Fu Qiaomei, NWU Alumni of the 80s, Elected as One of the 10 Science Stars in China

The Nature magazine published a feature article entitled “ 10 Science Stars of China” At 1am on June 21, Beijing time, which selected ten of China’s leading scientists. One of the selected outstanding scientists is Fu Qiaomei, an NWU alumnus born in the 1980s generation. Her major contribution is that she helped to rewrite the earliest history of modern humans in Europe, and expected to rewrite the prehistory of Asian with DNA extracted from ancient human remains.  

Fu Qiaomei majored in Preservation of Cultural Relics from 2003 to 2007 as an undergraduate at NWU with excellent academic performance. During her college life, she was also elected vice chairman of the student union at School of  Archaeology , and won for many times the first class school-level scholarship. In 2009, Fu obtained her master’s degree at Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Science. During her doctoral research period, she collaborated her research with Max Plank Institute in Human Revolution, and furthered her post-doctoral research in both Max Plank Institute for Human Revolution and Medical College of Harvard University.

In recent 20 months, Fu has published three papers in the Nature which helped rewrite the earliest history of modern humans in Europe. One of the researches led by Fu, namely, “using ancient DNA to decode the origin of modern humans” was chosen as one of the Ten Scientific Events in 2014 by the Nature and was selected as a scientific achievement to be celebrated.  In January 2016, she came back to China to be the director of DNA library of IVPP (Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Academia Sinica), Chinese Academy of Science.

Many people asked this 80s’ girl why she left the West for China. She answered, “I was curious about what happened in China and East Asia. It’s time to be back”. Fu has put her focus on the research of homo sapiens, the first to settle in Asia tens of thousands of years ago. Besides, she wanted to research the Asian history dating back to thousands of years ago. Fu Qiaomei hoped to rewrite the history of Asian ancients, and she added, “In IVPP, there are lots of DNA samples of fragmentary hominid bones that haven’t been collected.”.

The ten Science Stars of China were Wu Ji, an officer of space science; Ye Yuru, a neurobiologist ; Cui Weicheng, the deputy commander of 5000-meter dive sea trials for Jiaolong, the manned submersible of China; Yan Ning, a structural biologist; Wang Yifang, a high-energy physicists; Gao Caixia, a corps designer; Fu Qiaomei, a genome historian; Qin Weijia, a polar explorer; Lu Chaoyang, the “new star” in quantum information technique; Chen Jining, an environmental protection officer.