The immunology program used to be part of the Department of Microbiology. Since its independence in 1986, the Department of Immunology has undergone rapid expansion. It was among the first few institutions authorized to confer doctoral degree in Immunology in China in mid-80’s. In 1996, it was named Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology by the Ministry of Public Health. In 2001, it passed the evaluation organized by the Ministry of Education, becoming a National Key Discipline. We are primarily located in the Central Building of the medical campus, occupying 4 floors with a total space of approximately 1500 square meters. Historically, a number of Chinese best immunologists, including Drs. Wei-Feng Chen，Zhen-Zhou Long and Xiao-Ming Gao had worked here and contributed in a significant way to the development of immunology program at Peking University. At present, our faculty includes 10 professors, 8 associate professors, 2 assistant professors and 1 lecturer.
The Department of Immunology is committed to excellence in education. Several immunology textbooks written by our faculty members are well adopted by a number of medical schools in China. Each year our undergraduate course “Medial Immunology” attracts 600-800 medical students as well as students from Schools of Pharmacy, Public Health and Nursing. In fact, it was recommended as a National Quality Course in 2007. In addition to undergraduate teaching, we offer 6 advanced courses for postgraduate students. The administration to our postgraduate program is highly competitive. On average, we enroll at least 15 new postgraduate students each year.
The Department of Immunology enjoys good reputation for its strong research program in basic and clinical immunology. Over years, more than 60 million RMB Yuans (about 10 million US dollars) have been invested for infrastructure construction, which provides strong support for the cutting-edge research by our faculty members. Specifically, the research interest of the department is focused on four major areas, including lymphocyte development, immunogenomics, immunoregulation & autoimmunity, and tumor immunology. In the last five years, we have published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers in international journals, 20% of which appears in journals with an impact factor higher than 5. In addition, 26 patents have been granted to our faculty members for their innovative work. To promote translational study, the department establishes extensive collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry. As a result, two recombinant protein drugs has been approved for clinical application by the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration, and one more is on Phase III trial. The research program in the department is mainly supported by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of China, and Ministry of Science and Technology of China. On average, the funding from external sources reaches more than 10 million Yuans each year.