• WMU alumnus Zhou Jian, inventor of HPV vaccine, wins Grand Hamdan Award for Medical Sciences
  • Author:Bao Zhongyi, Ye Shaofang, University Office    Date:December 9, 2022
  • On 24th of November, the Award ceremony of the 12th (2021-2022) Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences was hosted in Dubai. Late Dr. ZHOU Jian, a WMU graduate of the Class of 1982, and Prof. Ian Hector Frazer, an Australian scientist, were awarded the prestigious Grand Hamdan Award for their outstanding contributions of developing the first human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in the field of Infectious Diseases to the health of human beings. There were 14 winners in the 12th Award term worldwide.

    The Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Medical Science Awards are spread across three categories: the International Awards, the Arab World Awards, and the UAE Awards, to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to medical scientific research and health promotion.

    It has been 22 years since the establishment of the Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences. The main topic of this term focused on Infectious Diseases, including topics such as prevention, immunity, and therapy. The Award highlighted the world’s leading scientists for their pursuit of excellence in medicine. A number of the Award winners have won Nobel Prizes.

    Dr. Zhou Jian obtained his bachelor’s degree in Clinical Medicine and graduated from Wenzhou Medical University (formerly Wenzhou Medical College) in 1982. After graduation, he went on to study at Zhejiang Medical University for a Mater’s degree and at Henan Medical University for PhD studies. After that, he undertook his postdoctoral study at Peking Medical University. In 1990, at the invitation of Professor Ian Frazer, director of the Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research of the University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine, Australia, Dr. Zhou and his wife Sun Xiaoyi went to Queensland to study the synthetic HPV vaccine. In 1991, Dr. Zhou and Prof. Frazer successfully synthesized human papillomavirus-like particles using recombinant DNA technology and applied for a patent one year earlier than the United States. On March 19, 1999, when his research results, now sold as Gardasil, reached the clinical trial stage, Dr. Zhou Jian passed away from liver disease due to overwork at the age of 42. The vaccine against cervical cancer jointly developed by Dr. Zhou and Prof. Fraser has benefited hundreds of millions of women worldwide.

    Text translated by Yang Fengzhuo and reviewed by Sun You.