On 23 July 2016 the UNU International Institute for Global Health and the Penang Institute, in conjunction with the Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Society, will co-host the 3rd Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Memoral Lecture: Science and the Wider Society, presented by Professor Datuk Dr Looi Lai-Meng.
About the lecture
Although scientific advancements of the 20th century have contributed to an impressive doubling of human life-span, there remain many challenges to human health and wellbeing in the 21st century. We continue to live in an unequal world: many under-resourced countries where the burden of disease is greatest have yet to benefit from 20th century advances. Compounding the problem are the demands of increasingly complex health care systems and a rapidly changing global environment. Climate change, social conflict, urbanization and rapid mass travel have led to disease emergence with global threats. Because scientists wear many hats, they can make a difference in many ways, both as individuals and through global collaboration. The InterAcademy Partnership for Health, previously known as the InterAcademy Medical Panel, is a global network of 78 Academies of Medicine and Academies of Science with Medical divisions, with the objective of providing evidence based advice to policy makers on health issues. It acts through science diplomacy to build the capacity of member academies, and forge action through global collaboration. Among its initiatives addressing Urban Health, One Heath and the Social Determinants of Health, is its signature “Young Physician Leaders” programme designed to foster a new generation of young medical and scientific leaders for the 21st Century. Collaboration between Science and Society is crucial for building resilience to crisis and sustaining health for future generations.
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About the Speaker
Professor Datuk Dr Looi Lai-Meng is Malaysia’s inaugural National Distinguished Professor, positioned at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya (UM) and holds a concurrent appointment as senior consultant histopathologist at the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). She co-chairs the InterAcademy Medical Panel, a global network of 78 National Sciences and Medical Academies which provides evidence-based advice to governments on health issues, and is immediate past-President of the World Association of Societies of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (WASPaLM). She was recently (2015) awarded the Gold-Headed Cane, the highest honour from WASPaLM, for outstanding leadership at the global level.
About Dr. Wu Lien-Teh
Dr. Wu Lien-Teh (1879–1960) was a global medical icon. Born in Penang, Malaysia, Wu Lien-Teh was a student of the Penang Free School and the first Malaysian and the top medical student at the University of Cambridge where he also obtained a PhD. Dr. Wu was among the founders of The Anti-Opium Society and worked at the prestigious Institute of Medical Research in Kuala Lumpur where there is a gallery about his pioneering work.
In 1910, Dr. Wu led the public health response to a major epidemic of pneumonic plague. Dr. Wu’s heroic work controlled the epidemic which could have devastated China. Dr. Wu went on to establish many hospitals and medical schools in China. In 1932, he authored the classic History of Chinese Medicine. Dr Wu was the founding president of the Chinese Medical Association (1916). Dr. Wu was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1935, the first from Malaysia and the region. He returned to Malaysia in 1937 and lived in Ipoh for over two decades, continuing his medical and civic work. When he died in 1960 in Penang, The Times of London wrote “the world of medicine has lost a heroic and almost legendary figure”.
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