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Commentary (Obituary): Zunyou Wu (1963–2023) Chief Epidemiologist, China CDC

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    沈阳化工大学材料科学与工程学院 沈阳 110142

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Zunyou Wu (1963–2023) Chief Epidemiologist, China CDC

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  • Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Online Date: January 08 2024
    Issue Date: January 19 2024
    doi: 10.46234/ccdcw2024.005
  • Born in Huangshan city, Anhui Province in June 1963, Zunyou Wu passed away on October 27, 2023, in Beijing at the age of 60. Dr. Wu is the Chief Epidemiologist at China CDC, and served as the former director and researcher of the National Center for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome/sexually transmitted diseases (AIDS/STD) Control and Prevention (NCAIDS) at China CDC. Additionally, he was a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and a member of the 15th Central Standing Committee of the China Association for Promoting Democracy (CAPD).

    Dr. Wu earned a medical degree in 1985 and a master’s degree in epidemiology in 1988 from Anhui Medical University, China. Subsequently, he pursued a master’s degree and a doctorate degree in epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Upon returning to China, Dr. Wu worked as a public health specialist, focusing his research on HIV/AIDS epidemiology, prevention and control strategies, and high-risk group behavior intervention.

    From 1998 to 2001, Dr. Wu worked at the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS Prevention and Control Center of the Ministry of Health. Since 2001, he has been with NCAIDS, China CDC, and served as the director of NCAIDS from 2005 to 2017. Dr. Wu assumed the position of Chief Epidemiologist at China CDC in 2017. He was elected to the 15th Central Standing Committee of CAPD in 2022 and the 14th National Committee of CPPCC in 2023.

    Dr. Wu has been involved in disease prevention and control for over 30 years, making significant contributions to combating major infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). He is a leader in HIV prevention strategies and oversees prevention efforts among key populations in China. His significant contributions include preventing HIV transmission in plasma donors, implementing and expanding harm reduction programs to reduce HIV transmission among people who inject drugs, and proposing and advocating for the ‘One4All’ strategy, which shortens the HIV testing-to-treatment timeline and improves the survival of newly diagnosed HIV cases. Additionally, he led the development of the National HIV/AIDS Comprehensive Response Information Management System, which optimizes HIV case reporting, testing, treatment monitoring, and surveillance, promoting precise HIV prevention and control in China. His work has received international recognition and has influenced global best practices for HIV control.

    In 2020, as the Chief Epidemiologist, Dr. Wu was involved in China’s response to COVID-19. He conducted analyses on epidemic data from the Wuhan outbreak, contributing to the global understanding of COVID-19 epidemiology. Furthermore, his investigations into the COVID-19 outbreaks in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Heilongjiang Province, and Beijing Municipality played a pivotal role in curbing the spread of the virus.

    Dr. Wu has devoted himself to scientific research and talent training. He has presided over more than 40 research projects, including national science and technology projects, publishing 501 academic papers in infectious diseases, including 269 science citation index (SCI) papers. Additionally, he has trained a large number of talents in public health. Throughout his career, he has received several awards, such as the Nelson Mandela Award for Health Promotion, the title of the Most Beautiful Scientist, Advanced Individual in the Fight Against COVID-19 in the National Science and Technology System, Advanced Individual of the National Prevention and Control in HIV/AIDS, and Development Contribution Award for Public Health and Preventive Medicine, etc.

    Dr. Wu dedicated to the well-being of the nation and its populace, embodying the diligent work ethic and strong sense of responsibility that epitomizes the spirit of scientists in this new era. He will be dearly remembered by all of us.




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