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Jul 09, 2022 / 07:45

First Vietnamese wins European Young Scientist Award

The awarded work is expected to have a lasting impact on the future knowledge of genome stability.

Nguyen Thi Hoang Duong has become the first Vietnamese and the second Asian scientist to garner Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators under the age of 35, according to Eppendorf Corporate, which presents the honor.

The awarding ceremony took place this week at the Advanced Training Center of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Duong received the award for her work on the structure and function of two RNA-protein complexes, spliceosome and telomerase, that are essential for all higher organisms.

 Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Duong, the first Vietnamese wins the Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators. Photo: Eppendorf

The Wiley Analytical Science journal site quoted statements made by judges of the awards as saying that her work provided fundamental insights into the structure and function of these complexes and is expected to have a lasting impact on the future knowledge of genome stability. The award-winning work is the fruit of her 16-year research.

"I feel honored to receive the 2022 Eppendorf Award. I am very grateful to my laboratory, past and present colleagues, mentors, collaborators, and family. The award acknowledges our contribution to the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of important processes through visualization of the three-dimensional structures of the biological molecules involved. We hope that the insights gained from our work will facilitate therapeutic developments," Duong said.

Duong, who was born in 1987 in Vietnam’s central province of Quang Ngai, won a full scholarship to attend Wellington Girls' School in New Zealand for high school after completing the ninth grade.

After that, she went on to obtain full undergraduate and graduate scholarships to study chemistry at the Australian National University. She was granted a PhD scholarship at Trinity College under Cambridge University, after completing her master's degree.

Dr. Hoang Duong is currently working at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

First established in 1995, the Eppendorf Award for Young European Investigators honors outstanding works in biomedical research and provides support for young scientists in Europe under 35. 

The winner of the prize also receives EUR20,000 (US$20,353) in cash and has the opportunity to have their research published in Nature, the world's leading multidisciplinary science journal.

The award is presented in partnership with the scientific journal Nature. The award’s judges are renowned scientists, including the president of the European Institute.