two key laboratories, i.e., the State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution and CAS Key Laboratory of Animal Models and Human Diseases Mechanisms. KIZ has a total staff of 449, including two CAS academicians, one academician of the Academy of Sciences of Developing Countries, 42 principal investigators, and 71 associate professors. As such, KIZ has become one of the best academic and research institutions for career development in southwestern and western China.
Approved by the Academic Degree Committee of the State Council in 1980, KIZ can grant both PhD and master's degrees. It offers doctoral and master programs in basic medicine, zoology, neurobiology, genetics, and cell biology, as well as master program in biochemistry and molecular biology and professional master’s programs in biology and medicine. Currently, there are 195 doctoral students, 230 master's students, and 21 postdoctoral researchers in KIZ.
Since its establishment, KIZ has focused on the evolution, protection, and utilization of biodiversity. In accordance with the decisions and arrangements of CAS, it has concentrated on national key scientific and technological issues. Under the leadership of prominent and older generation scientists, important high-level research has been achieved, with vital contributions to national and local development. KIZ continues to undertake major scientific research tasks, including 973 major national science and technology projects, 863 national high technology research programs, Strategic Priority Research Program of CAS, and National Natural Science Foundation of China. Furthermore, KIZ has won five national second-place prizes for natural science, one second-place prize for technological inventions, and three scientific and technological progress awards. Ministerial and provincial level awards as well as CAS awards have been granted, and 229 patents have been authorized as of 31 December 2019.
Internationally, KIZ maintains collaborations across the globe, with numerous partnerships and connections with renowned scientific research institutions in East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Americas, Europe, and other countries. In this new era, KIZ has helped establish the “Sino-Africa Joint Research Center” and “Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute” of CAS, thus furthering cooperation between Africa and Southeast Asia. KIZ is also a member of several important international networks and projects, including the International Barcode of Life, Bird Genome 10K Consortium, Dog 10K Project, and Global Ant Genomics Alliance. KIZ is always open to joint research and cooperation with international research institutes and universities.
As one of the leading life science research institutes in China, KIZ continues to drive progress in key priority research areas — Evolutionary Genetics and Reproduction, Genetic Resources of Domestic Animals, Utilization and Conservation of Biodiversity Resources, Development of Animal Models, Human Disease Mechanisms, and Pharmaceuticals, and Research and Application of Stem Cells. We are delighted to welcome young scientists to our institution and provide them with a place in which to achieve high-quality scientific research and to fulfill their dreams.