Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 5: Details of the 2016 Virus Program

By 22rOn 

Published June 14, 2021

The purpose of this series is to explain the connections between the Chinese Communist Party’s virology research programs since 2005 and the research institutions involved, including those in Hong Kong. All information is sourced from the Internet. The analysis and conclusions presented here reflect author’s own views only.

Below is an excerpt from the original report Disclosure Report on CCP’s Virus Research Programs and Projects, edited to fit for publishing online.

In this series, we examine the blueprint of the CCP’s virus research program by focusing on the research program titled Research on Cross-Species Infection and Transmission Mechanism of Major Outbreak of Human-Animal Infections with Animal Origin (hereinafter referred to as the 2016 Virus Program).

Building on the content from previous articles in this series, we now provide detailed information of the 2016 Virus Program.

1. Understanding the Program/Project Numbers

Based on the Chinese government document “National Science and Technology Key Special Projects’Budgeting System Instructions” (see the source file in the reference), we explain the program number of the 2016 Virus Program, 2016YFD0500300:

Program number breakdown for the 2016 Virus Program

Meaning of the corresponding parts in the program number are explained below:

1. Project Start Date: 2016

2. Fixed Code (YF is the abbreviation of the Chinese word “Research and Development”)

3. Broad category: according to “The Statistics of the 13th Five-Year Plan’s National Key Special Projects Between 2016 and 2018” (see reference for original document), there are 5 broad categories in total: A, B, C, D, and F. The 2016 Virus Program belongs to category D, which is the category for agricultural science and technology programs.

4. Program category: in numeric order, each number represents a field, “05” represents “the integrated research of technology for the prevention and control of major livestock and poultry diseases and for the efficient and safe farming technology”.

5. Program sequence No.: 003 is the sequence number for 2016 Virus Program.

6. Project No.: these are the numbers for all the projects in the 2016 Virus Program. There are 7 projects in this program, mapping to 7 project numbers, starting from 001 to 007.

7. Sub-project No.: this is the number of each sub-project, which is usually not for external use.

            Based on the above information, we summarize the 2016 Virus Program and its projects and the associated project numbers in the following table:

  Project No.  Content  Task
2016YFD0500301Research of fast examination, origin tracing, and alarming and blocking strategyformajor zooynial disease epidemics  Determination of the distribution of epidemic origin, transmission media, and animal hosts in Xinjiang, South West and South China.

Fast and systematic virus origin tracing and prediction of host specificity
2016YFD0500302MERS, Studies on the animal origin, evolution and transmission of MERS-CoVMERSMERS, Research on MERS genetic evolution and cross-species transmission mechanism with Saudi MERS international collaborationbase, and research on infection risk and co-evolution study on domestic livestock and companion animals in China
2016YFD0500303  Study on the natural epidemiological origin and transmission network of West Nile virus and Chikungunyakon virusStudy of the transmission network of arboviruses
2016YFD0500304  Experimental models of pathogen infection and transmission and studies of adaptive evolution and pathogenicity, hostophiliaEstablishment of a reverse genetics platform and animal infection model for native virus isolates  

The use of simulated cross-species infection and transmission and animal models to study the relationship between important genetic variation in pathogens and pathogenicity and host susceptibility
2016YFD0500305  Structural analysis of important proteins for pathogen-host interactionsHigh-resolution structural analysis of important proteins  

Analysis of purified virus particles and identification of modification changes in viral proteins
2016YFD0500306  Study on the evolutionary development of immunity and immune recognition characteristics of different species of animals against pathogensStudying the development and characteristics of the immune system of important viral hosts to reveal the mechanism of cross-species transmission of viruses
2016YFD0500307  Interactions between important pathogen and host immune system and cross-species transmission mechanisms  Uncovering the role of the interactions between pathogen and host immune system and in cross-species transmission  

Revealing the intracellular mechanism by which viruses infect and spread across species  

Uncovering host factors that enable cross-species infection and transmission by pathogens breaking the host immune barrier
Details of the projects in the 2016 Virus Program

            The reason for providing the meaning of project numbers is that the event description in scientific reports generally follows the same sequence as the logic numbers (1-7). Therefore, the 7 topics should correspond to the above mentioned order. In addition, using the 2016 Virus Program’s project number as the search keyword, we can find a large number of relevant papers, published in Chinese or foreign language(s). If we examine these papers, we can also obtain the information about research topics and their corresponding project numbers.

