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
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
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 www.biotechinstitute.org.