BioGENEius Challenge Announces 2019 BioGENEius Hall of Fame Awardee

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Today, the Biotechnology Institute announced the winner of the BioGENEius Hall of Fame Award, who will be recognized next week at the 2019 BIO International Convention in Philadelphia. Each year, the Biotechnology Institute honors a past BioGENEius who best exemplifies the goals of its mission. This year we honor Michael Duong, a medical student and science advocate at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Duong’s interest in science began in his childhood, creating his own "basement laboratory" complete with incubators and centrifuges. He accelerated his scientific explorations in high school with a student internship at Kibow Biotech. His passion for science led him to years of independent research and science fairs, culminating in the 2014 and 2015 International BioGENEius Challenge, the 2017 Goldwater Scholarship in Life Sciences and the 2019 Marc S. Levine Radiology Research Prize. Duong has also received honors from the US Surgeon General, House of Representatives, Department of Education and Department of Agriculture, as well as National Merit/AP scholarships.

Duong’s aim is to become a physician, scientist and educator at the forefront of improving diagnosis and management of Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Given that one in three Americans over 75 are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, my long-term goal is to catalyze a paradigm shift in how we diagnose and treat neurodegenerative disease,” said Duong.

His current research focuses on applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve diagnosis of brain diseases and harnessing non-invasive neuroimaging biomarkers to demystify dementia progression. Michael hopes to streamline diagnosis and provide a platform for healthcare providers and the biotech industry to improve communication and discovery.

As a Vietnamese American, son of refugees and family caregiver, Duong is shaped by ancestral, cultural and religious heritage. From listening to the story of his mother’s harrowing trip across the South China Sea on a wooden boat, he learned gratitude and perseverance. From caring for his grandfather with dementia, he learned compassion and patience. Duong applies these lessons of humanity and peace to his approach to molecular and computational neuroscience. By investigating Alzheimer’s disease progression in different populations, he hopes to develop tools and treatments to empower personalized care for patients. As dementia prevalence is rising substantially in developing nations like Vietnam, Michael realizes that biomedical science must be diverse and provide precision management and treatments that are unique for each population and person. Leveraging heritage and life lessons, Michael embraces the love of – and duty to – his ancestors to help cognitively impaired patients and their families.

“Michael exemplifies the Institute’s vision for its BioGENEius family,” said Dr. Larry Mahan, President of the Biotechnology Institute. “His pursuit of scientific query balanced with a strong humanitarian perspective embodies those qualities that make our futures bright.”

About the Biotechnology Institute

The Biotechnology Institute is an independent, national nonprofit organization dedicated to education about the present and future impact of biotechnology. Its mission is to engage, excite and educate the public, particularly students and teachers, about biotechnology and its immense potential for solving human health, food and environmental problems. For more information, visit LINK  .

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Business Wire: 14:00 GMT Sunday 2nd June 2019

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