AAPI Heritage Month Highlights


Dr Peter Tsaoi
(Taiwanese American)

Invented the N95 mask
Dr. Tsai developed a material that electrostatically traps particulate while working at the University of Tennessee. The fibers trap 95% of particulate without making it harder to breathe. The N95 mask was patented in 1995. Dr. Tsai came out of retirement in 2020 during the COVID pandemic to study a way to efficiently sterilize N95 masks since they were in short supply.

Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal
(Chinese American)

First to clone HIV
While working at the NIH in 1985 Dr. Wong-Staal was the first scientist to clone HIV. It was this accomplishment that led to the use of antibody tests to determine HIV infection and the use of a drug cocktail to treat the viral infection. Her research has been the foundation for further understanding infectious diseases.

Dr. Har Gobind Khorana
(Indian American)

1968 Nobel prize winner in psychology/medicine

Dr. Khorana was a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was the first to show that nucleotide sequence determines protein synthesis and cell fate. He was also the first to synthesize an artificial copy of a yeast gene.

Dr. Min Chueh Chang
(Chinese American)

Co-invented the combined oral contraceptive pill and was the pioneer behind in vitro fertilization.

Dr. Chang was a reproductive biologist who worked at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology. He worked with Gregory Pincus on the use of steroids to control fertility which led to the first combined oral contraceptive pill. He also worked extensively on in vitro fertilization with different animal models and his work led to the first successful birth of a human baby by in vitro fertilization in 1978.

Back To Top

Dr. Roger Tsien
(Chinese American)

2008 Nobel price in chemistry.

Dr. Tsien was a professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCSD. He discovered and developed the use of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) in biological applications and built the foundation for next generation sequencing which is currently used in next generation sequencing.

Back To Top

Dr. Kalpana Chawla
(Indian American)

First Indian American woman to go to space.

Dr. Chawla was the first Indian American female astronaut and mechanical engineer who worked on the primary robotic arm on the first Space Shuttle Columbia flight in 1997. She was one of 7 crew members that passed away on the second space shuttle Columbia's disintegration upon re-entry in 2003. 

Back To Top

Dr. Roseli Ocampo-Friedmann
(Filipino American)

Studied cyanobacteria and extremophiles.

Dr. Ocampo-Friedmann was a professor at Florida A&M university and was also a consultant for SETI. While working with her husband in the mid 1970's Ocampo-Friedmann discovered Cryptoendoliths in the dry valleys region of Antarctica where the mountain ranges were thought to be lifeless. Her work is often cited when scientists discuss the potential for terraforming Mars. 

Back To Top

Dr. Barry Paw
(Burmese American)

Discovered gene mutations that cause anemia.

Dr. Barry Paw worked as a pediatric oncologist at Harvard Medical School. While there he contributed to several research projects including one on how mitoferrin transports iron to red blood cells to form hemoglobin. His research led to the discovery of genetic mutations that cause anemia and other red blood cell disorders.

Back To Top

Want to learn more about how PeproTech celebrates diversity and inclusion each month? Check out our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page here or follow us on social media

PeproTech Twitter    PeproTech Facebook    PeproTech LinkedIn