The School of Life Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, formerly known as the "Faculty of Life Sciences", was established in April 2004. It has been officially renamed to the current one since it became the 15th academic school of the university in March 2010. The School of Life Sciences aims at establishing a qualified training base for competitive talents and an outstanding research base with distinct discipline characteristics. The mission of the school includes serving the national demands in the field of aeronautics, astronautics, and marine sciences as well as facilitating the inter-discipline and cutting-edge scientific researches in both fundamental sciences and engineering.
The School of Life Sciences mainly conducts the scientific research and education in Space Life Sciences, including Space Biology and Biotechnology, Aerospace Medicine & Engineering, and Magnetic Biology. The scientific researches focus on improving current understanding of the mechanisms behind the molecular, cellular and biological observations during space flights, as well as developing pharmaceutical biotechnology and bio-medical engineering products. Now the inter-discipline scientific research has become one of the highlights of the school.
Supported by the ‘Project 985’, a ministerial innovation platform for scientific research in the school, namely, the Space Biotechnology Laboratory, was established in 2004. In 2007, the laboratory was officially entitled “the Key Laboratory for Space Bioscience & Biotechnology” by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, and became the first key lab specialized in space biology and biotechnology in Chinese universities.
During the past 13 years, the School of Life Sciences has undertaken more than 280 research projects, among which 154 are national and provincial projects. More than 650 papers, including nearly 285 articles in well-recognized international journals, have been published. Furthermore, 47 patents have been granted.
International collaboration is an important part of the school’s work. The school has established close relationships with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the French Space Agency (CNES), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS,Japan), the Harvard University (USA), Wayne State University (USA), University of Texas (USA), University of Sydney (Australia), Laval University (Canada), University of Strathclyde (UK), Charité–University Medicine Berlin (Germany), University of Tokyo (Japan), and many more in the field of space research. The collaborations in scientific research, scholar exchange, and teaching have already substantially benefited the school in many aspects, and hopefully these activities will continue to stimulate the advancement of researches and improve the research level of the school.