In the mid-1950s, the Chinese government began its efforts to create a new medicine, integrative East-West Medicine (EWM), by combining the best of western biomedicine with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The Chinese government ordained numerous existing western medicine trained doctors and researchers in China to undergo rigorous clinical and research training in traditional Chinese medicine. Likewise, some Chinese medicine trained doctors also learned Western medicine. Over the last five decades, these integrative medicine (IM) pioneers and Traditional Chinese Medicine leaders have yielded important research discoveries. In order to preserve this invaluable intellectual heritage and to document the development of integrative medicine, in 2006, the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine (CEWM) started the Visual History Project, an effort to document and impart through video the key figures and issues on TCM and IM.
Tu Youyou — Visual History Interview
Tu Youyou, MD, Director of the Artemisinin Research Center at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, who recently won the 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine and the 2011 Lasker Award in Clinical Medical Research, is one of the many integrative medicine experts who were interviewed for the CEWM Visual History Project in 2006. Ka-Kit Hui, MD, FACP, Founder and Director of the CEWM initially met Dr. Tu in 1997 at the first China Integrative Medicine Conference in Beijing. Dr. Hui quickly recognized the value of the research that Dr. Tu had been conducting on artemisinin to treat malaria. Soon after the Visual History Project was launched, Dr. Hui invited her to discuss her research in a recorded interview. In the 2.5-hour long clip, Dr. Tu talked about why she decided to study artemisinin, the key problems she encountered during her research and her view on the impact that Chinese medicine could have on world. In 2009, Dr. Tu sent her regards and a signed copy of her newly published book to the CEWM to share the important findings that she made with her team.
More Visual History Interviews with Integrative Medicine Pioneers
In addition to the Nobel Prize-winner Tu Youyou, the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine has interviewed 34 other pioneering professionals in Chinese medicine and integrative medicine, 41 academic leaders in both traditional Chinese medicine and contemporary Chinese integrative medicine, and 23 internationally renowned experts in integrative medicine.
Since the implementation of integrative medicine in China in 1955, the field of East-West Medicine has continued to show great success. Thus, the Visual History Project has been an ongoing project, with the persistent expansion of its content and growing support from the Chinese government, including the Chinese Association of Integrative Medicine, and connections with integrative medicine experts and authorities from around the world.
The project team is currently dedicating its efforts to post-production tasks which include transcription, cataloging, editing, and translation of a wealth of video footage. The files will be digitized and content indexed. Audio and video files will be made available at the Archive of the UCLA Library System. Abstracts and highlights of select footage have been edited, and are now available on the CEWM Youtube Channel.