KP Lecture

KP Chen Memorial Lecture in Public Health


The KP Chen Memorial Lecture honors late Professor Kung-Pei Chen (1917-1978), a founding father of Taiwan’s public health education. Prof. KP Chen served as the Director of Institute of Public Health at National Taiwan University (NTU) for 17 years in 1956-1972 and established Department of Public Health (the first undergraduate public health degree in Asia) in the College of Medicine of NTU in 1972. Under his leadership, the Institute and Department had cultivated many public health professionals, educators, researchers and leaders in Taiwan. This formidable force of public health has helped Taiwan to solve many major public health issues, including the identification of arsenic intoxication as the cause of black-foot disease, iodization of salt to prevent goiter, and advocacy of National Health Insurance (eventually leading to its implementation in 1995), and the publication of Taiwan’s first township-specific cancer mortality map. Prof. KP Chen was active in global health and has participated in WHO programs in Vietnam, Korea, and Philippine in his career.


The Institute and Department have been expanded to an independent college in NTU, College of Public Health (CPH), since 1993. Notably, NTUCPH has just been accredited by Council on Education for Public Health (founded and located in the U.S.) in July 2017, the first school in Asia, also the first one outside North America. KP Chen Preventive Medicine Foundation established “KP Chen Memorial Lecture in Public Health” in NTU-CPH in memory of Professor Kung-Pei Chen’s 100th Birth Anniversary in 2017. This annual lectureship is awarded to a prominent international individual who has made a significant and unique contribution to contemporary public health.


Professor KP Chen 


Professor KP Chen Memorial Video




Professor KP Chen Brief Chronology


1917 Dec. 27

Born in Taipei, Taiwan


Bachelor of Medicine, Keio University, Japan


Master of Public Health, Minnesota State University, USA


Director of Institute of Public Health, National Taiwan University


Advocated Prophylaxis with Iodized Salt to Prevent Goiter


Spearheaded the Investigation and Research on Black-Foot Disease in Taiwan


Promoted the National Health Insurance in Taiwan 


Consultant to the World Health Organization


Visiting Scholar in University of Washington


The Cutter Lecture (113th) on Preventive Medicine at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Founded the Department of Public Health, National Taiwan University


Initiated Taiwan Township-Specific Cancer Mortality Map

1978 Feb. 23

Died of Pancreatic Cancer in Taipei, Taiwan



List of KP Chen Memorial Lecture in Public Health


5th 2022

2022/11/2 Professor Amagai Masayuki


4th 2021

2021/11/12  Professor John R. Finnegan Jr. 


3rd 2019

2019/12/13  Professor Baron Peter Piot


2nd 2018

2018/11/22  Professor Jonathan Michael Samet


1st 2017 

2017/11/20  Professor Michelle Ann Williams