The research team headed by Zhong Nanshan, one of the country's leading pulmonologists who helped spearhead China's anti-COVID-19 efforts, received the 2020 State Scientific and Technological Progress Award's Innovation Team Award on Wednesday.
With nearly five decades of respiratory research and clinical experience between them, Zhong and two other team leaders, He Jianxin and Ran Pixi, led the group in working on many difficult respiratory ailments including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), COVID-19, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Zhong and his colleagues served as a bulwark against the virus and saved countless lives, according to China Central Television.
Their research played an important role in the global fight against respiratory disease, and was credited for publishing the first summarized clinical symptoms of COVID-19 to pioneering tubeless chest surgery.
The team's philosophy of "early detection, diagnosis, examination and treatment" has been widely adopted in China. Testament to its effectiveness is that doctors have been able to increase survival rates to over 90 percent for lung cancer patients five years after they have the surgery.