Category Archives: Post

Wu Lien-Teh and China’s First Medical Research Institute

Dr. Wu Lien-Teh and China’s First Medical Research Institute:
The North Manchurian Plague Prevention Service, 1912–1931
Commemorating the international medical legacy of Penang-born Dr. Wu Lien-Teh

Time & Date: 4pm, Sunday, 1 June 2014
Venue: Penang Heritage Trust, 26 Lebuh Gereja (Church Street)

Speaker: David Luesink, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia)
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh

Co-organised by Penang Heritage Trust and Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Society
Supported by Penang Medical College and Ren i Tang

The north Manchurian plague of 1910 to 1911 is one of modern China’s most well-known medical events. Extensively celebrated in Chinese and English popular and scholarly literature, Wu Lien-teh and his small team of scientists effectively protected Qing (1910–1911) and Republican Chinese sovereignty at a time when China was extremely weak internationally. But protecting sovereignty with medical science does not constitute the whole story, nor should the story end in 1911. After successfully stopping plague in North China, Wu Lien-teh hosted an international conference in Harbin, which had been the epicenter of the plague, to demonstrate his success to leading bacteriologists from all imperialist powers with an interest in commerce, sovereignty, and the spread of disease in Northeast Asia, including Russia, Japan, Britain, France and the United States. Consolidating the growing international prestige of the plague research in Harbin, Wu Lien-teh established China’s first medical research institute. At a time when medical research institutes of this type were relatively new, this institute conducted important, if controversial, research on plague and its vectors of infection. This presentation will refocus attention away from the headlines of 1910–1911 and onto the daily work of scientists and some of the controversies they solved and created over several decades.

About the speaker
David Luesink is visiting assistant Professor in East Asian History at the University of Pittsburgh. He was awarded a Luce Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at Indiana University in Indianapolis, and before that obtained his PhD from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. As a History Department doctoral student David Luesink was awarded two prizes for 2009–2010, namely, the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation Dissertation Fellowship administered by the Canadian Association of Asian Studies; and the Academia Sinica (Taipei, Taiwan) Pre-Dissertation Fellowship, Institute for Modern History. He is the author of a chapter published in an edited volume: ‘The History of Chinese Medicine: Empires, Transnationalism and Medicine in China, 1908–1937,’ in Iris Borowy, Uneasy Encounters: The Politics of Medicine and Health in China 1900–1937 (Frankfurt, New York, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009), 149–176.

Limited spaces available, to RSVP, please email to

Plaque Fighter Dr Wu Lien-teh International Conference and Exhibition – Singapore

Plaque Fighter Dr Wu Lien-teh
International Conference and Exhibition.Conference in English and Chinese.Date: Apr 5, 2014 Saturday
Time: 9am to 6pm
Venue: Level 2, Ballroom,
Chui Huay Lim Club.醉花林俱乐部
。No 190 Keng Lee RoadWeek-Long Exhibition

Date:Saturday 5 to Saturday 12 April 2014
Time: 10am-6pm
Venue: Level 4, Chui Huay Lim Club
No 190 Keng Lee Road.

The Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Commemorative Symposium, Penang 2014

 Programme update (as of 03-March-2014)

 Saturday   8th March

Overseas Guest Arrivals

7.00pm: Welcoming Dinner by the Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Society and Dr. Wu Lien-Teh family reunion. (Venue: Bayview Hotel George Town, Premier Lounge 16th Floor)

 Sunday 9th March

8:30am gather at Bayview Hotel lobby.   9.00am to 1.00pm: Tour-The Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Historic Trail (include a visit to the Batu Gantong Columbarium to pay respect to Mr. & Mrs. Wu Lien-Teh). Lunch break at Penang Free School.