2. Interpretation of Project Research Strategy    

Based on the content of the above research strategies, a clear correspondence can be seen, which is summarized in Table 3.

3. Division of Work among Different Projects and Researchers

Based on the interpretation of project numbers presented in an earlier subsection, we did a search using the project numbers, and identified a large number of researchers associated with these projects and created a more complete mapping of the relationship among those researchers who are related to the COVID-19 research. In this report, we list the key researchers involved in each project and their affiliations, based on the literature we found (see Appendix I). Given that such a search method may not completely identify all the literature directly related to this project, we further make the following inferences:

3.1 In addition to the 17 institutions, a group of China’s domestic research institutions also participated in this program, including: East China Normal University, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Qingdao University, The 171st Hospital of PLA, Institut Pasteur of Shanghai of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Inner Mongolia Medical University, Guangzhou Medical University, Southern Medical University, Fudan University, Institute of Biophysics of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhejiang University, National Center of Biomedical Analysis, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Of these research units, the ones that need special attention are:

            a. The Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

            b. Institut Pasteur of Shanghai, Chinese Academy of Sciences

            c. Guangzhou Medical University

            d. Southern Medical University (previously known as the First Military Medical University)

            e. Fudan University

            f. The Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

            g. National Center of Biomedical Analysis


We should specifically note the following:

a.  According to official reports from Communist China, JinCun Zhao(赵金存) of Guangzhou Medical University is a Consultant Expert for the 2016 Virus Program and a researcher at the State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease in Guangzhou in China, who also has close ties with Malik Peiris of the University of Hong Kong (see Chapter 3).

b.  Southern Medical University is a medical school with a military background.

c.  According to publicly available research reports in China, Shibo Jiang(姜世勃) of Fudan University has done numerous studies on viruses and immune system.

d. The Institute of Biophysics of Chinese Academy of Sciences is a scientific institution specializing in research on protein structure and function, whose former employee and research group leader Yongfang Zhao(赵永芳) died mysteriously in 2016, possibly linked with COVID-19 research in someway.

Jincun Zhao participated the 2016 Virus Program conference as an invited expert

 

(Texts in the picture translated below:

National Key Research Plan “Research on Cross-Species Infection and Transmission Mechanism of Major Outbreak of Human-Animal Infections with Animal Origin”
2018-2019 Annual Project Progress Conference Is Successfully Held

The 2018-2019 Annual Project Progress Conference of the National Key Research Plan, named “Research on Cross-Species Infection and Transmission Mechanisms of Major Emerging Zooynial Diseases” was successfully held between August 31 and September 1, 2019 in Beijing. The meeting was organized by the China Rural Technology Development Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology, hosted by the Institute of Viral Disease Prevention and Control of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and organized by the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The meeting was held to discuss the research progress of the project “Research on the Mechanism of Cross-Species Infection and Transmission of Major Outbreak Animal-Derived Zooynial Diseases” (No. 2016YFD0500300, Principal Investigator: Wenjie Tan) since its establishment. The meeting was attended by Kangtai Sun, Project Specialist of China Rural Technology Development Center, Ministry of Science and Technology; Huaiyi Yang, Science and Technology Department of Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Jincun Zhao, Professor of State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Diseases, Guangzhou Medical University; Ning Gao, Professor of School of Life Sciences, Peking University; Jiawei Wang, Professor of School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University as invited experts; project and sub-project leaders, project subject secretaries, financial assistants and leaders of research projects and child projects from 17 institutions undertaking this research came to the meeting. The meeting was attended by more than 50 participants, including project and sub-project leaders, project assistants, financial assistants and key members – 50 participants in total.

End of translated text)

Jincun Zhao’s National Science Foundation research project in 2017

(Text in the picture translated below:

Search Result:

Project Title: Study on the protective mechanism of novel human-derived emergency treatment monoclonal antibody for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

Principal Researcher: Jincun Zhao

Host Institution: Guangzhou Medical University

Direct Cost: 560,000 Yuan

Funded Year: 2017

End of translated text)

Jincun ZHAO’s National Natural Science Foundation research projects in 2018

(Text in the picture translated below:

Search Result:

1.

