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IBC40: Message from the Director 中文
Dr. Ching-Shih Chen
Marking an anniversary serves two purposes: to celebrate previous achievements and to make a commitment to the future. This July, the Institute of Biological Chemistry commemorates 40 years of research, progress, and exploration. Even before the institute first opened its doors in 1977, its steering committee had strategized for most of the decade to build a community devoted to studying biologically active proteins without neglecting education. In the intervening years, our directors have recruited talented faculty, expanded from National Taiwan University to a second building on the Nangang campus, and broadened our research scope.
Early IBC researchers worked on snake venom, measuring its biochemical properties and devising antidotes. You can imagine how useful venom antidotes are on a tropical island like Taiwan! From the focus on protein chemistry, Darrell Liu steered IBC toward glycosylation research, and then Andrew H.-J. Wang ushered in structural biology, creating space both in our Nangang building and in our research scope. Ming-Daw Tsai carefully cultivated an atmosphere that welcomes both basic and translational research, recruiting investigators who ask targeted questions and investigators who aren’t afraid to go on fishing expeditions. In my time as director of IBC, I am particularly proud of incorporating drug discovery into our research scope, which aligns with the strategic plans of Academia Sinica in leading the biotech industry in Taiwan.
Some of our administrative staff have been with the institute since the very beginning, keeping all the axels greased and the lights powered on. Without their support each day, we would not be able to keep up the fast-paced research in our labs. The dedication of our administrators and researchers over the years has developed a sense of continuity at IBC, and even as we chase new discoveries, we retain our unique flavor because we can draw on expertise in both biology and chemistry.
We do not complacently wait for progress. In 2016, we welcomed the newest president of Academia Sinica, James Liao, to our institute, broadening our research to include synthetic biology. Each new investigator brings special skills to our institute, contributing to natural products, protein engineering, epigenetics, and CRISPR. We remain as committed to education as our original preparatory committee. Everyday, the students in our institute inspire hope for the future of science as they learn new techniques and initiate academic events. The institute, Taiwan, and science have evolved over the past four decades, but some things won’t change. We will continue to explore new frontiers in biochemistry.
I hope you’ll join us at our 40th Anniversary events as we think
Beyond 40: Exploring Biochemistry from Basics to Translation.
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