I first met Dr Hsu via email as he reached out to me regarding an interesting research project he was working on. He sounded enthusiastic over text and I couldn’t wait to meet him in person!
When we finally did meet at the AU Health Student Center, he was all smiles and then we immediately got down to business…namely, ping-pong. Dr Hsu learned the art and skill of ping-pong while living in China as a child. They use different hand holding techniques which allow for some interesting spins and ball control which we don’t normally come across here in the States. I know this tidbit of trivia, because I too, learned how to play while living and working in China for 10 years. Thus, it was fun to surprise him with a good sparing partner for the first 10 minutes of our formal meeting. Lets just say, he’s pretty good…and he’s pretty good for a guy who can play wearing a dress shirt and tie!
After the match of all matches…he warmly (and enthusiastically) took us on a tour of his new research facility. Though he has two, the one we first visited was in regards to a new $1.5 million FDA grant he was recently awarded to find a safe and natural solution for killing off Norovirus. The lab was empty of people at the time, but was quickly filling up with the machinery and equipment needed to conquer this quest.
Along the way to his office and second lab, we talked about his background. Not many know this, but he was sent to a Chinese Communist Labor Camp in the hills of Sichuan, during the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960’s. This was Chairman Mao’s attempt to get rid of all the intellectuals who would supplant his Maoist Thought with anything else other than unquestioned obedience. If one was from a wealthy family or educated family, they were immediately seen as a threat, gathered up and sent far far away. Millions of innocent men and women, boys and girls were sent away to these camps. Many died there…many children completely lost their childhoods. Yet, even a smaller portion made it through and after Mao died in 1976, found their way back into Chinese society and finished their education. Dr. Stephen Hsu was one of those few. His enthusiasm, is his passion. His passion has brought him to where he is today. He is a wonderful success story and an inspiration to be around.
I could easily go on and on about the fascinating things he told me…even that at one point, he was ESPN’s most listened to sports announcer with more than 100 million listeners every day! You just need to take the time to read this article and hear the heart and enthusiasm of a man who loves what he does and only desires to increase the quality of life for those around him.
Thus, I’m very honored to have Dr. Stephen Hsu as our April issue front cover and our first in the research and development world to be spotlighted in MP Augusta!