The Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS) was founded on December 3, 1958. It is a national comprehensive research institution that performs a wide spectrum of basic and applied research in the field of microbiology. IMCAS is committed to three missions: basic and applied research targeting national strategic needs and world-class frontier sciences, thinking tank for the government, and graduate student training.

Based on the long term goals of the CAS's Knowledge Innovation Project, which the IMCAS jointed in 2001, it has established five key laboratories or departments, namely State Key Laboratory of Microbial Resources, CAS Key Laboratory of Systematic Mycology and Lichenology, Department of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, Department of Agricultural Microbiology & Biotechnology, and Department of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology.

The institute harbors supporting centers/platforms to serve scientific researches, i.e. the culture collection center, the microbial analytical center, the center for technology and information, and the high-throughput screening platform. The culture collection center harbors the largest fungal herbarium in Asia with over 400,000 specimens, and the biggest culture collection in China, with 17,000 isolates of microorganisms. This center is entitled one of international preservative bases by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) according to the Budapest Treaty.

IMCAS hosts 310 faculty and staff, including 5 CAS academicians and 240 research personnel. The institute offers a broad range of academic programs that lead to postgraduate degrees. Currently, there are 314 graduate students enrolled in various programs toward doctoral (198) and master's degrees (116).

Three national academic societies, Chinese Society of Microbiology, the Mycological Society of China, and Chinese Society of Biotechnology, are affiliated to the institute. IMCAS is also the seat of editorial offices for four journals, Acta Microbiologica Sinica, Chinese Journal of Biotechnology, Microbiology, and Mycosystema. The Institute has a specialized library with a collection of more than 60,000 books.

As the national leading research institution in the field of microbiology, the IMCAS is committed to the advancement of science and technology. During the past 40 years since its establishment, the IMCAS has been honored for more than 170 national and ministry-acknowledged scientific awards, among them, 29 awards were from the national government. More than 3,000 scientific papers and 100 monographs were published, of which over one third were published on Science Citation Index journals, including "Science", "Cell", etc.

The institute is committed to serving national and international needs. This commitment is reflected in research and practical activities located off campus in communities throughout China. It is realized also through worldwide research cooperation, training ex-changes, and student exchange programs. The IMCAS has established a network of international collaborations that involves scientists from the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Russia, United Kingdom, France and other European countries. The international orientation of the institute is an indispensable precondition for its scientific excellence and competitiveness.