Tu You-you, First Chinese to Receive Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine

Tu You-you, First Chinese to Receive Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine

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Tu has no doctoral degree, international experience or title as an academician at the China Academy. Even the Chinese official media, including Xinhua and CCTV, have raised the question why hasn't the Chinese academic field given Tu You-you recognition for 44 years?

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The winners of 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine were announced on October 5. Three people jointly won the prize; China’s Tu You-you received half the prize and Ireland’s William C. Campbell and Japan’s Satoshi Omura each got one fourth.

84-year-old Tu won the Lasker Award, a prestigious US medical research award, in 2011. While celebrating Tu’s success, a number of Chinese scholars also feel sorry that Tu didn’t get the recognition she’s deserves in China.

CNA reports, Tu is the chief researcher at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and the director of the Artemisinin Research and Development Center. She discovered antimalarial artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin, and won the 2011 Lasker Award for her findings.

Tu has repeatedly been nominated, but failed to become an academician at the China Academy. After she won major prizes, it aroused discussion in the Chinese society regarding its academic evaluation system.

UDN reports, ironically Tu You-you has no doctoral degree, international experience or title as an academician at the China Academy. Even the Chinese official media, including Xinhua and CCTV, have raised the question why hasn’t the Chinese academic field given Tu You-you recognition for 44 years?

BBC Chinese Network reports, Tu is the thirteenth woman to have received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, and is the first Chinese to receive this award. An Indian reporter questions whether Tu’s winning means that the western medical field’s take on the ancient alternate medical system has changed.

Member of the Assembly and Professor of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute Hans Forssberg says that there are many ways to find ideas to develop drugs, and it cannot be neglected that people use different plants to inspire them to develop new treatments. However, he also clearly points out that he doesn’t think people should directly use herbal medicine.

Professor Forssberg also stresses that this is not a prize awarded to traditional Chinese medicine, but to a person who was inspired by the traditional medicine and developed a new drug that can be distributed all over the world.

Translated by Vic Chiang
Edited by Olivia Yang

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