Young pharmaceutical researcher with an aspiration to contribute to science

(VOVWORLD) - “A doctor can save a few people, but a pharmaceutical resercher can save many.” This thought led Truong Thanh Tung to study pharmacy and make great achievements in the field. Tung was one of the Top 10 Outstanding Young Faces of Vietnam for 2022.

Young pharmaceutical researcher with an aspiration to contribute to science          - ảnh 1Dr. Truong Thanh Tung in the lab. 

Dr. Truong Thanh Tung was honored for his scientific research and the development of many pharmaceutical products. Tung’s research team is working on a natural antibacterial peptide for external use to treat bacterial infections and heal scars. The product is being tested as a replacement for current antibiotics.

Tung was also known for a research on new HIV drugs. Those are just two of more than 40 research projects Tung and his colleagues are engaged in.

In 2011, while still a Hanoi University of Pharmacy student, Tung had his first research study published in an international journal by the Institute for Scientific Information.

“My first research was on cancer treatment. With limited equipment and resources available in Vietnam at that time, I still managed to create an effective new medicine. This initial success inspired me to continue the science path that I have chosen,” said Tung.

After graduating from Hanoi University of Pharmacy, Tung went on to obtain a master's degree from Seoul National University in South Korea and a doctorate from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Tung got the opportunity to do research in several countries, including the United States, Finland, Britain, and Japan. He is now a member of the editorial boards of several international pharmacy journals published by the Institute for Scientific Information.

Young pharmaceutical researcher with an aspiration to contribute to science          - ảnh 2Dr. Truong Thanh Tung (first from right) and researchers in the US.

After 8 years studying and working abroad, in 2019 Tung decided to return to Vietnam to create new medicines.  

“Before making my decision to return, I asked myself three questions: Am I ready to return to Vietnam? Have I accumulated enough experience to return to my homeland and fulfill my dream? Can I research and develop pharmaceuticals in Vietnam?” 

“I wanted to focus my research on infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance, and antivirals. When I decided the answers were yes, I promptly returned to Vietnam,” said Tung.

Tung currently leads the Phenikaa Institute for Advanced Study's new drug research group and is a lecturer at Phenikaa University’s Faculty of Pharmacy. At present, Tung’s research group is the only one in Vietnam doing research on a replacement for antibiotics.

“If Vietnam can master Pharmaceutical Chemistry, we can manage the whole process from doing research to manufacturing finished products. There will be two benefits: First, Vietnam can become self-sufficient and won’t have to rely so much on imported medicines. Second, Vietnamese consumers will have greater access to medicines at reasonable cost. Vietnam will be able to produce even rare medicines,” said Tung.

Dr. Luong Xuan Huy, a lecturer at Phenikaa University’s Faculty of Pharmacy, said, “Tung has experience in different academic environments, so he has a broad vision and orientation to scientific research. He can spend hours discussing his expertise. He inspires his colleagues and his students.”

Dr. Truong Thanh Tung’s outstanding achievements:

- Named to global list of 28 outstanding scientists.

- Golden Global Award for Science and Technology (2021).

- First Vietnamese scientist admitted to Sigma Xi, one of the oldest and most prestigious scientific associations (2022).

- Outstanding Young Teacher of Hanoi Award (2022).