Born into poverty in Japanese-occupied Taiwan, Ruey Yu overcame near-starvation during the Second World War. Destiny, however, had other plans for him: he was to become an award-winning biochemist, then the co-founder of what would soon become the multi-million-dollar skin care company NeoStrata. After living through the Second World War and the post-war military dictatorship of General Chiang Kai-Shek, Dr. Yu won a coveted post-graduate scholarship to study chemistry at the University of Ottawa. He subsequently took up a research position at the renowned Skin and Cancer Hospital (Temple University) in Philadelphia, where he collaborated with pre-eminent dermatologist Dr. Eugene Van Scott to develop treatments for serious skin diseases. In 1972, Dr. Yu and Dr. Van Scott discovered that fruit acids, known as AHAs, could effectively treat the disfiguring skin disease ichthyosis, changing the lives of thousands of people who suffered from this debilitating illness.
Their further research into the biochemical properties of AHAs led to the discovery of the anti-wrinkle and anti-aging effects of these natural substances-a discovery that was licensed by skin care companies around the world, sparking the multibillion-dollar cosmeceutical industry.
Now in his 80s, Dr. Ruey J. Yu continues to work in the lab every day, hunting for biomarkers that could be used for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's and other diseases. In 2016, Dr. Yu and Dr. Van Scott sold NeoStrata to Johnson & Johnson, which is expanding the company's research labs into a centre of excellence for dermatological research. Freelance journalist and former news reporter for The Ottawa Citizen.
Table of Contents Introduction Prologue Chapter One - Coal Dust and Daydreams Chapter Two - Bowing to the Emperor Chapter Three - A "City Monkey" in the Country Chapter Four - Starvation and Surrender Chapter Five - Return to Hsinchu Chapter Six - The Tale of the Poor Scholar Chapter Seven - A Diamond in the Trash Chapter Eight - Pedalling through Taipei Chapter Nine - Pure Chemistry Chapter Ten - Quemoy Chapter 11 - Snowed Under Chapter 12 - Coming to America Chapter 13 - A Life-Changing Discovery Chapter 14 - Taking a Gamble Chapter 15 - Avon Calling Chapter 16 - A Wrinkle in the Business Chapter 17 - Head to Head with the Pink Lady Chapter 18 - Growing older, giving back Epilogue