Institute of Chinese Materia Medica
China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
Brief Introduction
Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences was established in 1955, as one of the oldest national institutions specially engaged in the research of Chinese materia medica in China. Since 1983, the institute has been designated as the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine.
Though sixty five years of scientific research practice, a research team has been brought up. Their research areas include literature study, identification, chemistry, quality standards, processing, preparation, pharmacology, toxicology and R & D study of Chinese materia medica. The institute has more than 400 employees. There are research centers of Theory and Herbal Literature, Pharmacognosy, Quality Standards, Pharmaceutical Forms, Processing, Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacology, Biomechanopharmacology, Safety Evaluation(GLP), Safety Research of Injectable Chinese Medicine, R & D, Biotechnology, Qinghaosu(Artemisinin), Data, Holistic Integrated Study and National Engineering Laboratory of Quality Control Technology of Chinese Materia Medica. 4 research subjects and 5 laboratories are pointed by State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine as key subjects and labs separately, and 1 as key lab of Beijing by Beijing Municipal Scientific and Technological Commission. Three periodicals are published nationwide, such as national academic periodicals China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica, Chinese Journal of Experimental Traditional Medical Formulae, and popular science magazine Family and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Postdoctoral, doctoral and master’s degree research work has been carried out for subjects of “Chinese Materia Medica” and “Integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine”.
Key research platforms have been established in the fields of basic,application and R & D study of Chinese Materia Medica. These platforms include theory study, key technology study for industrial application and exploratory medicine development. The Theory Study of Chinese Materia Medica is focusing on research of property theories and principles of processing and formulation of Chinese materia medica. The Key Technology Study for Industrial Application of Chinese Materia Medica puts emphasis on the bottleneck problems baffling the development of this sector relating to research of identification and quality control, processing, pharmaceutical engineering and conservation of resources of Chinese materia medica to provide technological supports for the modernization of Chinese materia medica industry. The Key Technology Study for Exploratory Medicine Development of Chinese Materia Medica attaches importance on key and common technologies of research information and data digging, activity screening study, effect evaluation, chemical compound isolation and analysis, pharmaceutical form, metabolism study and safety evaluation, which are core steps of R & D of Chinese materia medica.
At present, there are 339 on-going research projects, which are respectively in the lists of key projects of the National Natural Science Foundation, the National Basic Research Program (973 Program), the National High-tech R & D Program (863 Program), the National Key New Drug Development Program and National Key R & D Plan. Since foundation of the institute, 275 academic prizes have been awarded including 19 national prizes. Up to now, the institute has developed 33 new medicines. 5431 research papers and 230 books have been published. Professor TU Youyou from the institute, was honored the Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award in the year of 2011, Warren Alpert Foundation Prize and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015 for her outstanding contribution offered during the development of artemisinin. She was awarded the National Supreme Science and Technology Prize of China in 2016 and the honorary title as Pioneer of Reform on the National Conference for 40 Year Anniversary of Reform and Open up in 2018. In September 2019, during the 70th anniversary of the establishment of P.R.C., Professor TU Youyou was honored Medal of the Republic as excellent representative of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers.
In recent years, the institute has gained considerable achievements in many aspects, such as paper publishing, award winning, project funded, new medicine development, related enterprise service, talent recruitment, international cooperation and equipment upgrading. In the past five years, the institute has published more than 860 papers on famous international periodicals, as The New England Journal of Medicine, Sci Rep, Biotech. Adv., PNAS, Bio Rev., Chemical comm., International Journal of Cancer and British Journal of Pharmacology, etc. A group of scientific and research achievements of high level, whose standard were significantly promoted, won a series of awards, including first prize of National Science and Technology Progress Award, first prize of Science and Technology Prize by China Association of Chinese Medicine, LI Shizhen Medicine Innovation Award, first prize of Science and Technology Prize of China Society of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, the first prize of Science and Technology Progress Award by the Outstanding Achievements in Scientific Research of Colleges and Universities Award (Science and Technology), etc. National research funds also hit a new record high. The numbers of various research projects at national level, undertaken by the institute, have a steady growth. The institute has made breakthroughs by leaps and bounds in new drug development. Some new drugs, such as Jinchai Antiviral Capsules, Shuyan Tablets, Extracts of Jinchao, Jinchao Tablets, Dyhydro-Qinghaosu Tablets, Huanglianjiedu Pills, Baoxin Granules and Jimu Granules etc., have been issued new drug or clinical trial certificates. The amount of economic collaboration contracts between the institute and enterprises as well as the funds in place also had a vigorous growth while the institute’s transformation ability of scientific research achievements has significantly strengthened. The institute has brought in a group of outstanding talents with overseas study background from internationally renowned universities and research institutions from United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and Japan, etc. Through such changes, the institute promoted and optimized its personnel team to an internationalized academic studies and research institution. Besides, practicing as WHO collaborating center, the institute implements international cooperation projects and person-to-person exchanges with research institutes, universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and international organizations from more than 80 countries and regions globally, such as United States, Austria, Norway, Japan, and Macao, Hongkong and Taiwan Regions of China, etc. The institute owns an area of more than 14,000 m2, which has been newly reconstructed. It possesses modern research equipment and apparatuses, such as AVANCE III 600 MHz Digital NMR Spectrometer, LC-MS, TRAP-MS, ImageXpress Micro Cellular Imaging Analysis System, Genetic Analyzer HiSeq 1500 Sequencing System, in the fields of identification, preparation, biotechnology, quality control, pharmacology and toxicology of Chinese materia medica. Its library has more than 40,000 academic books relating to Chinese materia medica studies.