Project Title: Exploring cross-immune protection between different human coronaviruses

Principal Researcher: Jincun Zhao

Host Institution: Guangzhou Medical University

Direct Cost: 1,000,000 Yuan

Funded Year: 2018

2.

Project Title: Study of alveolar-resident influenza virus-specific CD4 T cell sources, homeostatic maintenance and protective mechanisms

Principal Researcher: Jincun Zhao

Host Institution: Guangzhou Medical University

Direct Cost: 600,000 Yuan

Funded Year: 2018

End of translated text)

           

3.2 The principal researcher of projects 2016YFD0500300 and 2016YFD0500301 is possibly Wenjie Tan. The principal researcher of project 2016YFD0500302 is possibly Yi Guan. The principal researcher of project 2016YFD0500303 is possibly Chengfeng Qin. Also, projects 2016YFD0500304, 2016YFD0500306, and 2016YFD0500307 have the most extensive interactions with international universities and research institutions, so they were probably the most important projects of the 2016 Virus Program.

3.3 Guan Yi, one of the main participants of project 2016YFD0500302, is the link between Shantou University and the University of Hong Kong. Considering the official news report from the CCP about Shantou University being the target of the mid-term inspection of the 2016 Virus Program, emphasizing on its research direction of “co-occurrence, cross-species-mechanism“, and also considering the aforementioned importance of the mid-term inspection of the CCP’s National Key Research and Development Program, we can conclude that the Joint Institute of Virology (P3 Lab) of Shantou University and University of Hong Kong, endowed by Shantou University and Shantou University Li Ka Shing Foundation, is a key research institute of the 2016 Virus Program.

Mid-term inspection report of the Virus Institute 2016 Virus Program

(Texts in the picture translated below:

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR VIRAL DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, CHINA CDC

Mid-term inspection meetingof the National Key Research and Development Program of China “ Research on Cross-Species Infection and Transmission Mechanism of Major Outbreak of Human-Animal Infections with Animal Origin” was successfully held

Release time:2018-10-30

   From October 12 to 14, 2018, the China Rural Technology Development Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology organized experts at Shantou University to conduct a mid-term inspection and on-site spot check on the National Key Research and Development Program “Research on Cross-species Infection and Transmission Mechanism of Major Outbreak of Human-Veterinary Diseases of Animal Origin” (2016YFD0500300), led by the Institute of Viral Disease Prevention and Control of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

  The meeting was organized by the China Rural Technology Development Center of MOST and hosted by Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Institute of Viral Disease Prevention and Control and Shantou University. Program Commissioner Sun Kangtai and Program Commissioner Cai Yanan from China Rural Technology Development Center of MOST attended the meeting. Academician Jin Ningyi from Military Medical Research Institute, Professor Zhou Jiyong from Zhejiang University, Professor Lu Jiahai from Sun Yat-sen University and Senior Accountant Ma Baohuan from China Veterinary Drug Surveillance Institute came to observe the meeting as members of the expert group. Researcher Tan Wenjie, the program leader, and the program leaders from 17 undertaking units, the Program Subject Secretary, and the Financial Assistant, altogether over 40 people attended the meeting.

  At the opening ceremony, Program Commissioner Cai Yanan presided over the meeting. Prof. Ulanhas, Vice President of Shantou University, delivered a speech, expressing his warm welcome and heartfelt thanks to the experts and leaders for attending the meeting, and introduced the basic situation and characteristics of Shantou University. Commissioner Sun Kangtai from China Rural Technology Development Center of MOST delivered a speech, going through and interpreting the spirit of various documents, policy guidance and management policies since the launch of the National Key R&D Program; emphasizing that the mid-term inspection is an extremely important part of the project management process and plays an important role in the smooth implementation of the program and its projects, hoping that the inspection expert group, with a highly responsible attitude toward the problems and goals, and that the inspection team, with a high sense of responsibility, will look for problems in program implementation and risks in achieving goals, and put forward specific requirements for the program team to do a good job in follow-up work.

