A Face to Face Talk about “the Present and Future of Biological Science” between Academician and Undergraduate Students


On March 17, the first academician lecturer was welcomed to “the Present and Future of Biological Science”, a series of common-knowledge courses created by Nankai University delivered by academic masters. On the same day, Rao Zihe, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and former president of Nankai University, gave a lecture for undergraduates on virus structure research.

With the theme of “From SARS in 2003 to COVID-19 in 2020”, Rao Zihe delivered the fourth lecture of the courses. Starting from the life history of viruses, he explained in detail the whole process of virus invasion, transcription, replication, assembly and release. He took the research content from more than 20 years of his own research group as an example, and interpreted abstract scientific terms into common, vivid ones. He also shared his group's research results and insights on scientific research in recent years including picornavirus, ASFV and COVID-19.

Before the lecture, 12 undergraduates had a close communication and discussion with Rao Zihe. In a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere, Rao answered the students’ academic questions, shared his own scientific research experience and encouraged Nankai students to be brave and innovative, to have the spirit of striving to be the first, and to persist in climbing the peak of science.

Rao Zihe is the chief expert of the courses. In this semester, the courses will introduce to freshmen the current situation and future development of biological science in four modules: life and health, human and nature, genetics and evolution, and biology and technology. Academicians Rao Zihe, Bian Xiuwu, Zhang Xuemin and others will explain the basis of life and the history of biomedical development from different perspectives, such as protein, cell and tissue, as well as biochemistry and immunology; Academicians Kang Le, Wei Fuwen and others will talk about the impact of the natural environment on human society and convey the concept of “harmony between man and nature”. The module on genetics and evolution was introduced by Academician Yang Huanming, Qian Qian and Meng Anming, etc. Taking model organisms as base and genetics as starting point, they have a peep at big concerns in life science and human society. In addition, the courses also offer a face-to-face communication opportunity with those famous masters and 10 students will be selected for each course, in order to further extend the effectiveness of leading teachers from inside the classroom to outside the classroom.

The “Led by Academic Master” is a “brand” optional course of common knowledge officially launched by Nankai University in this semester. The series of courses are led by academicians and chair professors of various disciplines as chief experts, and academic masters are invited to give lectures for Nankai undergraduates, giving freshmen the opportunity to have close talk with them, establish aspiration and pursue excellence in life with the guidance of masters.

 (Reported by Fang Lan, Photographed by Xuetong Li and Chengjin Wei, Translated by Wanjun Xue, Edited by Davide Francolino and JianjingYun)