At the age of 101, he left, and the life-saving drug developed by the United States is also imitating

For decades,he suffered from glaucoma, nearly blind.

Editor: Fu Yumei

The 101-year-old is gone.

Ding Guangsheng, a famous Chinese pharmacologist and researcher at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, passed away at 21:48 on October 6, 2022 in Shanghai at the age of 101.

·Ding Guangsheng (data map).

As the name suggests, he has been “born to the light” all his life. He was born on the same day in the same year and the same month as the Communist Party of China. He is the first generation of clinical anesthesiologists, pharmacologists and editorialists in China. He developed the first new Chinese drug that was imitated by the United States.

He founded the Chinese Journal of Pharmacology in his sixtieth year and won the Taofen Publishing Award, the highest honor for Chinese publishers.

Hundreds of years of ups and downs, but his heart has always been a young man who lived up to his youth.

Last year, a colleague from the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences went to the hospital to visit the centenarian. He always eagerly asked, “Is there any news from Zhangjiang (where Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica is located in Zhangjiang, Pudong)?” .

He is always thinking about the big and small matters of the drug center, and also urges his friends to do their homework every time they go to the hospital, keep the latest drug information in their hearts, and then talk to him one by one in a lively chat. report.

He has gone through his life tirelessly like this, every adventure, every concern, for the motherland and people he loves…

The Hard Path

Speaking of his schooling experience, Ding Guangsheng can’t help but talk about his family.

His father, Ding Xuxian, was one of the earliest generation of chemists in China. He taught in well-known universities such as Peking University and Zhejiang University, and devoted himself to saving the country through industry and technology.

My mother, Chen Shu, was one of the early female students in China. After returning to China, she taught at the Beijing Women’s Higher Normal School and worked with Li Dazhao and Lu Xun as her colleagues. She was a pioneer in Chinese women’s education.

Ding Guangsheng (front row right) with his parents and brother

Ding Guangsheng’s uncles also taught chemical engineering, chemistry or physics at the university. Ding’s one can be said to have occupied a heavy part in the history of early Chinese scientific development.

Under the influence of his family, Ding Guangsheng was determined to save the country through science since he was a child, and studied diligently.

At the age of 17, he was admitted to the Central University School of Medicine. “I bid farewell to my parents and climbed into a truck alone for more than 20 days before arriving at the Baixi campus in the suburbs of Chongqing.”

The arduousness of his studies further aroused his passion for knowledge. He read all the way to a doctorate, Ben aspired to become a doctor, but fate opened another door for him.

“At that time, there was no clinical anesthesiology in China. In order to cooperate with the development of medical care after the Anti-Japanese War, the Ministry of Education set up three quotas for clinical anesthesiology in 1946 when recruiting public-funded international students. That spring , I passed the national unified public-funded study abroad examination and went to the United States to study clinical anesthesiology.”

In this way, he became the first generation of clinical anesthesiologists in China. In June 1950, he received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Chicago. At the same time, he also served as a clinician in the Department of Surgery of the University of Chicago Medical School, which was rare among Chinese scholars at that time.

Ding Guangsheng received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Chicago

He soon ushered in another watershed moment in his life. At that time, the Korean War broke out, and the U.S. government strictly controlled Chinese students studying in the United States.

On the one hand, he received job offers from many well-known institutions in the United States. On the other hand, his father often wrote to him about the difficult situation in the country.

The concern for his country kept him up at night. He recalled a photo he saw in a newspaper at the time: When Shanghai was liberated, the PLA stayed overnight on Nanjing Road in order not to disturb the residents. Such a scene made him emotional and strengthened his belief in returning to China.

He is once again on a difficult journey alone. After sailing in the Pacific Ocean for half a month, he returned to Hong Kong, China.

He wrote in his memoirs: “I was under the gun surveillance of the British military police in Hong Kong. I changed the ferry to Kowloon, then changed the train to Luo Wu, and walked the 100-meter buffer zone. . . …. Finally, set foot on the land of the motherland.”

On July 17, 1951, when he walked out of the Luohu Railway Station carrying two heavy boxes and saw the five-star red flag for the first time, tears welled up in his eyes.

Be a “guinea pig”

Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica was founded in 1932 until the early 1950s, and there has been a lack of pharmacological research. Ding Guangsheng took over the important task at this moment.

It’s an almost self-made, ground-up project. Pharmacological experiments are inseparable from animals. At that time, domestic materials were scarce, so he converted the warehouse into an animal room. It was cold and the cement was not easy to dry, so he guarded the charcoal stove to dry it, and slept in the animal room under construction at night.

His research is divided into three areas: cardiovascular pharmacology research, anti-schistosomiasis research and heavy metal antidote research.

“Remember that after liberation, there were a large number of patients with schistosomiasis in our country. There is only one drug in the world for schistosomiasis – antimony potassium tartrate, but this drug must be injected intravenously and is toxic. It is large and requires a lot of injections, and many patients died because of the toxicity just after the injection,” he said.

“Be sure to find an antidote!” So he started researching day and night.

In March 1957, he cooperated with Liang Youyi, Xie Yuyuan and others to develop an innovative drug with detoxification effect – sodium dimercaptosuccinate.

Ding Guangsheng (middle) and R&D team

Although the drug is available, its effect needs to be verified by clinical trials. But under the conditions at that time, the conditions and guarantees of the test drugs were very limited. Who should I ask for the test?

Ding Guangsheng chose himself.

