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. State Key Laboratory for Quality Ensurance and Sustainable Use of Dao-di Herbs is affiliated to the institute. Since the institute was designated as the World Health Organization(WHO) Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine in 1983, it has been striving to carry out high-level and in-depth cooperation with WHO for more than 41 years.
Professor TU Youyou from the institute has made outstanding contribution in the discovery of artemisinin, who was honored the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015, the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award in 2011, Warren Alpert Foundation Prize of Medical School of Harvard University in 2015. She was also the winner for the National Supreme Science and Technology Prize of China in 2016 and the Pioneer of Reform on the National Conference for 40 Year Anniversary of Reform and Opening-up in 2018. Remarkably, in 2019, she was honored Medal of the Republic for her important contribution to the health undertaking of human beings and scientific and technological innovation of traditional Chinese medicine.
Through more than 68 years of scientific research practice, a research team has been brought up. Their research areas include literature study, identification, chemistry, chemical analysis, processing, preparation, pharmacology, toxicology and R&D of Chinese materia medica. The institute has more than 500 employees. There are research centers of Property Theory,  Herbal Literature, Pharmacognosy, Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Forms, Processing, Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacology, Biomechanopharmacology, Safety Evaluation(GLP), Injectable Chinese Medicine Safety, R&D, Biotechnology, Data, Holistic Integrated Study and Medicinal Products for Nebulization.
Resources Center for Chinese Materia Medica and Artemisinin Research Center are affiliated to the institute. There is the National Engineering Laboratory of Quality Control Technology of Chinese Materia Medica. It also has 1 key laboratory designated by Beijing Municipal Scientific and Technological Commission, 2 key research departments, 12 high quality and key research subjects and 5 key laboratories designated by National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine. There is the Administrative Department of Journals in the institute. 4 periodicals are published nationwide including 2 national academic periodicals, such as China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica and Chinese Journal of Experimental Traditional Medical Formulae, 1 newly launched English Journal of Science of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Journal of Basic 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 fundamentals, application and R&D study of Chinese Materia Medica which cover theory study, key technology study for industrial application and innovative medicine development. The Theory Study of Chinese Materia Medica focuses on the research of property theories and principles of processing and combination of Chinese materia medica. The Key Technology Study for Industrial Application of Chinese Materia Medica puts emphasis on the bottleneck related to the research of identification and quality control, processing, pharmaceutical engineering and conservation of resources of Chinese materia medica in order to provide technological support for the modernization of Chinese materia medica industry. The Key Technology Study for Innovative Medicine Development of Chinese Materia Medica attaches importance to key and common technologies of information and data digging, activity screening study, efficacy evaluation, chemical compound isolation and analysis, pharmaceutical form, metabolism, toxicity and safety evaluation, which are core steps of R&D study of Chinese materia medica.
At present, there are 377 on-going research projects, which are respectively in the lists of key projects of the National Natural Science Foundation, the National Science and Technology Support Plan, the National Key New Drug Development Program and National Key R&D Plan. Since the foundation of the institute, 370 academic prizes have been awarded including 27 national prizes. Up to now, the institute has developed 33 new medicines. More than 6503 research papers and 293 books have been published.
In recent years, the institute has gained considerable achievements in paper publishing, award winning, project funded, new medicine development, enterprise service, talent recruitment, international cooperation and equipment upgrading. In the past five years, the institute has published more than 1622 papers on famous international periodicals, such as The Lancet, Nature Medicine, Nature Communications, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, The New England Journal of Medicine, Molecular Plant, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Nucleic Acids Res, etc. Many scientific research achievements with outstanding research level won a series of awards. They are:
● First prize of National Science and Technology Progress Award
● First prize of Beijing Science and Technology Progress Award
● China Publishing Governmental Award
● Special prize and first prize of Science and Technology Progress Award by China Ethnic Medical Association
● First prize of Science and Technology Award by China Association of Chinese Medicine
● LI Shizhen Medicine Innovation Award
● First prize of Science and Technology Award of China Society of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine
National research funds also hit a new record high. The number of various research projects at national level, undertaken by the institute, experiences a steady growth. The institute has made great strides in new drug development. Jinchai Antiviral Capsules, Shuyan Tablets, Extracts of Jincao, Jincao Tablets, Dyhydro-Qinghaosu Tablets, Huanglianjiedu Pills, Baoxin Granules and Jimu Granules etc., have been issued with clinical trial certificates. The institute has organized high level expert group to take part in R&D of novel drugs against COVID-19 in a comprehensive and in-depth manner, with advanced scientific resources provided in the pharmaceutical research of Qingfei Paidu Granules and Huashi Baidu Granules. The two new granules were approved by National Medical Products Administration(NMPA) of China on March 2nd, 2021. The institute won the title of "Advanced Institution of National Science and Technology System to Fight against COVID-19". The amount of contracts between the institute and enterprises as well as the funds in place increased remarkably with our transformation capacity of scientific research achievements significantly strengthened.
The institute has brought in a group of talents with educational background from internationally renowned universities and research institutions from United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and Japan, etc. Thus, the talent team has been optimized and improved, reaching a high level of internationalization.
Besides, as WHO Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine, the institute has carried out international cooperation and talent exchanges with research institutes, universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and international organizations from more than 80 countries and regions globally. Several cooperative research centers were established by the institute and its international partners, such as " Chinese-European Co-research Center for Chinese Medicine and Natural Medicine" with Leiden University from Netherland, " Chinese and Austrian Cooperative Research Center" with Graz University from Austria," The Research Center for Biomechanopharmacology" with University of Leeds from UK and " Macau Center for R&D in Chinese Medicine" with University of Macau from Macau, China.
The institute possesses AVANCE III 600 MHz Digital NMR Spectrometer and a series of modern research equipment and apparatuses which are totally worth 380 million RMB.