Tainan, Taiwan, December 11th, 2009
A Virology Lab in Children’s Hospital No. 1 (CH1), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, sponsored by National Cheng Kung University Hospital (NCKUH) and National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) in Taiwan was launched on November 11th, 2009.
Prof. Ih-Jen Su (蘇益仁), former Director General of Center for Disease Control (CDC), Taiwan, and current Deputy Superintendent for Research of National Cheng Kung University Hospital and Distinguished Investigator of Division of Infectious Disease in National Health Research Institutes, is recognized for uplifting medical care and research and enhancing the public’s wellbeing in Vietnam with the prestigious Ho Chi Minh Medal Award and Honorous Citizenship of Ho Chi Minh City.
Prof. Da Hsuan Feng (馮達旋), Senior Executive Vice President of NCKU, praised Prof. Su’s long term humanitarian devotion in Taiwan and abroad. Prof. Su commented that he simply follows his dream since youth and has strived to fulfill his mission as an intellectual by serving the public with his medical expertise. Being known to the Taiwanese public as an authority on pandemic affairs since SARS and in the current H1N1 flu, Prof. Su, an expert on biology and pathology of malignant lymphoma, particularly EBV-associated T cell lymphoma, pathogenesis and mechanism of HBV pre-S mutants and hepatocarcinogenesis, and pathogenesis and therapy of virus-associated hemophagocytic syndrome, said in the coming 3-5 years he and his team will continue to explore hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Recently Prof. Su and his team have made another breakthrough in HBV and HCC research which will revolutionize both fields.
Since 2001 NCKUH and CH1 have started research collaboration on dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) with technical support from World Health Organization (WHO). In 2003, Prof. Ih-Jen Su and Prof. Ching-Chuan Liu (劉清泉) provided technical support for CH1’s study on lymphoma and Epstein-Bar Virus infection, and in 2006, an official 3-year research project on hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis was initiated among the three institutions.
So far, a Treatment Guideline for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease has been institutionalized by Ministry of Health in Vietnam, a workshop on hemophagocytic syndrome was held in Feb. 2008, a paper entitled “Comprehensive analyses and characterization of haemophagocytic lymphohistocytosis in Vietnamese children” will soon be published in the British Journal of Haematology, and two papers on dengue hemorrhagic fever have been published in international medical journals.
Other achievements from this bilateral collaboration include exchange training program where one surgeon, one cardiologist and one physician on extracorporeal perfusion from CH1 came to NCKUH to receive a 6 months long training, two technicians received molecular diagnosis training and one doctor and one technician received viral isolation training, plus pathology and hematology training at NCKUH and NHRI. CH1 also benefited in capacity building on both clinical management and laboratory investigations, especially in virology.
NCKUH has also sent three pediatric residents to learn infectious disease and participated in a 10-day training course on dengue hemorrhagic fever in CH1.
Prof. Su’s major research interest is on the pathogenesis and targeted therapy of virus-associated malignancies, including EBV-associated T cell lymphoma and hemophagocytic syndrome and HBV-related hepatocellutar carcinoma. He has identified that EBV can infect T cells and cause T cell lymphoma and hemophago-cytic syndrome. His team clarified the signal pathway and target for therapy. They identified the HBV pre-S mutants as the potential oncoproteins through the ER stress signals. By identifying the specific signal pathway, they can apply PPAR agonists and NFkB inhibitors for the prevention and therapy of these virus-associated immune disorders and human cancers.
Prof. Su’s laboratory is the leading group in the study of EVB-associated T cell lymphoma and hemophagocytic syndrome in the world. They first identified KSHV / HHV-8 in non-AIDS Kaposi’s sarcoma. Their group also first identified HBV pre-S mutants in ground glass hepatocytes and clarified the biologic significance and its potential role in hepatocarcinogenesis. He has published a total of more than 200 papers in the journals like Lancet, Blood, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Am. J. Pathol. During the SARS period, he served as the Director General of Taiwan CDC. He also coordinates the task force for infectious diseases like influenza, enteroviruses, HIV, and tuberculosis.
Prof. Su has won Distinguished Research Award (1991,1995, 1997), Special Appointed Award ( 2002, 2005), National Science Council, Taiwan, First Class Health Award (SARS Control), Department of Health (2005), Lai Ho Award in medical service (2000), Outstanding Award in Cancer Research, Dr. Hsu Chien-tien’s Foundation, Ten Outstanding Young Person (TOYP) Award (1990). He has been an Associate Editor for Cancer Science since 2005, and a Fellow member of International Lymphoma Study Group since 1997.
Prof. Su earned a Ph.D. degree in Pathology from Institute of Pathology, National Taiwan University, in 1988, and a M.D. degree in Medicine from National Taiwan University Medical College in 1976.