He acted as a “guinea pig” and tried the medicine by himself, becoming the first person to inject the medicine intravenously. Later clinical results showed that the drug can not only detoxify antimony, but also detoxify many heavy metals, such as lead poisoning, mercury poisoning, and even arsenic poisoning.

On the basis of this drug, Ding Guangsheng and others conducted further research on oral dimercaptosuccinic acid. It has low toxicity and easy absorption, and has obvious curative effect on the treatment of various metal poisonings.

“Western countries also recognize that this is the first choice for treatment of heavy metal poisoning.” Ding Guangsheng said proudly.

In 1991, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially approved dimercaptosuccinic acid for use in children with lead poisoning.

Sixtieth Year “Crossover”

Anyone who knew him knew that he devoted his life to scientific research and loved him deeply. But in his sixtieth year, he suddenly made a “crossover”.

This is a field that seems far removed from medicine and has little intersection—editing.

In 1980, Ding Guangsheng founded the Journal of Chinese Pharmacology and served as the editor-in-chief. Many people persuaded him that editing is a job that “only contributes, not famous”. But he was willing to be “spring mud” and retreated behind the scenes.

Because he firmly believes that only by establishing his own publication can the Chinese pharmacology community win the right to speak in the world.

“Mr. Ding did not hesitate to give up his beloved scientific research work, which is very remarkable.” said Ding Jian, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Although it was a Chinese journal at first, he insisted that the paper should be accompanied by an English abstract, and later requested that the figures and legends also be included.It must be in English so that foreigners can also understand the main scientific research data.

Journal of Chinese Pharmacology has been included in the Scientific Citation Index SCI of the US Institute of Scientific and Technological Information only five years after its establishment, and was one of the few Chinese journals that were included in the SCI in the early days.

Chen Kaixian, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, still remembers that when he was the director many years ago, he mentioned in a speech how many papers were published in international authoritative journals. At that time, Ding Guangsheng raised an “objection” . He believes that good papers cannot only be published in foreign journals.

As soon as I heard that someone was going abroad, Ding Guangsheng would send a few copies of the Chinese Journal of Pharmacology and ask them to take them abroad to communicate.

Ding Guangsheng won the first prize certificate of the first national outstanding scientific and technological journals

“It’s hard to see dad in the morning”

The Shanghai Institute of Medicine knows that Ding Guangsheng is open 365 days a year.

The security department during the National Day and Spring Festival holidays will seal the doors of all laboratories, except for Ding Guangsheng’s laboratory and office, because he has to come to work every day. Even when he came back from a business trip, he always returned to the office first.

In the memory of his family, Ding Guangsheng “made his home for what he is” all his life, and his home is just a hotel, where he sleeps and eats. After a short break at home, he will return to work without any suspense.

“It is difficult for us to see Dad in the morning, because he goes to work at four or five o’clock and always enters the door with the canteen staff.” Ding Minle, son of Ding Guangsheng, said that his father I feel that there will be no interruptions during this complete time, and the work efficiency is the highest. In order to save time, Ding Guangsheng often bought lunch together in the morning.

“At the beginning of 1986, my family moved from Yongjia Road to Gao’an Road. On the morning of the move, my father went to work in the office as usual. When he returned to Yongjia Road at night, the house was empty. , and finally the community house administrator led him to a new home. ‘Ding Guangsheng looking for Ding Guangsheng’s home’ has become a legend.”

In addition to being a “model worker” who is addicted to work, Ding Guangsheng is also a respectable and lovely old gentleman.

Few people know that he can use playing cards to make magic tricks, and he can imitate the dialects of the country and tell jokes. He remembered the birthdays of every editor of the Chinese Journal of Pharmacology, even the birthdays of the editor’s lover and children. Whenever an editorial staff member celebrates his birthday, he always pays out of his own pocket and invites everyone to dinner.

He always said that he could not sing, but he liked listening to songs very much. When he was relaxed and happy, he would gently hum “Farewell (Li Ge)”, “Yuguang Song” and “My Home” On the Songhua River in the Northeast”, “March of the Volunteers” and so on.

At the 70th anniversary celebration meeting of the Institute of Medicine, he wore a red shirt and sang a song “Man Jiang Hong” (word by Yue Fei), “Don’t wait, the boy’s head is white, empty and sad”, Excited singing.

He likes to encourage young people, and he has a youthful spirit himself, as if turning tirelessly. But in fact, for decades, he suffered from glaucoma disease, almost blind.

Research, editing, and scholarship, which one doesn’t require eyes?

He never stopped working because of his vision loss. He carried the radio with him, and in the drawer he kept eight or nine pairs of glasses, which could see far and near.

He has many friends, ranging from academicians, well-known scholars at home and abroad, to ordinary employees of the drug institute, security guards, and waiters in the cafeteria. They will take the time to read and read to him. newspaper.

Ding Guangsheng was awarded a medal to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China

Nowadays, everyone misses Ding Guangsheng.

Mr. has passed away, but what remains in everyone’s impression is the image of him walking with a schoolbag, facing the morning light, majestic and high-spirited, giving people encouragement and strength. Just as he has always believed and practiced the philosophy of life: “Cherish time, hard work, and endless joy.”

Sources: Jiefang Daily, Shangguan News, Wen Wei Po, Xinmin Evening News, Chinese Academy of Sciences “Family Medicine” magazine, China News Network

Supervisor: Lv Hong

Producer: Zhang Jiankui

Editor-in-Chief: Xu Chenjing

Editor: Rui Su