Tsai-Fan Yu

    - Zhigang
  • "I am one of the grateful patients of Dr. Yu who wept the..."
    - Ronald Schwartz
  • "I am one of the grateful patients of Dr. Yu who wept the..."
    - Ronald Schwartz
  • "My aunt Tsai-Fan's life had impacted so many. She will be..."
    - Hua Eleanor Yu
  • "Dr. Yu was my next door neighboor. The scope of her..."
    - Marco Hernandez

YU--TSAI-FAN, M.D., Professor of Medicine Emeritus at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, passed away peacefully at Mount Sinai Hospital on March 2, 2007, at the age of 96. Her legacy in discovering the cause of gout and making it a treatable disease lives on. Dr. Tsai-Fan Yu was born in Shanghai, China, in 1911. She lost her mother at the age of thirteen and her father worked at three jobs to send her to school. As a sophomore in Gin Ling College, she was admitted into Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) with a full scholarship. PUMC was the premier medical school in China and staffed by faculty from Johns Hopkins University. She received her M.D. with highest honors and became Chief Resident of Internal Medicine at PUMC in 1939, an unprecedented distinction for a female physician during that era. In 1947, she came to New York City, where she first worked at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and then joined the faculty of Mount Sinai Medical Center in 1957, where she spent the remainder of her professional career. She was Mount Sinai's first female Full Professor, and retired with Professor Emeritus status in 1992 at the age of 81. In conjunction with Dr. Alexander Gutman, she performed the ground-breaking research on uric acid metabolism that turned gout into a treatable disease. Dr. Yu was among the first to demonstrate that gout could be effectively controlled with allopurinol. In another seminal study, she showed that colchicine could prevent gouty attacks. She served as a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) advisory panel on metabolic diseases, and her research was continuously funded by the NIH for 26 years. She received numerous honors and awards throughout her career, including the Distinguished Career Achievement Award from Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Master Award from the American Association of Rheumatology. She published 220 articles in scientific and medical journals over the course of her distinguished research career. Her ability to translate laboratory research into the effective prevention and treatment of gout represents a milestone in medicine. As a clinician she followed over 4000 active gout patients, probably one of the largest gout-based practices that ever existed. She was so beloved by her patients that for years they held annual Gout Club meetings in her honor. Her love for her family and friends, and her dedication to her patients, will be forever remembered. She will be dearly missed by her beloved ones. Family and friends will gather together on Sunday March 11, 2007, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Riverside Memorial Chapel in Manhattan (180 W. 76th St, 212-362-6600), followed by a memorial service at 1:30 pm open to the public at the Riverside Church (490 Riverside Dr, W. 122nd St), in Chapel of the Cross. She is survived by her adopted son, Yu Yu, her brother, Dr. Jiefei Yu, among many other relatives including Dr. Hua Eleanor Yu, Dr. Lucia Yu, Dr. Kuangming Yu, and Dr. Zhigang Yu.
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Riverside Memorial Chapel
180 West 76th Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 362-6600
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Published in The New York Times from Mar. 8 to Mar. 11, 2007
Funeral Home Details
New York, NY   (212) 362-6600
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