Tu Youyou



  Tu Youyou is a Chinese medical scientist, pharmaceutical chemist, and educator. She was awarded the 2011 Lasker Award in Clinical Medicine for discovering artemisinin (also known as Qinghaosu) and dihydroartemisinin, used to treat malaria, which saved millions of lives.

  Tu, born in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province in 1930, is a pharmacologist at China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing. When she was still a high school student, she became interested in both traditional and modern medicine.

  After studying at the School of Medicine of Peking University, Tu worked at the Academy of Chinese Medicine, now the China Academy of Chinese Medical Research in Beijing, in 1955.

  In early 1969, Tu was appointed head of a government project that aimed at eradicating malaria, and it was then she began applying modern techniques with Chinese traditional medicine to find a drug therapy for malaria.

  After detecting 380 extracts made from 2,000 candidate recipes, Tu and her team obtained a pure substance called Qinghaosu, later known as artemisinin.

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