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Nation's greatest scientist receives top honor

By Zhang Zhihao | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-09 07:52
President Xi Jinping stands between Hou Yunde (left) and Wang Zeshan, who won China's top science award on Monday for their outstanding contributions to scientific and technological innovation, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]


On Monday, Hou was presented with the 2017 State Preeminent Science and Technology Award, China's highest scientific honor, for his varied contributions to virology, medicine and disease control.

He laid the foundation for China's virology research program, has written numerous textbooks and also created the country's first genetically engineered drugs-highly potent medicines that can be mass-produced-thereby saving millions of lives and earning billions of dollars for the national economy.

He also designed China's modern infectious disease control and prevention system, which has successfully combated outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, avian flu and other major diseases in the past decade.

The 88-year-old is still working on the frontline of research as chief designer of the national project to combat HIV and hepatitis.

"Hou is the guardian of China's health," said Jin Qi, head of the Institute of Pathogen Biology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

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