The support unit of discipline-"Microbiology&Biochemical Pharmacy" of Peking Union Medical College is assigned to the Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology. In 2001, this discipline was rated as a national key discipline of higher education, becoming the only national key discipline in this field. In 1956, it was originally the Department of Antibiotics of the Central Health Research Institute. In 1958, it was transformed into the Institute of Antibiotics of Peking Union Medical College. In 1987, it was renamed as the Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology, and the discipline was named as Microbial Pharmacy. In 1997, "microbial pharmacy" and "biochemical pharmacy" were unified as " Microbiology & Biochemical Pharmacy ".
The "Microbiology & Biochemical Pharmacy" is an important part of the pharmacy discipline in Peking Union Medical College. There are 39 doctoral supervisors, 35 master supervisors, and 204 doctoral and master students. Started from 1961, nearly 1,000 master and doctoral students have graduated, providing talent guarantee for the development of anti-infection studies.
The disciplines include medicinal microorganisms’ resources, drug screening, microbial chemistry, anti-infective drugs, antiviral medicines, antitumor medicines, biological engineering, microbial metabolic engineering, biology, chemistry and chemical biology, pharmaceutics, analytical chemistry and quality control, etc., which form a complete on new drug R&D. The research contents include targets identification and verification, molecular biology, medical biotechnology, fermentation engineering, cell engineering, pharmacodynamic evaluation, etc. Among them, synthetic biology, cancer targeting therapy, microbial active products and anti-infective drug research are taking the lead.
The establishment and development of the Institute has always been closely related to the rise of new disciplines. The milestones of modern medicine are always born from the discoveries of microbial drugs: the discovery of Penicillin in the 1940s was the first milestone of modern medicine; In the 1980s, microbial genetic engineering technology made biotechnological drugs possible, which became the second milestone of modern medicine. Taking the special biological characteristics of microorganisms, such as polymorphism, rapid replication and operability of gene regulation into account, synthetic biology research has drawn lots of attentions. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the construction and development of the discipline have reached a new height, and become the cradle of cultivating academically leading talents.