  During program reporting, Academician Jin NingYi presided over the meeting. The program leader, researcher Tan Wenjie, and the leaders of the seven projects reported on the project implementation from the aspects of overall progress, task completion and representative results, funding and personnel input, and organization and implementation, respectively. After the report, the experts of the inspection team commented on the overall progress of the projects and the existing problems. The expert team members gave positive comments on the overall progress, and made many constructive comments on the way of results assessment index, project results analysis, and the use of funds. In particular, they emphasized the need to focus on the project objectives, focusing on the key component of “Co-occurrence, cross-species mechanism“, and making breakthroughs in the key issues with commonalities. At the same time, it is necessary to further strengthen the project coordination, consolidate the project results, standardize the financial system management, and improve the efficiency in using the allocated funds.

  During on-site inspection, Prof. Guan Yi, Prof. Zhu Huachen and Ms. Wang Jia of Shantou University led the expert group to visit the “Joint Institute of Virology of Shantou University and University of Hong Kong“, focusing on the working conditions of the biosafety laboratory for infectious disease research. The Institute is a new joint laboratory for international cooperation approved by the Ministry of Education in 2016 and donated by Li Ka-shing Foundation. The construction of the new research building is basically completed, with a total area of 12,000 square meters and a building area of more than 8,000 square meters, which not only can carry out multi-disciplinary research in virology, cytology, pathology and immunology, but is also equipped with more than 1000 square meters of Biosafety level II and III laboratories for conducting research on highly pathogenic pathogens, which is of great significance for enhancing the prevention and control capability of emerging infectious diseases.

  During expert evaluation and summary, the experts of the inspection team formed a comprehensive opinion on the mid-term inspection of the project by combining on-site inspection, program reports and Q&A session. The expert group considered that the program had completed the mid-term tasks specified in the mission statement and the use of program funds was basically reasonable. Project Commissioner Sun Kangtai made concluding remarks. He praised the work of the program team since the launch of the program, and also put forward further requirements in terms of focusing on the project objectives, overall coordination of project management, and delivering milestone results.

  After the mid-term inspection, the program team held an internal discussion on the project site, and had an in-depth communication and discussion on the opinions and suggestions from the expert group during the mid-term inspection, as well as the problems in the current implementation of the project, and the entry point for further joint research. The team also planned the next research focus and direction of the projects. The program team members confirm that they would listen to the experts’ opinions carefully, do a good job in the next phase, and complete the program tasks and achieve the program goals with high quality.

The mid-term inspection meeting took the form of meeting report, on-site inspection and face-to-face interactions. The meeting discussed the progress made so far, focusing on the key research directions. It furthers the team consensus, and lays a solid foundation for assuring the smooth implementation of the project.

By Huang Baoying and Yan Weizheng, Emergency Technology Center

End of translated text)

Another piece of supporting information corroborating that the virus research is conducted at the institution is a blog from a web user claiming to be a student of Guan Yi, which has detailed the web user’s work during his post-graudate studies, including recombinant virus breeding/testing etc., while also noting that the CDC provided him with a relatively complete and representative virus strains. This suggests that the biosafety level III lab at Shantou University, with the assistance of the Guangzhou lab (Guangzhou Medical University) and the Shenzhen lab, funded by the U.S., China Mainland, and Hong Kong, may have conducted similar experiments.

A record of virus research conducted in Shantou University, possibly written by a student of Guan Yi, Shantou University

(Texts in the picture translated below:


To the lost years and my postgraduate career,

4195 reads 2017-6-7 00:45 |Category:Personal | Tags: Graduate,  Acknowledgement, Graduation

       I have been studying hard for several years! Now that I’ve graduated, I’m happy, but I’m also sad and reluctant to leave. Though not highly talented, I still want to remember my passing years and postgraduate career with an acknowledgement in my graduation thesis. Once again, I would like to thank all the teachers, colleagues and students for their help and support.

Acknowledgements

In the autumn, I came to Fujian province, and started my study at Shantou University; the road for a student like me was long and difficult, and I had to travel through thick and thin.

 Learning technology, fighting influenza, fighting on the front line; the epidemic arrived, from master’s degree to doctoral degree, many years have passed.

Even drawing a tiger is easier than writing this text, all of these is engraved in my heart; I listen to the teaching and when I put pen to paper again, all the pain is over.

For over ten years, a wanderer’s heart is looking forward to returning home; the night is late, someone is still awake, and working to achieve his dreams.

