Respiratory Team Led by Zhong Nanshan Wins China’s Top Science Award
Editor: International Office     Date: 2021-11-26

On November 3rd, the 2020 State Scientific and Technological Progress Award was held in Beijing. A team led by Zhong Nanshan from Guangzhou Medical University received the 2020 State Scientific and Technological Progress Award's Innovation Team Award for their outstanding contributions. With nearly five decades of respiratory research and clinical experience between them, Zhong and two other team leaders, He Jianxin and Ran Pixi, led the group in working on the prevention and treatment of many difficult respiratory ailments including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), COVID-19, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Focusing on key issues such as epidemiological features, molecular mechanism and early prevention of respiratory diseases, the team put forward concepts of Cough Variant Asthma, pioneered early intervention and comprehensive prevention and control of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pioneered tubeless chest surgery. The team developed a globally advanced prediction model for lung cancer recurrence based on molecular marker, a community-based framework for early intervention and comprehensive prevention and control of COPD. Their efforts have made important contributions to the prevention, treatment and prognosis of respiratory diseases in China. The team spearheaded the construction of a leading respiratory medical center integrating functions of the national medical center, national clinical medical research center, state key laboratory and national key discipline, which is the only one of its kind in the field of respiratory diseases in China. The team shared their research results in academic journals in China as well as prestigious international journals such as NEJM, Lancet, BMJ. The team spearheaded the efforts in developing a significant number of national clinical guidelines and protocols, which were also adopted by many international guidelines.

The team plays an important role in the national prevention and control team for infectious respiratory diseases. Zhong Nanshan is a leading figure of the Expert Committee on Public Health Emergencies in China. He identified the pathogenesis of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and achieved the highest treatment efficiency in the world (85.7%). He also played a vital role in prevention and control of H1N1, H5N6, H7N9, bird flu and Covid-19. He also helped streamline the management mechanism of public health emergency in China and contributed to the formulation of many national policies and regulations.