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Tao Qimin: Taking medical study as a lifelong career

DEC . 01 2017
Peking University, Nov. 19, 2017: Professor Tao Qimin, founder of PKU Institute of Liver Diseases who contributed enormously to the study of viral hepatitis in China, died in November 15 at the age of 86.

Tao Qimin was born in Suzhou in October, 1931, and entered the locally renowned Zhenhua Female School thanks to her well-off family.

Tao was then admitted by Shandong Medical College (its predecessor was Bethune Medical College) where the champion of internationalism Bethune was the model for everyone. Under such influence, Tao joined the Communist Party of China.

As an outstanding student
, Tao was assigned to Beijing Peoples Hospital (now known as the People's Hospital of Peking University) after graduating from Shandong Medical College. Two years of clinical experience in hospital made Taos experiment skills and innovation capabilities even more outstanding, which, to some extent, explained why she was selected to set up a biochemical laboratory.

In 1960, Tao started to focus on clinical researches about enzymology and protein. Three years later in 1963, she was nominated as the director of biochemical laboratory and laboratory medicine.

On July 1, 1975, the first generation of Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) in China was successfully developed by Taos team. However, it was impossible to carry out vaccine safety and sensitivity tests at that time. To speed up the process, Tao injected the first vaccine into herself to test whether it could be applied to human beings. This program on HBV was counted as one of ten important scientific achievements after China’s reform and opening.

After that, Tao led her team to do many pioneering works in the field of hepatic research and virus hepatitis. Instead of immersing in the glory of numerous groundbreaking works, she kept up forging ahead and established Peking University Institute of Hepatology and Research Center for Clinical Pharmacological.

After vaccinology had been well-developed in China, she turned to focus on the treatment of liver diseases.

Through 50 years of clinical researches, Tao caught up with the leading-edge ideas with an international vision and kept exploiting new fields in virus hepatitis with a scientific spirit. She was also a kind, calm and professional expert in patients eyes through her 20 years of clinic experience. Motivated by the determination to devote herself to medical science, Tao worked scrupulously to study the hepatic disease and to fulfill duties in her lifelong career.

Written by: Peng Wei

Edited by: Wei Yunqi and Xu Penghang
Source: PKU News (Chinese)