Friday, November 6, 2015
An obscure Chinese woman researcher finds a cure for Malaria from an obscure herb,
sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua) – or in Chinese qinghao – being used to treat malaria.
Amid all the madness Tu Youyou, then a researcher at the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing, was handed a daunting mission: to find a drug that would cure malaria.
“The work was the top priority so I was certainly willing to sacrifice my personal life,” the famously understated scientist later recalled.
On Monday, nearly half a century after her life-changing quest began, Tu was awarded the Nobel prize in medicine for her role in creating a drug that helped slash malaria mortality rates in Africa and Asia, saving millions of lives.
Yet for all her achievements, Tu, who is now 84, remains a little known figure, even in her native China where she had drifted into obscurity despite the magnitude of her discovery.