WU LIEN-TEH The Father of Modern Medicine in China

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Virtually unknown to most Malaysians, Penangite Dr Wu Lien-Teh was a highly respected epidemiologist and plague fighter in the international medical fraternity. His life story and his heroic feats remain the stuff of legend.

Born in Penang in 1879 to a family of immigrants from Taishan, China, Dr Wu Lien-Teh received his primary and secondary education at Penang Free School. At 17, he was admitted to the Emmanuel College, Cambridge under the prestigious Queen's Scholarship, where he completed his medical degree two years ahead of requirement, and virtually won all possible prizes and scholarships in a class of 135 students.

With a Research Studentship granted by Emmanuel College, he pursued a postgraduate study of malaria at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and bacteriology at the Hygiene Institute of Halle in Germany and the Institute Pasteur in Paris.


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