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A native of Jiangsu Province, Professor Xu Zhihong received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Department of Biology, Peking University in 1965, and pursued graduate studies at the Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology (SIPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). After graduation in 1969, Professor Xu began his career as a research fellow at SIPP. From 1979 to 1981, he worked as visiting scientist in John Innes Institute and the University of Nottingham, UK. After back to SIPP, he became deputy director in 1983 and director in 1991. From 1988 to 1996, he also chaired the National Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, SIPP. In 1992, he was named the Vice-President of CAS. In 1999, he took the office of the President of Peking University and finished his tenure in 2008. At present, Professor Xu is professor at the College of Life Sciences at Peking University and at SIPP. Professor Xu is an academician of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and of the CAS. Professor Xu was elected as President of International Association of Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology(2002-2006). Now he is Chairman of the Chinese National Committee of Man and of Biosphere, UNESCO, and Chairman of the Chinese Society of Plant Biology Professor Xu’s research interests include plant development, plant cell culture and genetic manipulation, and plant biotechnology. He has published over 200 papers, reviews, and reports in these fields. Professor Xu Zhihong was named the “National Outstanding Young and Middle-Aged Specialist” in 1988. He was awarded the “First Prize of the Natural Science of CAS Award” in 1990 and the “Third Prize of National Natural Science Award” in the following year. Professor Xu was conferred the Honorary Professor by Hong Kong University in 1994. He was also awarded the position of Honorary Doctor of Science by De Montfort University (1994), Nottingham University (2000) and University of East Anglia(2008) in the U.K., Hong Kong City University (2001), Waseda University in Japan (2002), McGill University in Canada (2003) and La Trobe University in Australia (2007)., the Honorary Doctor of Law by Melbourne University in Australia (2003) and Honorary Doctor by University of Montreal (2004) in Canada, University of Edinburgh(2008) in the U.K. and University College Dublin in Ireland (2008).
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