2:00 pm   Unveiling of the Dr. Wu Lien-Teh’s bronze bust and memorial at Penang Medical College,  Sepoy Lines Road, Penang

 3.30pm to 5.00pm: The Inaugural Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Lecture by Professor Dr. Anthony Capon, Director of the Institute of Global Health, United Nations University (UNU-IIGH), Malaysia.  (Venue: E&O Hotel)

 7.30pm: Official State Government of Penang Dinner (Venue: E&O Hotel, New Annex – Fullerton Room). Dress Code: Formal or Batik suit

Monday 10th March

Bus pick-up from Bayview Hotel at 8:15am

8.30am to 2.00pm: International Symposium on Global Health Challenges-Infectious Diseases in the New Millennium. (Penang Medical College)


Arrival of guests and registration 8.30am – 9.00
Welcome address by President of PMC 9.00 – 9.15
Opening speech and officiating of the inaugural WLT symposium by the representative of the Minister of Health 9.15 – 9.30
Dr Alex K H Ooi – The Legacy of WLT 9.30 – 9.45
Tea break 9.45 – 10.15
Prof Stan Fenwick – a Short History of Animal-Associated Epidemics Zoonoses and human disease 10.15 – 11.30
Prof Richard Loh – Tuberculosis- Still a scourge of mankind 11.30 – 12.15pm
Professor Ooi Eng Eong – Dengue prevention and the elusive sustainable solution 12.15 – 1.00
Close of symposium 1.00-1.10
Lunch 1.10 – 2pm


Note:  Dr. Wu’s bust is placed at the Penang Medical College, Sepoy Lines Rd, NOT at the State Museum and Art Gallery in Macalister Rd as announced in the newspapers.



 The Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Society, Penang  (

 Penang Institute (

 Penang Medical College (

 Institute of International Global Health, United Nations University (

 Penang Heritage Trust (www.pht. org. my)

 Penang Global Tourism (

 Think City (www.


Please  email to:  wulientehsociety@gmail to obtain further information on participation.

Commemorative Events on Dr. Wu Lien-Teh


“Remember Dr. Wu Lien-Teh” organised by Perak Academy

Date:  Friday, 22 March 2013

Time:    8.00 – 10.00 pm

Venue:  Conference Room, Ipoh Specialist Hospital (5th Floor)

  • 20:00 – 20:10 :   Introduction and sharing of experience at the Symposium on Dr. Wu Lien-Teh in Harbin
  • 20:10 – 21:00   Dr. Wu Lien-Teh, a Malayan hero
  • 21:00 – 22:00:  Short film on Dr Wu Lien-Teh

@ RM5/= per person (inclusive of light refreshement)

Please call, fax or email for reservation:

                                                          Tel : 05-5478949 / 016-5518172            Fax : 05-5496675

Email :


Date: Sunday, 10 March 2013

Venue: Penang Medical College Lecture Theatre, Jalan Sepoy Lines

Born in Penang on 10th of March 1879, Dr. Wu Lien-Teh had his early education at Penang Free School and became the first medical student from Malaya to study at University of Cambridge on Queen’s scholarship and was also the first ethnic Chinese nominated to receive a Nobel Prize in Medicine. He was vocal in the social issues of the time, founded the Anti-Opium Association in Penang and advocated cutting of the Manchu hair queue among the Malayan Chinese. In the winter of 1910, Dr. Wu was invited to Harbin in northeast China to investigate a plague pandemic which claimed more than 60,000 lives. His swift action to isolate infected victims and compulsory use of face-masks saved millions and he went on to introduce major medical reforms in China for the next two decades.

In 1937, Dr. Wu moved back to Malaya where he worked as a General Practitioner in Ipoh. Dr. Wu tirelessly collected donations to start the Perak Library in Ipoh and he was known to give free consultation and treatment to the poor. He died in Penang on 21st January 1960, aged 81. A road named after Dr. Wu can be found in Ipoh Garden South. In Penang, Taman Wu Lien Teh is located near the Penang Free School.  A historical trail to follow the footpath of  Dr. Wu Lien-Teh in Penang will be be conducted on 10th March 2013.

Dr. Wu Lien-Teh is regarded as the first person to modernise China’s medical services and medical education. University departments and hospital buildings in Harbin and Beijing are named after him and a museum dedicated to Dr. Wu with his bronze bust constantly reminds the people his great contributions in promoting public health, preventive medicine and medical education.

