IVF scientist, mathematician and physicist win top award

06:00 | 22/06/2020 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Three Vietnamese scientists have been awarded with the 2020 Ta Quang Buu Award for their successful research in the fields of medicine, mathematics and physics and significant contributions to national socioeconomic development.

ivf scientist mathematician and physicist win top award
Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam (left) and Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh (right) present the Ta Quang Buu awards to scientists

“I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day,” said Associate Professor, Dr. Vuong Thi Ngoc Lan, Vietnam’s leading in vitro fertilization (IVF) expert now working at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy. She has helped bring more than 10,000 children into the world through IVF from the early days of this field in Vietnam in 1997. She was chosen by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) to receive the prize for her project on IVF transfer of fresh and frozen embryos to women without polycystic ovaries. The study, published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, has helped doctors and patients make better choices and increase the chances of IVF success.

Associate Professor, Dr. Vuong Thi Ngoc Lan said it took three years for the research team to study 782 infertile women without polycystic ovary syndrome. Theirs was the first research in the world that proved that implanting frozen embryos yielded similar results to implanting fresh ones. This means that doctors need not transfer only fresh embryos, they can freeze them and transfer only one embryo per cycle.

The study and its publication in the world’s leading medical journal have placed Vietnam firmly at the forefront of reproductive health care. “Patients are our teachers with different characteristics, symptoms and medical problems. They are the motivation for us to do research to find the most effective and suitable treatment methods,” Lan told participants at the awards ceremony held in mid-May.

Lan said receiving the Ta Quang Buu Award was a source of honor and pride for herself and the team of scientists she has nurtured. “Besides the honor, I understand that this is also about the responsibilities with which the MoST, scientists and the community have entrusted me and their expectations of me. My responsibilities are to do better high-quality and applicable research and train successive generations,” she said.

The second award recipient was Associate Professor, Dr. Pham Tien Son from Da Lat University for her study of the “generic properties of semi-algebraic programs”. He attributed his success to long years of study and research. “Looking back at my science career, I think that there are always two fundamental difficulties for researchers which are little research time, and little and unavailable funding for research. Nevertheless, my passion for science is the motivation that has helped me overcome obstacles and engage in research activities.

“Young people have a lot of energy and think they can do many things at the same time. Me, too. Then I understand that good quality research results can only be achieved when we devote all our time to science,” she said.

Dr. Nguyen Truong Thanh Hieu from Ton Duc Thang University was the third recipient of the prestigious award with his project on “low-energy electron inelastic mean free path in materials”.

Since the National Foundation for Science and Technology (NAFOSTED) officially started operations a decade ago, Vietnamese science has achieved major breakthroughs. The increasing number of scientific works conducted by Vietnamese scientists and publication in high quality journals has lifted Vietnamese science to a higher level.

This year’s award-winning works show that even research on practical issues in Vietnam or international theoretical issues at local universities can still achieve excellent results, which are recognizable worldwide.

Quynh Nga