Academician Wu Tangchun: Environment and Health


On May 14, the ninth lecture of "Medical Frontiers and Challenges", a general elective course of Nankai University, was held. Professor Wu Tangchun, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Dean of Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, came to Nankai University and gave a talk on environment and health, highlighting the research frontiers and challenges of public health and preventive medicine. He shared his insight on causes of air pollution diseases, their pathogenesis and preventive measures, and detailed his thinking of and suggestion for the Healthy China initiative and construction of China’s public health system. The lecture was hosted by President Cao Xuetao of Nankai University. 

Wu Tangchun stressed the importance of public health education and development. He said cardiopulmonary diseases, cancer and other chronic diseases are some of the leading causes of death now while WHO believes that disease prevention with a focus on their causes is one of the most effective and affordable prevention strategies. He also mentioned that environmental pollution is one of the major causes of chronic diseases and there are many world-class challenges in this regard yet to be overcome. Wu Tangchun emphasized the fundamental objective of preventive medicine is to discover major causes of disease and reduce the premature mortality rate, and also revealed that producing world-leading preventive medical evidence is a higher demand for building China’s strength in science and technology.

Speaking from personal experience in scientific research, Wu Tangchun, with air pollution caused by silicone duct and air pollution in living environment and major chronic disease prevention as examples, discussed in a systematic manner the efficiency of the application of preventive medicine research and theoretical evidence and their role as a strategy. He also detailed how public health work contributes to the evolution of epidemic prevention policy with COVID-19 epidemiological characteristics and prevention policies, which induced the teachers and students to reflect on the construction of public health system. 

During the lecture Wu Tangchun also shared his personal development and work experience and had an in-depth exchange with the students. He encouraged them to stay committed to their goals and keep a positive and optimistic mindset, and pursue excellence in their research.

(Edited and translated by Nankai News Team)