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VNU University of Science alumnus becomes the first female winner of Ta Quang Buu Award
Among the three main award-winning scientists in 2019, there was a female scientist with excellent publications in Group Q1 journals on the prestigious ISI journal list. This is the first time the award has been presented to a female scientist and expanded to include two new disciplines: mechanics and biomedicine.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Le Khanh Hang, the first female award winner, is an alumnus of the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, VNU University of Science. She is the author of 36/70 articles published in prestigious international scientific journals. She is currently working at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the Ministry of Health.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Le Khanh Hang is the author of the scientific work “Analysis of HPAI H5N1 evolution in human and animal interaction”.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Le Khanh Hang has published numerous articles on seasonal influenza virus, animal-to-human and emerging viruses (SARS-CoV, A/H5N1 avian influenza, A/H7N9, MERS-CoV, Ebola ...), Rickettssia. The research work "Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Viruses at the Animal-Human Interface in Vietnam, 2003–2010" by the award winner was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases - a prestigious journal on infectious diseases of the American Infectious Diseases Association, in 2017.

The work focuses on the interaction of influenza A/H5N1 virus in Vietnam in the period of 2003 - 2010: rapid evolution of viruses, statistics of the virus mutations in human-animal interaction, spatial and time correlation of the appearance of viruses in poultry and humans. She and her colleagues at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the Central Veterinary Diagnostic Centre, the Department of Animal Health (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC), selected and isolated viruses from human and poultry specimens in Vietnam, from the first cases (2003) to the most recent cases (2010), for genealogy analysis and molecular analysis of the viruses.

The results show that HPAI H5N1 virus was divided into 6 group antigens made from 8 genotypes; 34 amino acids from the proteins of the virus modified after its transmission from poultry to humans; time and space correlation between the emergence of HPAI H5N1 virus in poultry and its transmission to humans.

On this basis, the work of Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Le Khanh Hang provides a list of the mutations identified in human-animal interaction in HPAI H5N1 virus, valuable in virus molecular monitoring for future studies in Vietnam and in the world. The data can help scientists detect and identify mutations related to the adaptation of HPAI H5N1 influenza virus in mammals, and provide reference data for research on other influenza A viruses circulating in animals and poultry.

With the timely grasp of new trends, the award winner aims to apply "One Health" - a new interdisciplinary approach proposed by the World Health Organization to bring together researchers from different fields to carry out studies from the local, regional, national to the global scale for understanding the mechanism of development and evolution of infectious diseases through the interaction among humans, animals and the environment.

The 2019 Ta Quang Buu Award was also presented to Assoc.Prof.Dr. Pham Duc Chinh (Mechanics) and Dr. Le Trong Lu (Physics).

Previously, in the years from 2014 to 2018, there had always been VNU’s scientists and alumni featured at the Ta Quang Buu Award Ceremony.

 Sinh Vũ - VNU Media
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