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From Weaver to Vice President of CAST

As an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering and executive director of Shanghai Institute of Hematology, Chen Saijuan has already undertaken many important projects. She was elected vice president of the Chinese Association of Science and Technology (CAST), the country's largest science body, at its seventh national congress which concluded on May 26 in Beijing.

"I feel a little surprised," Chen Saijuan told Shanghai-based Wenhui Daily when talking about the election in her office which was piled high with books and other assorted material.

Yet she's fully aware of her responsibilities as a leader of a national organization. "Now I have to face double challenges. On the one hand I'm a scientific researcher and on the other I'm now responsible for pushing forward science and technology."

Chen became a textile worker when she was 17 years old. She was selected to study in Shanghai Second Medical University in 1972. She studied very hard and later worked as a physician in Rui Jin Hospital. She went to study in France in 1986 and while there made significant achievements in the field of leukemia. However, she gave up her senior position in Paris and returned to China with her husband, Chen Zhu, to establish her research facility.  

"I'm sure to encounter a lot of difficulties but I'll do my best to overcome them," said the always tough Chen Saijuan. 

Speaking of popularizing science knowledge, Chen said that more than 95 percent of cancer has nothing to do with one's family medical history but is closely related to smoking, environmental pollution, poor eating habits and low immunity. "Every year from now on we will organize various themed activities across the country to let more people know what a healthy life style actually is," she said. "Though we make great efforts to combat cancer, the best thing is never to let it happen."

No matter how much social type work Chen has undertaken, she considers scientific research as her prime duty. "I hope to find more therapeutic methods to save more patients."

In her eyes this is her most important duty.

(China.org.cn by Li Xiaohua May 31, 2006)

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