Goals of school foundation:
Chang-Gung Medical College, since its foundation in 1985, has been focusing on basic medical Sciences. In 1993, we founded the master program of the Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Research. For educating more talented and specialized experts, with the permission from the Department of Education, we founded the doctor program of the Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences in 1997. The foundation of the Institute attracted faculty members of different expertise to work together and join the teams of research. After operation for decades, our Institute consists of 66 faculty members (including those in the Institute, Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, of Physiology and Pharmacology, of Anatomy, of Public Health and Parasitology, of Microbiology and Immunology, of Biological Sciences, of Medical Biotechnology and Laboratory Medicine). From 2002, for the research-oriented principle, the master programs have been grouped into three divisions, “Biochemistry, Molecular, and Cellular Biology”, “Microbiology”, and “Physiology and Pharmacology”.
After the development for three years, it was perceived that the aforementioned divisions could not illustrate the feature of our Institute, this year (2006) we propose to rename our Institute to “Institute of Biomedical Sciences” and of relevant Division to: “Cellular Physiology and Molecular Pharmacology” (originally “Physiology and Pharmacology”). For more comprehensive inclusion of the related fields in our Institute, we recruited “Biotechnology” (originally “Graduate Institute of Medical Biotechnology”) and added “Medical Statistics and Clinical Informatics” (master program only) for the data integration of the later phase of research. Our school has the goal of developing into “a research-oriented university”. To have more professional and first-class graduates, based on the existing resources in four Divisions and one Institute, we re-group current doctor programs into four Divisions, and master programs into five Divisions, to educate high-level, professional, and independent research talents.
Our school requires solid basic sciences training for graduate students in biomedical fields and emphasizes the absorption and hands-on experience of new knowledge and technology. Teaching focuses on the lectures of theories whereas laboratory experiments depend on student’s reaction and presentation. Because of the popularity of research in school and of the cooperative efforts of Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH) with the development of our school, the research facilities and equipment are new and updated, and individual laboratories can take full advantage of their research strengths. In addition, our school actively promotes the inter-laboratory and hospital-school (CGMH) collaboration, such as the fields of cancer research (nasopharyngeal carcinoma), cardiovascular research, and neuroscience, as well as the integrated projects of proteomics, which provides the students from related laboratories with extensive exchange and cooperation of hands-on experience. The features of teaching in our school in biotechnology fields can be summarized as follows:
1. Abundant faculty members: Full-time faculty in basic medicine consists of 66 teachers, with personal or shared offices for their individual research; teachers research and teach with sufficient enthusiasm, and they are assessed by an appropriate evaluation system for teachers; teacher-student interactions are excellent, and there are personal mentors and a student advising system to help students to choose laboratories. Teacher’s expertise includes every field of biological sciences: molecular biology and biochemistry, bioinformatics and biostatistics, biophysics, microbiology and immunology, public health and parasitology, physiology, pharmacology, anatomy, embryological development, and interdisciplinary subjects like neurobiology, cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology, cancer, etc. Graduate students (including undergraduates who have elective research methodology) can choose their best-fit laboratories in any field. Furthermore, we have expanded our faculty teams and recruited the scholars who specialize in proteomics, bioinformatics, genomics, etc, and invited them to join our faculty members that not only come from other universities but also from our College of Engineering, College of Medicine, and Hospitals for the participation of teachers and doctors.
2. Excellent teaching facilities: Our school has abundant teaching space, sufficient teaching tools. Every Department on each floor has a 100 ping student laboratory for hands-on classes and it is equipped with a cable television system for multimedia teaching; the laboratory classes utilize the grouped teaching, about two students per group. Inside the laboratories, basic experiment equipment and peripheral devices are adequate; the courses focus on the combination of academic theories and clinical practice, integrating the teaching schemes of our new philosophy; furthermore, our school has set up the Innovation Incubation Center and Office of Research Development that consists of Precious Instruments Center, Animal Center, Electronic Microscope Center, and Research Administration Center that jointly process and manage relevant research development tasks; the hardware and administration both can fully catch up to the implementation of the education plans of the future biotechnology education project. Recently the 2nd and the 3rd Medical Buildings have been launched and providing 354,849 square meters to the school total building area that far exceeds the basic unit student area standards regulated by the Ministry of Education, adding more affluence and completeness to our school education and research environment.
3. Sufficient integration of schools and hospitals: Chang-Gung University (CGU) and CGMH, for a long time, have been making all efforts to support every educational or research proposal of the College of Medicine. We not only offer favorable cooperation funds for replacing and adding the facilities and equipment relating to education and research, but also provide research funds for the granted hospital proposals for running preliminary studies. Nevertheless, our departments of basic and clinical sciences cooperate extensively both in education and research jobs, and their staff members interact frequently and share the research and educational resources. Moreover, our school would like to provide students with stable learning milieu; every student receives a basic monthly dormitory stipend. Master and doctor graduate students can also receive the scholarship of teaching assistant (TA) or research assistant (RA).
4. Inter-disciplinary course design: For the integration of future interdisciplinary research topics, our Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences (now being renamed to “Graduate Institute of Biomedical Sciences (GIBS)”) has re-designed the courses this semester for the three Divisions, and included the Graduate Institute of Medical Biotechnology (now being renamed to “Division of Biotechnology, GIBS”) as the 4th Division. In addition to subjects of basic sciences, several function-oriented interdisciplinary courses are also added, as well as the addition of special topic discussion that may inspire the graduate students for their competence of independent thinking; our Departments of Medical Technology and Biological Sciences also have course planning, for the biotechnology and biological science research that relate to future molecular testing.
5. Establishment of core laboratories: For the arrival of the post-genome era, our school sets up the following laboratories: post-genome laboratory, proteomics core laboratory, trans-genetic mouse core laboratory, microscopic imaging core laboratory, and bioinformatics core laboratory. Each core laboratory runs integrated projects in different disciplines, enhancing the research quality of faculty members.
6. Creation of research groups: In accordance with the policy of College of Medicine, our institute fits each teacher into a research group. Currently we have: hepatic disease pathogenesis, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and EBV, proteomics and cancer, cardiovascular research, immunology, developmental biology, re-generation medicine, drug research (including Chinese medicine), signal transduction, neuroscience, infectious RNA virus, aging and free radicals, bioinformatics, medical statistics, and clinical informatics, and other research groups. Each research group has a chairman who takes care of regular seminars and proposes integrated projects, to enhance the research momentum of our institute.