In Memory of Professor Wan-Yu Chen (1916-2015)
Wan-Yu was born in Taipei, Taiwan on December 10, 1916. He graduated from Taipei Imperial University Medical School (the former of National Taiwan University College of Medicine, NTUCM) and started his lifelong career in affiliated hospital in 1942. He received his PhD degree in medicine from Kumamoto Medical University, Japan in 1948. He further studied nephrology in Duke University, United States from 1954 to 1955. He was promoted to Professor of Medicine in NTUCM in 1956 and has ever served as the director of Department of Internal Medicine and vice superintendent of the affiliated hospital.
Wan-Yu started his career as a nephrologist from 1953. In 1960, he established the renal biopsy assisted by 2-point location under X-ray. This technique increased the success of renal biopsy to 95% before ultrasound was invented. He performed Taiwan's first hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis in 1963 and 1964, respectively; founded the Toxicology Laboratory in 1966; and participated the first successful kidney transplantation in Taiwan and Asia in 1968.
Wan-Yu was a leading physician scientist with seminal contributions to blackfoot disease, uremia, intoxication, dialysis, hypertension, glomerulonephritis, hepatitis virus and nephritis, and trace metal abnormalities in dialysis patients, etc. Amongst these, 'A Clinical Study of Blackfoot Disease in Taiwan, an Endemic Peripheral Vascular Disease' published in 1961, identifying drinking artesian well water as the cause of blackfoot disease across southwest coast of Taiwan, promoted the establishment of public water supply system in this area. The study regarding the association between primary glomerulonephritis and hepatitis B virus presented in the 1st Asian Pacific Congress of Nephrology (APCN) and 3rd Asian Colloquium in Nephrology (ACN) in Tokyo was selected as the most outstanding paper in 1979. To support the education and research in nephrology continuously, Wan-Yu promoted the establishment of the Ta-Tung Kidney Foundation (1970~), Professor Wan-Yu Chen Foundation (1985~), and Mrs. Hsiu-Chin Lee Kidney Research Foundation (1994~); presided Inter-hospital Nephrology Meetings since 1972; established the Society of Nephrology of the Republic of China in 1983 (the former of Taiwan Society of Nephrology, TSN) and served as the 1st and 2nd Society President (1983-1989). He was awarded TSN Award to his outstanding contributions in 1997.
Wan-Yu was very active in participating and leading junior fellows in the academic affairs of international nephrology community. He promoted the affiliation of TSN with International Society of Nephrology (1984), the 7th ACN (1987) and the 8th APCN (2000) to be held in Taipei, and served as Council Member of Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology (APSN) (1990-1992). For his outstanding contributions, Wan-Yu was awarded with ACN and APSN Awards in 1989 and 1997, respectively.
Wan-Yu, with his passion for humanity, exceptional wisdom and extraordinary ambition in confronting disease and calamity, not only leads the development of nephrology in Taiwan, but also leads Taiwan to join the international nephrology community. As the curtains fall upon his stage after a century of brilliance, let us all pay our highest respects to our beloved Professor Wan-Yu Chen.