AN got his bachelor, master and doctorate degrees from the Biology Department of Lanzhou University in 1986, 1992 and 1997 respectively. Afterwards, he worked consecutively on his post-doctorate programs in the Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS-CAREERI) (Oct. 1997 through Dec. 1999) and the Bar-Ilan University in Israel (1999 through 2000). He won the Distinguished Young University Teachers Award of Gansu Province and the CAS Wang Kuancheng Post-doctorate Grants in 1998 and was enrolled in the CAS-sponsored “West Light Foundation” Talent Nurturing Initiative in the same year. In recognition of his distinctive performance while working on his post-doctorate program, he was honored in 2002 as an “Excellent CAS Post-doctorate Student” and consequently enrolled in the CAS Hundred Talents Program as well as the MOE Trans-century Training Program Foundation for Talents. In addition to the State Council Special Allowance he was granted in 2005, he was also the winner of the 2006 CAS West Light Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award and the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars Award.
As the President, AN takes full and complete responsibility for all administrative work of the university and is principally in charge of human resources, university development and planning, academic discipline development, commercial assets management, auditing and postgraduate education. He is the chief leader of the Department of Personnel, the Department of Development and Planning, the Office of the Leading Economic and Financial Committee, the Auditing Department, Beijing Advance Innovation Center for Tree Breeding by Molecular Design, the Eco-civilization Research Institute, and the Asset Management Corporation. He also sits concurrently as the Dean of the Graduate School and the Director of the Research Institute for Eco-conservation and Quality-centered Development of the Yellow River Catchment (RIEQDYRC).