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1.Introduction 

    The Key Laboratory of Chemistry of Northwestern Plant Resources (CNPR) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is one of the key laboratories of the CAS with the approval in 2009. The Laboratory of CNPR has be established on the basis of the Separation and Analysis Technology Research Laboratory of the Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, the CAS, and Key Laboratory for Natural Medicine of Gansu Province, to further strengthen the construction of the scientific research system of the laboratory, to optimize the subject structure, to build an excellent team, to raise the comprehensive S&T innovative ability of the laboratory and eventually to serve the economic and social sustainable development of the western region.  

    Founded in 1958, the Separation and Analysis Technology Research Laboratory of the Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, CAS, is one of the important bases of scientific research and talent training in the field of analytical science, especially in the fields of separation science and analytic science. Established in 2002, the Key Laboratory for Natural Medicine of Gansu Province is also one of the major bases of scientific research, technological invention, talent training in the areas of analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, particularly in the area of natural medicine chemistry. 

    Basing on the major needs in population health, sustainable development of northwestern plant resources, the Laboratory mainly carries out the applied basic and high-tech research on characteristic northwestern plant resources and their application, such as the research on new materials and methods for separation and analysis, discovery and characterization of natural products from plant resources, application of the resources in medicine, health care and resource protection. Through over 50 years, the Laboratory has made remarkable achievements in gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and other fields. And it has developed into one of the important research units both in home and abroad. The Laboratory strives to build itself into the state key laboratory to better serve the country and people. 

    The Laboratory currently employs 53 permanent staff, among which 11 are professors, 13 associate professors, 5 senior engineers and senior laboratory technicians, 11 assistant professors. Among the permanent staff, 34 hold doctoral degree, 15 hold master degree, 4 are chose as the members of the “Hundred Talents Program” of the CAS, 12 are chosen as the members of the “Western Light” Program of the CAS. At present, 45 non-permanent staff are working in the Laboratory, among which 20 are doctor candidates, 20 hold master degree,  5 are temporally employed staff. The Laboratory now has 5 academic consultants, including Prof. Xue Qun-ji, member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Prof. Yu Wei-le, Prof. Ou Qing-yu, Prof. Wang Han-qing, and Prof. Jiang Tian-lai etc.  

    The Laboratory has undertaken more than 1000 projects, including projects of the state science and technology supporting plan, “973” cooperation projects, “863” cooperation projects, projects of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Important Research Direction Projects of the CAS, Western Project of the CAS, Western Light Projects of the CAS, projects of Supporting Gansu through S&T of the CAS, projects of Supporting Qinghai through S&T of the CAS, projects of Gansu Province and projects from enterprises, etc. Since 2002, the Laboratory has applied more than 160 national patents, published 5 monographs, and cultivated more than 80 postgraduates. There are more than 60 papers published each year and all are included in the SCI database. Since its establishment, the analytical discipline has won 1 national award and more than 30 ministerial and provincial level awards. The Laboratory covers an area of more than 2500m2 and possesses various modern instruments of separation and analysis and structural characterization which are worth more than 47 million. As the platform of scientific research cooperation and academic exchange home and abroad, the Laboratory has carried out extensive cooperation with scientific institutions and scientific research personnel home and abroad. The development of the Laboratory has owned much to the concern and support from the leaders of the CAS and Gansu Province. 

2.Research Fields 

  • Separation and analysis materials and methods for plant resources 
  • Discovering and characterization of natural products from plant resources  
  • Functional application and resource protection of plant resources.

3.Main research Content 

  • Separation and analysis materials and methods for plant resources 

    Centering around the separation and analysis materials and methods of chemical constituents, active components, functional factors for the characteristic plant resources, the Laboratory mainly carries out the applied basic research on new separation and analysis techniques and methods, high efficient and fast microfabrication technology, chemical characterization, quality control and their evaluation system, etc. 

  • Discovering and characterization of natural products from plant resources   

    Centering around the discovering and characterization of natural products from plant resources, the Laboratory lays its emphasis upon the applied basic research on chemical constituents, bioactivity and functions, structural modification and structure-activity relationship, metabonomics of natural medicines, molecular recognition, etc. 

  • Functional application and resource protection of plant resources 

    Centering around the human health and food safety, the Laboratory researches on common key techniques and development of functional products in the comprehensive utilization of plant resources, mainly involving the research on the high valued functional factors, functional components and standardized extracts, new drugs, natural and safe food additives, highly efficient comprehensive utilization of biomass, industrialization of superior plant medicines, etc. 

4.Achievements 

    Through 5 years, under the support of the National Ministry of Science and Technology, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Gansu Province and local enterprises, the Laboratory has discovered more than 500 kinds of plant secondary metabolites with novel structure and remarkable activity, invented more than 60 new HPLC and HPCE separation and analysis methods with multi-target ingredients of Chinese-Tibetan medicines; developed more than 10 new kinds of separation and analysis materials concerning liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and chiral separation and more than 10 kinds of pretreatment and separation materials of core-shell samples with silica matrix coated by metal oxide; synthesized more than 20 kinds of organic compounds with the function of selective recognition of anion and cation; prepared more than 10 kinds of food pigments and additives with natural functions; developed more than 200 traditional Chinese medicine formula granules in decoction pieces of common traditional Chinese medicine, 2 compound traditional Chinese medicines and 1 new chemical, 5 kinds of health foods with plant functional components and identified 3 scientific research achievements with international advanced level. 

    During recent 5 years, the Laboratory has published more than 400 papers, of which four fifths  are published on the journals included in SCI, such as Nat. Prod. Rep., Anal. Chem., Org. Lett., J. Chromatogr. A and so on.; applied for more than 160 patents, published 5 monograph; won 1 Award for Science and Technology Progress of Gansu Province in 2004 (first class), 1 Award for Natural Sciences of Gansu Province (second class) in 2006, cultivated more than 180 doctors and postgraduates. The Laboratory has, in particularly, nurtured a group of high–leveled talents for the local institutes and institutes engaging in the similar research. 

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