The predecessor of Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences was the Wuhan Institute of Microbiology, prepared to be built in 1956, jointly established by the famous virologist academician Gao Shangyin and the famous microbiologist academician Chen Huagui and a batch of older generation scientists, formally announced to be established in 1958, mainly engaged in agricultural virus and environmental microbe research. At the beginning of 1961, Wuhan branch institute and the Guangzhou branch institute merged to set up the Zhongnan Branch of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan Microbiology Research Laboratory was hence renamed as Wuhan Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In October 1962, it was again renamed to Wuhan Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 1966, the local branch institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences was cancelled. In 1970, Wuhan Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences was placed under the leadership of Hubei Province, changed its name to Hubei Provincial Institute of Microbiology. In 1978 on the eve of holding the National Science and Technology Conference, it returned to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, known as Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Wuhan Institute of Virology has made a series of important progresses in terms of insect virus, animal virus, molecular virus, virus classification preservation, environmental microbes, fermentation microorganisms and microbial sensors. A number of research achievements have earned national level, Chinese Academy of Sciences and provincial & ministerial level awards for scientific and technological advancement.
In 1998, the Chinese Academy of Sciences launched a pilot project for knowledge innovation. Wuhan Institute of Virology had been centering on the institute reform, setting its strategy in the virus, microbe application research and biological high-tech innovation, and developing a comprehensive supporting reform implementation plans. In 1999, it successfully passed the classification and positioning of Chinese Academy of Sciences, was included in the high-tech research and development base-type research institute. In 2002, it was formally approved into the institute knowledge innovation project pilot sequence, the work of the entire institute had entered into a new stage.
In 2003, SARS virus broke out in our country, the state and the Chinese Academy of Sciences promoted the prevention and control of newly emerging diseases to a new strategic height, Wuhan Institute of Virology adjusted the discipline layout in a timely manner, on the one hand it was to have the advantage integration for the traditional preponderant disciplines such as insect virology, aquatic animal virology, biological control, analysis of biotechnology etc.; on the other hand, through the training and the introduction of talents, it was to lay out a series of medical virus-related discipline groups, engaged in the researches of HIV, influenza virus, hepatitis virus, tumor virus and zoonotic virus and virus replication and antiviral drugs etc. In 2004, the Chinese and French governments signed a cooperation agreement on fighting and preventing new diseases, stressing the active cooperation between China and France in the construction of high-level biosafety laboratories and the system construction of biosafety laws and regulations etc. In order to implement the spirit of Sino-French agreement, in 2005, Wuhan Institute of Virology undertook the task of building a national biosafety laboratory of Wuhan, Chinese Academy of Sciences. With nearly 10 years of unremitting efforts, the laboratory completed the physical facilities in January 2015. In August 2016, it obtained the recognition and authentication certificate for the critical protection equipment installation and commissioning. After the completion of the laboratory, it is expected to carry out the scientific research on the prevention and control of new infectious diseases and biosafety in order to meet the needs of early warning, detection, research and biosecurity prevention system for newborn and strong infectious diseases in China. It is expected to become the prevention & control research and development center for China’s newly born diseases, virus seed storage centers and WHO reference laboratory, which shall play a basic, technical support role in China’s major newborn infectious diseases prevention and control, effectively improving our defense and resilience towards biological wars and terrorist attacks, maintaining the national biosecurity.
The strategic positioning of Wuhan Institute of Virology is to face the national population health, sustainable development of agriculture and national security, look on the international frontier for the research field of virology, focusing on the researches on newly emerging,outburst infectious diseases and biosecurity, major viral infectious diseases etiology and innovative drug for agriculture, environmental microbes and ecological protection, virus bionic and emerging biotechnology, virus identification, system classification and bioinformatics and other aspects, in the construction of high-level biosafety research and technology system, biological nano-devices, green agricultural technology Integration and application and other scientific frontiers, it is to make the original innovation contribution, enhance our emergency responsiveness to new and sudden infectious diseases, built the Wuhan Institute of Virology into a comprehensive virology research institution with international advanced level.
Wuhan Institute of Virology is equipped with a general office, scientific research planning office, organization & personnel department, finance department, graduate student office , with five functional management departments, logistics support center, network information center, public technical service center (including analysis and testing center, experimental animal center, BSL -3 laboratory, isotope room, etc.), Virologica Sinica (English version), Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Virology and other support departments.
In the scientific research layout, there are 37 discipline groups, belonging to the molecular virology research center, analysis of microbiology and nano biology research center, microbial virus seed resources and application center, virus pathology research center, new infectious disease research center which are 5 research centers. It is to build the national high-level biosafety laboratories, China’s virus preservation center, the State Key Laboratory of Virology, the national emergency laboratory for outburst public health event, the national level international cooperation research center and other five national R & D base. It possesses the key laboratory of Chinese Academy of Sciences for newly emerging and fulminating infectious disease pathogen and biosecurity, key Laboratory of agricultural and environmental microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hubei provincial virus and disease engineering technology research center, Hubei provincial small and medium enterprises common technology biopesticide R & D promotion center, Wuhan new infectious disease key laboratories which are five provincial and ministerial level R & D bases. It has initially shaped a characteristic platform with level IV biosafety laboratory as the core, biosafety level III laboratory (BSL / ABSL-3) (Qty.: 2) and biosafety level II laboratory (BSL-2 / ABSL-2) (Qty.: 17) as the cluster, it can carry out more than 10 kinds of class I and class II pathogenic experiment activities, in the research of new infectious disease prevention & control and biological prevention field, it is to provide strong support and important guarantee.