Time flies. Six years ago, a unknown phone call started my journey to graduate school. Although there is nothing out of ordinary in these six years, I’m still filled with emotions at this moment. When I look back on the past, I can see all the things I did during my postgraduate studies. For me, there are both laughter and sadness. During this period, I have gained a lot, but regrets are also inevitable. Thankfully, no matter what, I have spent the most difficult and unforgettable time in my life. Despite my lack of talent, in this day of gratitude, I still want to use simple words to express my sincere gratitude to all who have accompanied and helped me!

It is easy to find a scripture tutor, but hard to find a human mentor. I am very lucky to be able to study at the Influenza Center. My mentor, Professor Guan Yi, is very knowledgeable, active, and thoughtful. The topics chosen by Professor Guan are not only at the cutting edge of the field, but also extremely relevant today. Professor Guan’s grand vision on the research topic has saved me from making many detours. My supervisor, Prof. Huachen Zhu, gave me comprehensive guidance and assistance in designing, conducting and writing my thesis, which helped me to receive systematic scientific training and laid a solid foundation for the smooth development of the project and the writing of my thesis. When I first joined the lab, I was not confident enough and I was hesitant. Ms. Wang Jia let me receive training in her project group and often gave me guidance and encouragement, so that I could regain my confidence while learning skills. Ms. Wang also gave me great care, help and support during my daily life as well as project work. Over the past six years, the guidance and the care from the mentor team in both academics studies and in my daily life have been the important assurance for me to be able to complete my studies successfully. The teachers’ kindness is as deep as the ocean. Thank you for all the guidance, encouragement and support you have given to your student!

As the saying goes, “Before the soldiers and horses make a first move, we should get the food and grass ready”. The timely procurement and efficient management of experimental reagents and other consumables by Xiaoping Liu and Xiaoling Zheng have relieved the worries for the smooth implementation of the project. Meanwhile, Liu Xiaoping, Huang Biluan and Zheng Rutian and the animal groups under their leadership provided qualified and sufficient experimental animal models for the project.

The saying also goes: ‘A tall tree is not shady, and a single tree is not a forest’. During the postgraduate period, the successful development of each topic is not the work of one person. In this process, all colleagues and fellow students are indispensable! Wenshan Hong, the head of the laboratory, has provided a strong guarantee for the smooth running of the experiments through reasonable manpower arrangement and resource allocation. Zheng Rutian, the deputy head of the laboratory, Chen Ruidong, Yan Zhigang, Chen Wenjia, Hong Jiyan, Liu Qiwei, Chen Rirong, a master’s student, and Zheng Zuoyi, a doctoral student, are all technically competent and helpful in all aspects of the project. Before each animal experiment, Zheng Rutian, Chen Ruidong, Zhao Kun and Jiawen Guo actively participated in the animal room setup and paved the way for the project! In addition, Kun Zhao and Jiawen Guo provided us with considerate logistic services! Dan’er Wei, Min Xiao, Zepeng Huang and Sixia Huang provided full cellular support for the subject! Liwei Liu, Wenjia Chen, Jiyan Hong, Qiwei Liu, Yanxiang Ji and Yuhu Huang contributed greatly to the virus titration and serological testing by dividing their work! Dr. Wenfei Zhu from NCDC also participated in the later animal experiments, rescue of recombinant virus and growth kinetic assay, making important contributions to the subject! Although senior electrician Jianmin Huang was not directly involved in the project, his careful maintenance of the biosafety level 3 laboratory provided reliable biosafety protection for our laboratory staff!

In addition, the outstanding contributions of all the staffs in the Laboratory of Avian Influenza of the Influenza Center, the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases of the University of Hong Kong and its Shenzhen branch laboratory in influenza virus surveillance have provided the subject group with a rich source of viruses. Their outstanding contributions in the field of H7 subtype influenza virus surveillance and evolution have provided us with a reliable scientific basis for our virus selection work! Meanwhile, sister units such as the National Influenza Center and some local CDCs also gave strong support to this study, and the representative virus strains they provided made our experimental results more reasonable and comprehensive!

I would like to pay my respects to all the teachers, colleagues and students who have been helping and supporting the students, Shantou University School of Medicine and all the collaborators who have provided great support to this study! We are grateful to the Li Ka Shing Foundation, the University Grants Committee Fund (UGC) and the Research Grants Council (RGC 17127714, 17118515), the HKSAR Government Health Care Research Fund (HMRF RRG-10, RRG-14), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Guangdong High-level University Key Discipline Construction Project and the Key Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2016YFD0500302), among other programs. Meanwhile, many thanks to the professors and researchers who participated in the blind review of this degree thesis and the upcoming thesis defense committee! Here, I would like to sincerely say a big thank you to you all!

