Chen Wei, ‘terminator of Ebola’, leads another fight against Corona

Top Chinese bio-warfare expert Chen Wei, known as the `terminator of Ebola’ once saved hundreds from infections during the Ebola attack. She is again on a mission to save thousands, this time fighting against the deadly corona virus.

If the reports are to be believed, she is on the right track with the clinical trials on the first corona vaccine starting in China. The Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine was successfully developed following more than a month of research. The recommended treatment for the coronavirus includes blood plasma from recovered patients and traditional Chinese medicine.

Chen, also a leading specialist in genetic engineering vaccines in China, developed a medical spray during the SARS outbreak in 2003. The product prevented around 14,000 medical workers from contracting the virus, said another state-media report.

Born in a small city, she graduated from Zhejiang University in 1988 and went to Tsinghua University where she met her future husband Ma Yiming, a technician, during a train journey. She later became a virologist at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences. To support her research, Ma took care of the household duties.

During her research in 2003, their 4-year-old son did not see his mother for 4 months. The son jumped and kissed the TV screen whenever he saw her mother on the screen during some programmes

Speaking of fighting the novel coronavirus, Chen said: ‘The epidemic is like a military situation. The epicentre equals to the battlefield.’

The 54-year-old expert, also a Major General of the People’s Army, has been working on the coronavirus vaccine since arriving in Wuhan on January 26. Chen and her team were already developing a quicker way to screen the COVID-19 coronavirus from a tent in the epicenter on January 30.

Wei, a medical researcher at the Academy of Military Sciences, and an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, has plenty of knowledge around the Coronavirus family. Wei’s experience with Coronaviruses dates back to the 2003 SARS outbreak, and she has also previously worked on the Bacillus anthracis strain that causes anthrax. Wei is also popularly called, ‘the terminator of Ebola’ for her work in containing the Ebola virus.

She received her Master’s degree from Tsinghua University, before securing her doctorate from the Academy of Military Medical Sciences in 1998. She was immediately instituted as a member of the faculty upon her graduation. Wei’s work was recognised in 2015 when she was personally awarded the title of Major General by current Chinese President Xi Jinping. She is also believed to be a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference since 2018.


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