This commemorative event is a prelude to the “Dr. Wu Lien-Teh Commemorative Symposium  and Public Health Congress” scheduled to be held in Penang next year.


Dr Wu Lien-Teh Commemorative Symposium Harbin 2013


18 to 20 January 2013

Venue :

Harbin, China



Foreign Delegates Itinerary, Dr Wu Lien-Teh Commemorative Symposium

(held alongside 3rd Boreal Congress of Cardiology). Speakers CV attached.

 18 Jan 2013 (Friday)

17:00-18:30 Dinner by Song Hua Jiang River

19:00-21:00 Tour Ice festival


19 Jan 2013 (Saturday)

08:30-09:00 Commemorative Symposium Opening Ceremony

09:00-09:30 Work & Life of Dr WLT in China (Ms ONG Lay Hong, Mediacorp Singapore)

09;30-10:00 Dr WLT’s life outside of China (Dato Dr Anwar FAZAL, U Science Penang)

10:00-10:30 Dr WLT Memorial Museum Report (Prof YANG Bao Feng, Chancellor, Harbin U)

10:30-11:00 Global Public Health: The Legacy of Dr Wu Lien-Teh

(Prof Boo Hoe KWA, U of South Florida)

11:00-11:30 Public Health and Preventive Measures in China

(Prof Dayi HU, Peking U People’s Hospital)

11:30-12:00 Dr Wu Lien-Teh, Plague Fighter: A Family Perspective

(Dr Shan Woo LIU, Instructor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

and great grand daughter of Dr WLT)

12:30-14:00 Lunch at Old Chef” (a 4-generation restaurant with Dr WLTs influence)

14:30-16:00 Tour Dr WLT Memorial Museum and Hospital, Central Street, Sophia Church, etc.

18:00-20:00 Gala Dinner at Shangrila Hotel

Address by Chairmen: Dr Alex K H Ooi & Mr Loke Gim Tay

Speeches: Heilongjiang Governor and Penang Chief Minister


20 Jan 2013 (Sun)

08:30-11:00 Foreign delegates fellowship

Heilongjiang, China – Penang, Malaysia dialogue (2014 event, etc)

11:00-12:00 Media Conference / Press Release / Lunch / Departures


Meeting the Vice Governor of Heilongjiang Province
Meeting the Vice Governor of Heilongjiang Province

Penang Story Lectures

Plague Fighter Dr Wu Lien-Teh, A Penang Hero who modernized medicine in China by Ong Lay Hong

19 May 2012


Wawasan Open University


Joint Organisers

 THINK CITY SDN BHD (TCSB) is a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the investment arm of the Malaysian government, and an urban regeneration agency operating in the historic city of George Town. It manages the George Town Grants Programme (GTGP), which is a public grants programme designed to protect and preserve George Town’s Outstanding Universal Values. These include the city’s multiethnic and multi-cultural living heritage, architectural legacy and intangible heritage as a historic port city in the Straits of Malacca. Think City’s involvement in this project provides focus on the cultural mapping process (documentation and outreach activities involving local histories and heritage) and the intangible heritage of the city. THE PENANG HERITAGE TRUST (PHT) is one of Malaysia’s most successful nongovernmental organizations championing the heritage conservation with special emphasis on Penang and George Town. The PHT played a pivotal role in the nomination of George Town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was also a key partner in the 2001/02 Penang Story Project bringing together local communities through a celebration of cultural diversity.

Knowledge Partners

 GEORGE TOWN WORLD HERITAGE INCORPORATED (GTWHI) is the area manager of the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. It provides consultation and public awareness regarding the World Heritage Site. GTWHI also provides advice to the State and Local governments regarding heritage conservation issues and assists private property owners about best practices in conservation. UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA (USM) is Malaysia’s Apex University with wide ranging research programmes. USM initiated several projects directly related to heritage conservation work in Penang and elsewhere.

[box type=”download”] Plague Fighter Dr Wu Lien-teh[/box]