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[Perspectives] George F Gao: head of China CDC signals a more global outlook

Had the state bureaucracy been allowed to determine the career path of George F Gao (Gao Fu), the current Director-General of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) might now have been working not as one of his country’s leading scientists but as a vet practising in Shanxi province near the border with Inner Mongolia. This was where Gao was born in 1961. In the China of that era, personal choice in education was not a priority; Gao was allocated a place to study veterinary medicine at Shanxi Agricultural University.