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Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou helped by ancient Chinese remedy

• BBC

She won the Nobel Prize for medicine, but she doesn't have a medical degree or a PhD

Tu Youyou attended a pharmacology school in Beijing. Shortly after, she became a researcher at the Academy of Chinese Traditional Medicine.

In China, she is being called the "three noes" winner: no medical degree, no doctorate, and she's never worked overseas.

She started her malaria research after she was recruited to a top-secret government unit known as "Mission 523"

In 1967, Communist leader Mao Zedong decided there was an urgent national need to find a cure for malaria.

At the time, malaria spread by mosquitoes was decimating Chinese soldiers fighting Americans in the jungles of northern Vietnam.

A secret research unit was formed to find a cure for the illness.

This photo taken in the 1950s and released by Xinhua News Agency on Monday 5 October 2015 shows Tu Youyou, right, a pharmacologist with the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing, working with Professor Lou Zhicen to study traditional Chinese medicine

Tu in her younger days worked with Chinese professor Lou Zhicen and studied traditional Chinese medicine

Two years later, Tu Youyou was instructed to become the new head of Mission 523. She was dispatched to the southern Chinese island of Hainan to study how malaria threatened human health.

For six months, she stayed there, leaving her four-year-old daughter at a local nursery.

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