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Chen Chien-jen introduced as Tsai Ing-wen's running mate

2015/11/16 16:45:43

Taipei, Nov. 16 (CNA) Opposition Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Monday introduced Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), an epidemiologist and vice president of Academia Sinica, as her running mate in the 2016 presidential election.

Chen, 64, is best known for his role in the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in Taiwan in 2003, when he headed the Cabinet-level Department of Health (now called the Ministry of Health and Welfare).

Tsai said Chen has showed his leadership during the campaign against SARS and proved to be an effective communicator and coordinator.

To participate in the election, which Tsai is regarded as a virtual shoo-in to win, Chen tendered his resignation as Academia Sinica vice president and as a distinguished research fellow in its Genomics Research Center.

Chen, an independent, was head of the Department of Health from May 2003 to January 2005 and then led the National Science Council (the predecessor of the Ministry of Science and Technology) from 2006 to 2008.

He holds a Sc.D. in epidemiology and human genetics from Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

His early research focused on hepatitis B, and he was one of the first people in Taiwan to promote across-the-board vaccinations against the disease, which is widespread in Taiwan.

(By Sophia Yeh, Tai Ya-chen and Kuo Chung-han; click here for the updated story.)