Nankai University：A leading light from China
Since its founding in 1919, Nankai University has forged a strong academic reputation. Known as the ‘North Star’ among China’s higher education institutions, it has gathered many academic leaders over the years, and inspired generations of students, building a model for higher education in China. Aimed at making an impact on society, the university has produced many results that have brought significant socioeconomic benefits.
“We emphasize public values, capabilities, and innovation,” says Cao Xuetao, the university’s president. “These are integral to our Nankai spirit.” Now, under the ‘make Nankai excellent’ plan, these core ideals are guiding Nankai University toward further greatness.
The dramatized story of a Nankai University pioneer has enthralled theatre audiences across China, and symbolizes the institution’s value to the country. The play is based on the story of its former president, Yang Shixian, a chemistry pioneer who spearheaded the development of China’s first-generation organic pesticides, and founded the Institute of Elemento-Organic Chemistry at Nankai. His influential work has drawn many talented young researchers, who in turn, cultivated many bright students, putting Nankai on the map as China’s ‘cradle of chemists’, a reputation it still enjoys.
Yang’s story typifies Nankai’s historic commitment to research that aims to address socioeconomic development needs. Later generations of Nankai researchers have taken up the mantle of useful research. The team led by chemist, Li Zhengming, has developed affordable green, effective pesticides that increase farming profits. Research results by Nankai researchers have also been used in technology to detect hazardous gases on spacecraft, such as Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2, contributing to China’s manned space programme.
Other recent breakthroughs include the use of robotic technology in cell micro-manipulation, leading to the birth of the world’s first robot-cloned piglets; the development of organic solar cells that set a new record in sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency; the discovery of novel molecular mechanisms underlying inflammatory immune responses, contributing to progresses in immunotherapy; efficient synthesis of a natural product that can be used to treat glioma, a category of brain tumour; and the development of automated bridge crane systems that have significantly improved work efficiency and safety.
These research results have put Nankai among the top 10 in China in the Nature Index annual tables released in 2019, and 47th among global academic institutions. Its chemistry is ranked 10th globally among academic institutions in the Nature Index. In 2018, Nankai had eight scholars selected as Clarivate ‘highly-cited researchers’ of the year. It is also a leading Chinese university in the number of citations in the recent 10 years of its cumulative papers published in Science Citation Indexed journals.
With 26 colleges and 92 undergraduate programmes, Nankai has one of the most comprehensive academic programmes in the country. While the university was selected into the national ‘double first-class’ initiative, its chemistry, material science and engineering, mathematics, statics and world history programmes were also designated as ‘double first-class’ subject areas. As a national research and teaching centre, Nankai also has 21 national-level key research institutions in natural sciences and seven in social sciences.
An active player at the forefront of scientific research, Nankai is making changes to improve its research capacities. As part of the ‘make Nankai excellent’ plan, the university is to capitalize on its existing strengths in natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, enhance its edge in engineering and biomedicine, and boost the development of emerging interdisciplinary fields, seeking to address national strategic needs.
Nankai University Custom Publishing on Nature: http://www.nature.com/collections/nku
Nankai University retains sole responsibility for content ? 2019 Nankai University.
1 December 2018 - 30 November 2019
Subject/journal group: All
The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Nankai University (NKU) published between 1 December 2018 - 30 November 2019 which are tracked by the Nature Index.
Hover over the donut graph to view the FC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.
Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.
Outputs by subject (Share)
|Earth & Environmental Sciences||36||21.29|
Highlight of the month
How an anticancer drug improves night vision
? From Hurricane1984/MomentOpen/Getty
Researchers have discovered how a cancer drug can lead to improved night vision.
Photodynamic therapy uses a laser beam to induce light-sensitive drugs such as chlorin e6 to produce a reactive form of oxygen called singlet oxygen, which kills nearby cancer cells. A surprising side effect of this treatment is that some patients can see better at night.
When a light-sensitive protein in retinal rods called rhodopsin is in contact with chlorin e6 it responds to infrared light in a similar way to visual light. But the mechanism for this was unclear.
An international team that included two researchers from Nankai University probed the interaction between chlorin e6 and rhodopsin by performing molecular dynamics simulations.
They found that the singlet oxygen produced by chlorin e6 when illuminated by infrared light indirectly isomerized the retinal active group in rhodopsin, which enabled night vision.
This knowledge could be used to intentionally enable night vision, the researchers say.
- The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 10, 7133–7140 (2019). doi: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.9b02911
See more research highlights from Nankai University (NKU)
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Top articles by Altmetric score in current window
1 December 2018 - 30 November 2019
International vs. domestic collaboration by Share
- 72.16% Domestic
- 27.84% International
Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.
Top 10 domestic collaborators by Share (259 total)
- Nankai University (NKU), China
- Domestic institution
Tianjin University (TJU), China
Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), China
Tsinghua University, China
University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), China
Peking University (PKU), China
Wuhan University (WHU), China
Shanxi University (SXU), China
Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), China
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College (CAMS & PUMC), China
Top 10 international collaborators by Share (297 total)
- Nankai University (NKU), China
- Foreign institution
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), United States of America (USA)
National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
Tohoku University, Japan
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas), United States of America (USA)
University of Limerick (UL), Ireland
University of South Florida (USF), United States of America (USA)
Johns Hopkins University (JHU), United States of America (USA)
University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, Germany
Note: Collaboration is determined by the fractional count (Share), which is listed in parentheses.
Affiliated joint institutions and consortia
- BESIII Collaboration, China
- Chinese Hippo Consortium, China
- Collaborative Innovation Center of Tianjin for Medical Epigenetics, China
- Golone-Nankai Joint Laboratory for New Materials, China
- Nankai University Tianjin University Center for LiuHui Applied Mathematics, China
- National Collaborative Innovation Center for Biotherapy, China
- The Daya Bay Collaboration, China
Numerical information only is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.