Finally, I would like to thank my family for their understanding and support! For many years, I have been away from home, and you have endured the pain of missing each other, but still silently supported me! I am very grateful for this, and I feel very guilty. Your understanding and support are the inexhaustible motivation for my life and work!

Mother’s Day 2017 ● Shantou Medical

Link: http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1121879-1059421.html

Likes: 5, Liked by: Wang Congyan, Zhou Jian, Yang Xiaojun, Zhang Pengju, xlsd

Comments:

By doctor5, 2017-6-7 12:10

Influenza Center? What kind of institution is this?

Li Long (author) Reply : The abbreviation of our lab. The original full name is Shantou University-University of Hong Kong Joint Influenza Center, and the current full name is Joint Institute of Virology of Shantou University-University and Hong Kong.

Date: 2017-6-7 13:511

End of translated text)

3.4 The Wuhan Institute of Virology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is the top research institution in the Communist China for virus research (especially BSL-4 level and ABSL-4 level experiments), is not publicly listed as participant of the 2016YFD0500300 program. However, its employees were involved in two important topics, 2016YFD0500300 and 2016YFD0500304. For example, a researcher at the Institute of Pathogen Biology of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Zhendong Zhao, a senior expert in virology in the CCP, who died of heart disease in September 2020, published the following research paper in April 2019:

Project numberPaper TitlePublish date (date accurate to month)Author NameOther funding items involvedRemarks
2016YFD0500300A Novel DT40 Antibody Library for the Generation of Monoclonal AntibodiesJune 2019Bei Wang, Fei Wang, He Huang*, Zhendong Zhao*Special Area of National Defense Science and Technology Project 17-163-12-ZT-005-013-01, Innovation Fund of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences 2016-12M-1-013, 2016-12M-1-014, 2016-12M-3-020, National University Fund for Fundamental Research 2018PT31032Directly related to military research projects, copyright by Wuhan Institute of Virology
A national defense related projects at Wuhan Institute of Virology

Investigation shows that the author’s workplace is not the Wuhan Institute of Virology, however, the intellectual property rights belong to this institution, so it can be assumed that the research was done at the Wuhan Institute of Virus Research; and the source of funding for his research includes a fund called “Special Area of National Defense Science and Technology Project,” indicating that the project involves the Chinese Communist Party’s military research projects – national defense research. The special field refers to the field of microbiology, indicating that the research serves for national defense — biosafety. Based on the above, we can infer that the Wuhan Institute of Virology may have participated in a portion of the CCP military’s research in the area of national defense, or even military-grade biological weapons research.

3.5 A survey of funding on papers published on seven topics from the 2016 Virus Program shows (see Annex II published in later parts of this series) that many projects were not only supported by dedicated funding from the 2016 Virus Program, but also involved other research and development projects from the CCP:

3.5.1 Guodong Liang’s team at the CDC Institute of Viral Diseases conducted the study in October 2017 in collaboration with Xiaoqing Lu at Ludong University. Song Song, Yuanyuan Li, Shihong Fu, and Wenwen Lei are both first authors of a research paper listed below, and are both graduate students from universities in China, under the supervision of Guodong Liang/Xiaoqing Lu, which means that the institute under the CDC is a health institution, a research unit, and an educational unit for talent cultivation, and also recruits faculty and students from other universities in the form of joint training. All other project studies were conducted with a similar staff organization.

Project numberPaper TitlePublish Date (date accurate to month)Author NameOther funding involvedRemarks
2016YFD0500300Genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of Banna virus(genus Seadornavirus, family Reoviridae) isolated from CulicoidesOctober 2017Song Song, Yuanyuan Li, Shihong Fu, Wenwen Lei, Xiaofang Guo, Yun Feng,
Xiaoyan Gao, Xiaolong Li, Zhonghua Yang, Ziqian Xu, Ying He, Huanyu Wang,
Hongning Zhou, Bin Wang, Xiaoqing Lu* &Guodong Liang*
National Key R&D Program 2016YFC1201904, National Natural Science Foundation of China 81290342,81501757(Special Science Foundation), State Key Laboratory of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control 2014
SKLID103,2015SKLID505
Excerpts from the 2016 Virus Program research results, table A

