Attention paid to TCM as China's Tu Youyou receives 2015 Nobel Prize in Stockholm

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-12-11 8:51:57

China's pharmacologist Tu Youyou received her 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in Stockholm on Thursday, highlighting more attentions are paid to traditional chinese medicine (TCM) researches and its potentials.

Tu, 84, received the Nobel medal, Nobel diploma and a document confirming the Nobel Prize amount from King XVI Gustaf of Sweden at the Stockholm Concert Hall.

Swarms of applause from the standing audience engulfed Tu, the first Chinese scientist to win a Nobel Prize in science for work done in China, and the first Chinese woman to win the prize.

With right methods, and help of "a 1700-year-old book" on TCM, Tu found an active component, artemisinin, effective to cure malaria.

"The discovery of Artemisinin has led to development of a new drug that has saved the lives of millions of people, halving the mortality rate of malaria during the past 15 years," said Professor Hans Forssberg, member of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine.

Together with her team, Tu managed to extract, through trial and error, a substance from Artemisia annua, or sweet wormwood, that proved effective in reducing mortality rates for patients suffering from malaria.

Tu received half of this year's medicine prize of 4 million SEK (about 460,000 US dollars), and the other half are equally shared by William Campbell and Satoshi Omura, who jointly discovered a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites.

The discoveries of this year's medicine laureates "represent a paradigm shift in medicine, which has not only provided revolutionary therapies for patients suffering from devastating parasitic diseases, but also promoted well-being and prosperity for individuals and society," said Forssberg, adding that, the global impact of their discoveries and the resulting benefit to mankind are immeasurable.

"She has done wonderful contribution to the world with her work, she really deserves it! It's a blessing for the Chinese people, as it is for the world!" Mats Wahlgren, professor at Dept. of microbiology, Tumor and cell biology at Karolinska Institutet and member of the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet told Xinhua.

On Monday, during the Nobel Lectures in Physiology or Medicine, Tu made a keynote speech titled "Artemisinin -- a gift from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to the world," recalling the fascinating story she and her research team, despite various challenges, successfully found the malaria cure.

Drawn from valuable research experiences in developing artemisinin, Tu said "Chinese medicine and pharmacology are a great treasure-house," which "should be explored and raised to a higher level."

"Since 'tasting hundred herbs by Shen Nong,' China has accumulated substantial experience in clinical practice, integrated and summarized medical application of most nature resource over the last thousands of years through Chinese medicine," Tu said.

"Adopting, exploring, developing and advancing these practices would allow us to discover more novel medicines beneficial to the world healthcare," Tu stressed.

Posted in: Medicine

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