Professor Yuan-Tsong (Y-T) Chen and Mrs. Alice Der-Shan Chen were both originally from Taiwan and have been committed to biomedical research for over 30 years. They recognise the tremendous impact that genetics and genomics have had on the improvement of health and treatment of diseases and wish to establish the Chen Award to celebrate research accomplishments in Human Genetics and Genomics in Asia Pacific. Professor Chen received his MD degree from National Taiwan University (Taipei) and a PhD from Columbia University (USA). He is currently a Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, and Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics at Duke University Medical Center (USA).
Professor Chen is a physician/scientist, recognised for his work on human genetic disorders. His translational research leads to the development of now standard therapies for two devastating inherited metabolic diseases: a simple and effective cornstarch therapy for severe hypoglycemia in glycogen storage diseases and an enzyme replacement therapy, the first ever treatment, for a debilitating, progressive and often fatal myopathy called Pompe disease. Professor Chen has also identified the genetic basis of and developed DNA-based diagnosis for several major heritable diseases, and more recently, his team in Taiwan has uncovered genes/SNPs associated with drug-induced Stevens-Johnson syndrome and warfarin sensitivity.
His latest pharmacogenomic studies of adverse drug reactions paved the way for personalised medicine by preventing drug toxicity with a gene test. Professor Chen is an elected member of Academia Sinica and of the Academy Sciences for the Developing World.