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Zhang Yongzhen    


Zhang Yongzhen led a team that published the first SARS-CoV-2 genome just days after the first cluster of cases emerged and likely within weeks of its jump into humans. That data allowed scientists around the world to begin developing tests for detecting the virus as early as January; as a result, China and other countries steadily closed the gap between infection and diagnosis, helping to flatten the curve and saving countless lives in the process.

The Zhang team’s unprecedented speed was made possible by the extraordinary disease-monitoring network they had built to detect emerging flu strains and coronaviruses. Their work envisions what is possible with a collaborative, connected public-health collective, and illuminates what gaps still remain. It is now up to the global community to realize this potential, to stop COVID-19 and the next pandemic before it has a chance to start.

Zhang was named one of Nature's 10: "ten people who helped shape science in 2020", and was winner of the 2020 ICG-15 GigaScience Prize for Outstanding Data Sharing during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Alongside Edward C. Holmes he was awarded the 2021 General Symbiont prize as an exemplar in the practice of data sharing at the Research Parasite Awards. He was also one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2020 and Straits Times 2020 Asians of the Year.


Zhang Yongzhen Is on the 2020 TIME 100 List | TIME
Sep 22, 2020 ... The COVID-19 pandemic has been a global disaster—but it could have been much worse. The saving grace was Zhang Yongzhen, who led a team that ...
Zhang Yongzhen Speaks Out About Controversies Around His Work ...
Aug 24, 2020 ... Exclusive: Zhang Yongzhen, the Chinese researcher who first publicized a genome of the coronavirus, is seeking to set the record straight.

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