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Tu Youyou
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Scientist
    (December 30, 1930- )
    Born in Ningbo, China
    Pharmaceutical chemist
    Discovered artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin, used to treat malaria
    Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Recipient (2015)
    Shared the award jointly with William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura
    Chief Scientist at the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Dongzhimen (2001 - )
    Her name is frequently the butt of jokes (e.g. try singing Happy Birthday to her!)
    She was ordered to research malaria by Mao ZeDong.
    She is famously reclusive - to the point where, in 2011, she was described as 'almost completely forgotten by people [in China].'
    Her Nobel Prize win for artemisinin was accompanied by scrutiny from other scientists who claimed that they were the real inventors of the extraction process (neither she nor the other scientists ever filed a Patent, and so the truth remains inconclusive).
    She received the Lasker Award for her work in clinical medicine (2011).
    Her discovery was a breakthrough in twentieth-century medicine, saving millions of lives in China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America.
    She is the first Chinese Nobel laureate in the medicinal field.
    She is the first female citizen of the People's Republic of China to receive a Nobel Prize in any category.
    She consulted ancient Chinese texts and manuals, one dated over a thousand years, before determining the correct compound to isolate to treat malaria.
    She acted as the first human volunteer to make sure artemisinin was safe, testing it on herself first.
    She didn't go to med school, doesn't have a PhD, and had no overseas medical training - making her feat all the more impressive.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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