3.5.2 Wenjie Tan’s team at the Institute of Viral Diseases of the Chinese CDC, inn November 2016, conducted joint research with a number of the projects leaders of the program, including some overseas companies and units

Project numberPaper TitlePublish Date (date accurate to month)Author NameOther funding involvedRemarks
2016YFD0500301Protective T Cell Responses Featured by Concordant Recognition of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus–Derived CD8+ T Cell Epitopes and Host MHCNovember 2016Jun Liu, Jiaming Lan, Kefang Liu, Yao Deng, Yanfeng Yao, Shaolian Wu, Hong Chen, Linlin Bao, Haifeng Zhang, Min Zhao, Qihui Wang, Lingxia Han, Yan Chai, Jianxun Qi, Jincun Zhao, Songdong Meng, Chuan Qin, Fu Gao, Wenjie Tan“973” Program 2015CB910500, National Science and Technology Major Project for Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Special Program 2016ZX10004222-003, 2014ZX10004001-002, 2014ZX10004001-006, 2012ZX10004501-004, National Natural Science Foundation of China 81373141, 81401312, 81461168030, Guangzhou Medical and Health Care Joint Innovation Major Project
201604020011
Jianfang Zhou, CDC, Stanley Perlman, University of Iowa, USA, L. Haagmans, Ron A.M. Fouchier, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, also contributed to this study; Other related papers also brings together multiple teams
Excerpts from the 2016 Virus Program research results, table B

3.5.3 Chengfeng Qin(秦成峰)’s team at the Institute of Microbial Epidemiology of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Medical Sciences conducted the study in September 2017 with funding from the 973 Program, the Key New Drug Creation Program, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the National Institutes of Health (US). Chengfeng Qin has led and participated in a very large number of projects and is probably one of the central figures in the CCP 2016 virus project.

Project numberPaper TitlePublish Date (date accurate to month)Author NameOther funding involvedRemarks
2016YFD0500304Chloroquine, a FDA-approved Drug, Prevents Zika Virus Infection and its Associated Congenital Microcephaly in MiceSeptember 2017Chunfeng Li, Xingliang Zhu, Xue Ji, Natalie Quanquin, Yongqiang Deng, Min Tian,
RoghiyhAliyari, XiangyangZuo, Ling Yuan, Shabbir Khan Afridi, Xiaofeng Li, Jae U. Jung,
Karin Nielsen-Saines, Xiaofeng Qin⁎, Chengfeng Qin⁎, Zhiheng Xu⁎, Genhong Cheng⁎
“973” Program 2014CB942801, 2012YQ03026006, Key New Drug Creation Project 2015ZX09102023, State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosafety SKLPBS1601, National Natural Science Foundation of China 31670883, 1500145, 31430037, 91542201, 81590765, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Project 2016-12M-1-005, National Institutes of Health R01 AI069120, AI056154, AI078389 502, Central University Youth Fund 332016125) , Shanghai Brain Smart Program 16JC1420500, Beijing Human Brain Program Z161100002616004Chengfeng Qin – Newton Senior Scholar, British Academy of Medical Sciences NAF003\1003, NSF Innovative Research Group 81621005, NSF Outstanding Young Scientist 81661130162
Excerpts from the 2016 Virus Program research results, table C

3.5.4 Aihua Zheng’s team at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, conducted the study in December 2016, which is a research project implemented entirely by members of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Project numberPaper TitlePublish Date (date accurate to month)Author NameOther funding involvedRemarks
2016YFD0500300Entry of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virusDecember 2016Fei Yuan, Aihua Zheng*National Natural Science Foundation of China L1524009, Chinese Academy of Sciences Strategic Pioneer Science and Technology Special Project XDB11030800Wuhan Institute of Virology conducted the study
Excerpts from the 2016 Virus Program research results, table D

3.5.5 Yusen Zhou’s team at the Institute of Microbial Epidemiology, Chinese People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Medical Sciences, conducted a study in August 2018, involving many of the key players in the COVID-19 research. The study was also the one that’s most heavily funded by the NIH, and the one that involves the most people from the CCP military

