On the morning of May 15, the inauguration ceremony of the Institute for Advanced Research (IfAR), Wenzhou Medical University (WMU), was held on Chashan Campus. WMU has hired Yang Jian, an expert under the national “Ten Thousand Talent” Program and winner of the Premier’s Science Award—Australia’s most prestigious prize in science as the head of IfAR. WMU Party Secretary Lu Fan and President Li Xiaokun attended the ceremony presided by Vice President Jin Shengwei.
President Li Xiaokun pointed out in his speech that talent is the key to further developing WMU into a first-class, internationally-renowned medical center in China. Establishing the IfAR is an important measure for WMU in serving the country’s “Going Global” strategy, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and academic innovation, and strengthening the cultivation of top talent. Focusing on several areas of research such as big data analysis and public health, cancer and immunotherapy, genomics and single cell sequencing, nanomedicine and stem cells, functional genomics and model organism systems, the IfAR will strive to build itself as a research institution with an innovative operational mechanism and international top research capabilities for the exploration of cutting-edge scientific issues. Meanwhile, IfAR will continuously attract international top innovative research talents with world-class hardware facilities, academic atmosphere, and amenities for research and living .
Joining in the University of Queensland in Australia in 2012 and getting his professorship at the age of 35, Yang Jian has made significant and pioneering contribution to the discovery of the genetic features of complex human diseases, for which he became the first Chinese scientist winning the Premier’s Science Award, the most prestigious award in science in Australia. As a top scientist in the field of life sciences, Yang Jian spoke in his speech about why he chose to join WMU full time. He said: “I have always believed China is the best choice for doing more things in my career as the future of the world lies in China. After nearly 60 years of development, WMU and its affiliated hospitals have become a health and medical research center for medical education, medical services and life science research on the southeastern coast of China. I appreciate the sincerity, tolerance and the urgent need to innovate and pursue excellence at WMU in my long-term cooperation with the school. Moreover, WMU has also provided a great deal of support for the establishment of IfAR. All of these are the important factors contributing to my decision.
“WMU is the richest pool of talents in Wenzhou. The establishment of IfAR with the joining of Prof. Yang Jian is an innovative measure of WMU to create the best talent environment. Reflecting the school’s innovation in the talent work mechanism of talents, this has also played a good demonstration role for the introduction of talents in Wenzhou.” said Yu Changyou, director of the Talent Work Office of the Wenzhou Municipal Party Committee.
At the ceremony, the school also established a Center of Excellence. Members of the Center of Excellence are composed of personnel from relevant functional departments and colleges who are mainly responsible for personnel training, scientific research, academic exchanges, discipline construction and daily management of relevant major strategic discipline platforms to provide tailored services for high-level talents.
In her concluding speech, Lu Fan pointed out that the establishment of the Institute of Advanced Research and the Center of Excellence is an important measure to implement the national strategy for the construction of “First-class Universities and Disciplines of the World” and the plan for the construction of provincial key universities and colleges in Zhejiang. The two institutions will be the “pilot area” of the school to try and explore in the innovation of its talent work mechanism. IfAR with its global positioning and perspectives will uphold high thresholds in hiring talent and will be committed to the introduction of high-level research teams full of dynamism. The Center of Excellence is an important supporting platform for the development of disciplines. IfAR is the first research institution supported by the platform. The relationship between IfAR and the Center of Excellence is similar to the one between port and ship, aircraft and airport. The Center of Excellence should be fully ready to provide all-around attentive services to attract excellent talents to join IfAR, as well as research institutions with the same level or the same nature as IfAR to promote the development of WMU while creating innovative solutions and models for the reform of discipline construction.
It is understood that most top universities at home and abroad have set up advanced research institutions. Being generally under the direct administration of the universities and operating independently, such advanced research institutions adopt flexible and diverse talent recruitment models, compensation incentive mechanisms, performance evaluation methods, and resource allocation channels to attract and develop high-level research talents and teams. The IfAR at WMU adopts the Principal Investigator (hereinafter referred to as PI) responsibility system under the leadership of the Dean. The recruitment of PI will be performed by the Talent Recruitment Committee of IfAR (headed by Yang Jian). It is planned to hire talents to form 5-10 PI teams with world-class competitiveness in five years. The IfAR will provide each PI with globally competitive personal amenities, research funding and environment. It is expected to publish 5-10 papers in the Nature Index in 5 years (the first author and the correspondence author should be employees of WMU). WMU will provide the IfAR with the first phase funding for construction. The use of the funds will be implemented by the IfAR according to the needs. WMU will provide subsequent funds if necessary based on the assessment of the use of the first phase funding to support the IFAR’s operation and building of talents. In addition, the first floor of the newly built Scientific Research Building at WMU with a total building area of about 1600 square meters will be set aside for the first-phase construction of the IfAR. The IfAR will be officially relocated to the International Cooperation & Exchange Center when it is completed. By that time, an all-round research support system equivalent to that of a subsidiary college/school at WMU including human resources, finances and publicity divisions will be set up in the IfAR.
Heads of related departments and schools at WMU including the General Office/Party Committee Office, the Graduate School, the Personnel Office, the Science and Technology Office, the International Cooperation and Exchange Office, the Finances Office, the Construction Office, the Information Technology Center, the News Center, the School of Ophthalmology and Optometry, and the School of Biomedical Engineering attended the ceremony.