Pharmacologist Tu Youyou has become the first scientist on the mainland to win America's respected Lasker Award for her discovery of a new approach to malaria treatment.

The Lasker Awards are given annually to people who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of human diseases since 1945.

Lasker Awards are known as "America's Nobels" for their knack of gaining future recognition by the Nobel committee. In the last two decades, 28 Lasker laureates have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize, and 80 since 1945.