Tu You You.

Remember her name. You know how, once in a while, you read a story  and you go, “Wow!”. Tu You You, a 84 year old female scientist from China, will be that story for this week.

Tu You You saved millions of lives, she found a treatment for malaria.. She also holds the honour of being the first China citizen to be awarded a Nobel Prize in the sciences.

But get this – Tu You You did not go for postgraduate degree, has no medical training and… did not go for overseas training.

“Tu is regarded as “Professor of Three Noes” – no postgraduate degree (there was no postgraduate education then in China), no study or research experience abroad, and not a member of any Chinese national academies, i.e. Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering. ”

Are you mindblown? 

Mao Zedong started a secret drug project, Project 523, named after the staring date of the project – 23 May 1967. Tu You You was asked to find a cure for malaria, a major cause of death for the soldiers. After studying 2,000 ancient herbs, Tu finally made a career breakthrough. She discovered Artemisinin – a cure for malaria, improving the health of health of citizens of the developing countries in South Asia, Africa, and South America.

“Artemisinin is a gift for the world’s people from traditional Chinese medicine,”

Sadly, Tu You You has been turned down for membership in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as she lacks foreign training and a formal doctoral degree. What a shame!

If we define knowledge and success on traditional yardsticks, we will never discover the true potential of a person. While we are strong advocates for education, grit, passion and focus on excelling at what you love is extremely important.

So, if you are lacking behind today, or need motivation to get through the week,…Hail our new #girlcrush!

Tu You You Wins Noble Prize For Cure for Malaria

Photo: Xinhua via AP & Xinhua/Wang Chengyun

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).


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