Project numberPaper TitlePublish Date (date accurate to month)Author NameOther funding involvedRemarks
2016YFD0500306A Novel Nanobody Targeting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Receptor-Binding Domain Has Potent Cross-Neutralizing Activity and Protective Efficacy against MERS-CoVAugust 2018Guangyu Zhao, Lei He, Shihui Sun, Hongjie Qiu, Wanbo Tai, Jiawei Chen, Jiangfan Li, Yuehong Chen, Yan Guo, Yufei Wang, Jian Shang, Kaiyuan Ji, Ruiwen Fan, Enqi Du, ShiboJiang ,Fang Li , Lanying Du, Yusen ZhouNational Natural Science Foundation of China 81571983, China Science, Technology and Innovation Funding Project 3407049, National Key Laboratory for Pathogens and Biosecurity SKLPBS1704, National Institutes of Health Funded R01AI137472,R21AI109094, R21AI128311, R01AI089728, R01AI110700, R01AI139092
Excerpts from the 2016 Virus Project research results, table E

3.5.6 Yusen Zhou’s team at the Institute of Microbial Epidemiology, Chinese People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Medical Sciences, conducted a study in April 2018, notably with the direct investment from two other CCP military logistics research programs

Project numberPaper TitlePublish Date (date accurate to month)Author NameOther funding involvedRemarks
2016YFD0500307Blockade of the C5a–C5aR axis alleviates lung damage in hDPP4-transgenic mice infected with MERS-CoVApril 2018Yuting Jiang, Guangyu Zhao, NianpingSong ,Pei Li, Yuehong Chen, Yan Guo,Junfeng Li, LanyingDu, Shibo Jiang, Renfeng Guo, Shihui Sun*, Yusen Zhou*National Key R&D Program 2016YFC1202903, National Major Project on Science and Technology for Infectious Disease Control 2017ZX10304402-003, National Natural Science Foundation of China 81571983, Army Logistics Research Project BWS14J058, 16CXZ039Directly involved in military research projects
Excerpts from the 2016 Virus Program research results, table F

3.5.7 Shan Cen’s team at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, conducted a study in July 2018, which not only involved Wenjie Tan and Shibo Jiang, but the Bill & Melinda Foundation also invested in the study. According to an announcement by the International Cooperation Division of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Bill & Melinda Foundation’s investment in this research is not documented.

Project numberPaper TitlePublish Date (date accurate to month)Author NameOther funding involvedRemarks
2016YFD0500307Structural Definition of a Unique Neutralization Epitope on the Receptor-Binding Domain of MERSCoV Spike GlycoproteinJuly 2018Senyan Zhang, Panpan Zhou, Pengfei Wang, Yangyang Li, Liwei Jiang, Wenxu Jia, Han Wang, Angela Fan, Dongli Wang, Xuanling Shi, Xianyang Fang, Michal Hammel, Shuying Wang, Xiaoyu Li, Shan CenNational Key R&D Program 2016YFC1200902, National Natural Science Foundation of China 31470751, U1405228, 81530065, 81471929, Bill & Melinda Foundation Grand Challenge Fund Program 81661128042, USAWenjie Tan of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Tianlei Ying and Shibo Jiang of Fudan University also contributed to this study; the Bill & Melinda Foundation of the United States sponsored the study
Excerpts from the 2016 Virus Program research results, table G

In summary, the personnel and funding background of the CCP’s 2016 Virus Program is large and complex. The program is mainly implemented by the 17 units listed in Table 2, with the cooperation of other universities outside the list in the form of joint training. On the funding side, the central government of the CCP takes the lead with the 13th Five-Year Plan project special funds, along with the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Other funding came from the CCP’s military project funds, local government funds and funds from overseas institutions/enterprises in the form of investments. This is a covert, organized and well-planned virology research using both funds and personnel in a piecemeal manner.

Translation: 謐雪兒郭, 许先生, Ranting, 夏星湖

Proofread: DT团队 & 文永

Cover photo: 诺亚方舟

Other articles in this series:

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Preamble

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 1: the 973 Program

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 2: the Disease Control and Prevention Special Program

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 3: the Five-Year Plan

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 4: the 2016 Virus Program

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 6: the Hong Kong Connection

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 7: Other Related Projects

Deciphering CCP’s Virus Research Programs – Part 8: Conclusions and Supporting Materials

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