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Shu, Zheng obtain Vietnam’s prime honor for overseas scientists | VUMC Reporter

 

by Tom Wilemon

The Vietnamese Ministry of Well being has awarded two Vanderbilt epidemiologists the Memorabilia Medal “For the Folks’s Well being” in appreciation for his or her contributions in serving to the nation set up a population-based analysis program for most cancers, diabetes and different non-communicable illnesses.

The medal is the very best honor that the Vietnam authorities bestows upon overseas scientists who’ve made important contributions in public well being. Previous recipients have included representatives of the World Well being Group and different worldwide well being specialists.

Xiao Ou Shu, MD, PhD, MPH

Xiao Ou Shu, MD, PhD, MPH, affiliate director for World Well being and co-leader of the Most cancers Epidemiology Analysis Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Most cancers Middle, and Wei Zheng, MD, PhD, director of the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Middle and Anne Potter Wilson Chair in Drugs, acquired the medals in July. Shu led a workforce of Vanderbilt researchers on a program to construct analysis capability in Vietnam that’s supported primarily by a grant from the Nationwide Most cancers Institute’s (NCI) Middle for World Well being. This grant is a part of NCI initiative to create and assist Regional Facilities of Analysis Excellence for non-communicable illnesses in low- and middle-income international locations or areas. Shu is the lead principal investigator of this grant.

“We all know that illness has no borders,” Shu stated. “This analysis advantages America additionally as a result of what we study in a foreign country may be transferred again to the U.S. populations, notably for some life-style habits, comparable to weight loss program and train, and genetic elements which are tough to review on this nation because of their low prevalence.”

Wei Zheng, MD, PhD, MPH

She cited for example a earlier research she led on soy consumption amongst breast most cancers survivors that exposed soy merchandise within the weight loss program had been related to a diminished breast most cancers recurrence fee regardless that they comprise giant quantities of isoflavones that bind to estrogen receptors in cells. Estrogen is a hormone that has been linked to most cancers development, notably in breast most cancers. The research confirmed that ladies who ate probably the most soy meals, greater than 11.83 mg isoflavones per day, had a 27% diminished fee for breast most cancers recurrence in comparison with those that had the bottom consumption. Such a research would have been tough to conduct with out utilizing a Chinese language-based population-based research as a result of soy will not be generally consumed within the U.S. and consumption is low and tough to measure, Shu stated. This discovering has led to a change of dietary tips from the American Most cancers Society for breast most cancers survivors.

The Vanderbilt epidemiology workforce labored with the NCI, the Vietnamese Nationwide Most cancers Hospital and Institute, the Hanoi College of Public Well being and Hanoi Medical College to ship coaching and capability constructing workshops and in-person coaching classes and to share their experience on survey questionnaires, analysis protocols for gathering biospecimens, biobanking and high quality management. They traveled with Vietnamese scientists to go to analysis laboratories in the USA and in Asian international locations. They mentored them on statistical evaluation and writing scientific papers.

“Non-communicable illnesses have now turn into an issue for Vietnam because the society has transitioned from a low-income inhabitants to some extent a middle-income inhabitants now,” Zheng stated. “Persistent illnesses have turn into extra widespread.”

Along with the NCI-sponsored work, Shu and her workforce additionally contracted with the VINMEC Worldwide Hospital in Vietnam to develop analysis applications in colorectal most cancers epidemiologic analysis.

The work in Vietnam started in 2015 when Shu and Zheng traveled there for a wants evaluation. In 2017, Shu obtained a two-year NCI grant together with Thuan Van Tran, MD, director of the Vietnam Nationwide Most cancers Hospital because the joint principal investigators.

The Vanderbilt workforce additionally helped Vietnamese investigators publish a particular version of Most cancers Management dedicated to cancers in Vietnam that included 17 peer reviewed papers. Shu, together with two Vietnamese researchers, was one in every of three visitor editors of the particular version, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Nationwide Most cancers Hospital.

A number of Vanderbilt professors co-authored a few of these research, together with Martha Shrubsole, PhD, analysis professor of Drugs, Division of Epidemiology, Stephen Deppen, PhD, an epidemiologist and assistant professor of Thoracic Surgical procedure, Staci Sudenga, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology, and Jaleesa Moore, PhD, an Epidemiology postdoctoral fellow. Sang Minh Nguyen, a Vanderbilt graduate scholar from Vietnam pursuing his PhD beneath the mentorship of Shu, additionally contributed to the publication.

Zheng stated he welcomed the chance to assist make a distinction in Vietnam. “They want this type of assist and we’ve the capability to assist them,” he stated.

Shu stated Vietnam has a possibility to forestall some power illnesses associated to weight loss program and life-style.

“You place out the fireplace earlier than it will get aflame,” she stated. “That’s necessary.”


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