The State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology is a part of the program of developing key research disciplines supported by the World Bank loans of 120 million dollars and the accompanied Chinese domestic investment of 3.62 million RMB. Microbiology has a long history at Shandong University. It was among the first disciplines that awarded both Doctor’s and Master’s degrees in China. The program was favorably reviewed by peers and the state agencies and got the initial funding to set up the State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology at Shandong University in 1987. The state key laboratory started to running and opening to the outside after passing the inspection in November 1995. The laboratory has passed the three evaluation in 2001, 2006 and 2011, respectively. The present director of the laboratory is Professor Youming Zhang, winner of national one-thousand-talents scheme. Professor Zixin Deng, an academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, is the director of its academic committee.
Life science and biotechnology plays a key role in scientific and technological development in 21st century. As a major branch, Microbiology is regarded as the important basis and vanguard of life science and biotechnology. Microbiology is believed to play an essential role in solving various severe challenges, such as shortage of resources, environmental pollution, food crisis and ecological destruction. The major research directions in the key laboratory include: (1) Microbial Resource and Strain Improvement Technologies (2) Microbial technology for resource and environment (3) Industrial and pharmaceutical microbial technology.
At present the key laboratory has a team of researchers with proper structure of age and knowledge. All of them are scientifically active and capable of taking national large-scale research projects. The laboratory faculty includes three National Thousand Talents Program experts, three Distinguished Young Scholars supported by National Natural Science Foundation, one National Talents Project winner, four Taishan Mountain Scholars and one “973” Chief Scientist. There are now 32 professors and 7 associate professors. All the teachers have a Doctor’s degree and more than sixty percent of them have overseas research experiences for over one year. In the past five years, the laboratory assumed 293 research projects of various types, of which 70% are national projects, with the total funds of 174.21 million RMB. During 2011-2013, the laboratory obtained 70 patents and published more than 300 SCI papers in Nat Mol Strut Biol, PNAS, Mol Biol Evol, ISME J, Mol Microbiol and other well-known journals.
The key laboratory has gained a series of substantial achievements in discipline developments, contributing to the development of microbial technology in China. The laboratory becomes an important domestic base for basic and applied research as well as personnel training in the area of microbial technology. Guided by the state and Shandong University, the key laboratory focuses on the state strategic plan, firmly sticking to creative research to promote discoveries and translational research. The laboratory actively recruits top-level researchers, promotes collaboration, nurtures ideal academic environments for breakthroughs in scientific research.