Prof Tuan Nguyen

Dr. Tuan V. Nguyen is an NHMRC Leadership Fellow (L3) and Head of the Genetics and Epidemiology of Osteoporosis Lab (Bone Biology Division). He also holds appointments as Senior Principal Fellow of the Garvan Institute; Conjoint Professor of St Vincent's Clinical School, UNSW Medicine, UNSW Sydney;

Research Level

Senior Principal Research Fellow

Biography

Dr. Tuan V. Nguyen is an NHMRC Leadership Fellow (L3) and Head of the Genetics and Epidemiology of Osteoporosis Lab (Bone Biology Division). He also holds appointments as Senior Principal Fellow of the Garvan Institute; Conjoint Professor of St Vincent's Clinical School, UNSW Medicine, UNSW Sydney; Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia; and Professor of Predictive Medicine, University of Technology Sydney (UTS). 

The primary focus of his research is on the discovery and translation of genetic and etiologic factors that determine an individual's risk of fracture. He pursues both epidemiological and genetic research to address issues that are transformational, shaping policy and practice leading to better treatment and control of osteoporosis at the individual level.

Research

He joined the Garvan Institute of Medical Research about 30 years ago to work as a research officer, and subsequently became a principal investigator of the Dubbo Osteoporosis and Epidemiology Study. The Study has made significant contributions to a far better understanding of osteoporosis pathogenesis. In the mid-1990s, using data from the Dubbo study, he and his colleagues were among the first to show that the interaction between low bone mass and muscle weakness predicted fracture risk. Further work revealed that bone loss at clinically important sites (eg femoral neck) in the elderely neither decreased or stabilised as often stated in medical textbooks, but rather progressively increased with advancing age in men and women, and that bone loss contributed to the increased risk of fracture.  

Dr. Nguyen and his research group have been pioneering in the development of predictive models for assessing fracture risk and better disease management. One of his achievements is the translation of 20-year research into a personal risk assessment tool called “Garvan Fracture Risk Calculator”. This model was developed based on the concept of individualised assessment which he had advanced previously. The model has been implemented in mobile devices and a dedicated website (www.fractureriskcalculator.com) which has been used daily by doctors and patients from all over the world.  

Dr. Nguyen is a prominent figure in the field of genetics of osteoporosis through his work since mid-1990s. Using the candidate gene approach, his group has demonstrated the contributions of polymorphisms in the VDR, COLIA1, LRP5, and FTO genes to the prediction of fracture risk. Recently, the group has participated in international consortia that have discovered 56 bone mass loci. A genetic signature called "Osteogenomic Profile" was subsequently created from this discovery for better predicting personalised fracture risk assessment. The group is now engaging in genomewide association study to identify genetic variants that are associated with bone loss.

Publication

Dr. Nguyen has published more than 320 peer reviewed publications, including original articles, review articles, book chapters, and commentaries or editorials, largely from his current research interests. His work has been published in highest impact journals in the field, notably the J Bone Miner Res, J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Osteoporosis International, and Bone. A number of key papers are published in more general journals, including New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, JAMA, BMJ, Ann Int Med, Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Rev Endocrinol. Many of his papers have generated a great deal of interests from colleagues around the world, and in many aspects, have been highly influential. Overall, his publications have been cited >30,000 times by other authors (as at 22/12/2020). His careerwise H index is 92 (Scopus), and he is among the world's most-cited researchers (PLoS Biol 2020).

Professional activities

Dr. Nguyen has contributed to the profession through his services in journal editorial boards and peer review. He is currently an Associate Editor of Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease, Academic Editor for Scientific Reports, PLoS ONE and PeerJ, and former Associate Editor of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. He is a regular reviewer for more than 20 medical and bone journals. He also contributed to grant review for many funding agencies around the world, including NHMRC, Wellcome Trust, NIH, WHO, Elan (Germany), New Zealand, Iceland, Israel, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Czech Health Research Council.  He has been called on to offer opinions on applications for full professorship in the UCSD and UCLA. Dr. Nguyen regularly speaks or gives lectures in major osteoporosis conferences. He has also been invited to serve on organising committees of various international conferences. In 2018, he was admitted to be a Fellow of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research for his distinguished accomplishments and contributions to the musculoskeletal field and many years of contributions to the Society. 

International contributions

Dr. Nguyen has extensive research collaborations, both nationally and internationally. To date, he has published with more than 150 co-authors from 10 different countries in 21 institutions from the USA, Europe and Asia. He has been appointed as a Visiting Professor at the Khon Kaen University School of Medicine (Thailand), Hanoi Medical School (Vietnam), University of Danang (Vietnam), Hanoi University of Pharmacy (Vietnam) and Ton Duc Thang University (Vietnam). During the past 15 years, he has conducted more than 50 workshops in research methodology, scientific writing, epidemiology and biostatistics, osteoporosis, and evidence based medicine in Thailand and Vietnam. His highly popular workshops have attracted and improved research capacity for thousands of doctors, health care professionals, and scientists in Vietnam. He has published 15 books from his workshops in Vietnam, and has received a number of national awards and honours for his work in his native country. He has recently helped establish a bone and muscle research laboratory in Vietnam. This lab is conducting large scale study called "Vietnam Osteoporosis Study" (VOS) which complements his work in Australia.

Dr. Nguyen is considered himself lucky to have worked with many great mentors and students from all over the world.  Through interaction with colleagues around the world, he often comes to the realisation that that he knows next to nothing.

Dr. Tuan V. Nguyen is an NHMRC Leadership Fellow (L3) and Head of the Genetics and Epidemiology of Osteoporosis Lab (Bone Biology Division). He also holds appointments as Senior Principal Fellow of the Garvan Institute; Conjoint Professor of St Vincent's Clinical School, UNSW Medicine, UNSW Sydney; Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia; and Professor of Predictive Medicine, University of Technology Sydney (UTS). 

The primary focus of his research is on the discovery and translation of genetic and etiologic factors that determine an individual's risk of fracture. He pursues both epidemiological and genetic research to address issues that are transformational, shaping policy and practice leading to better treatment and control of osteoporosis at the individual level.

Research

He joined the Garvan Institute of Medical Research about 30 years ago to work as a research officer, and subsequently became a principal investigator of the Dubbo Osteoporosis and Epidemiology Study. The Study has made significant contributions to a far better understanding of osteoporosis pathogenesis. In the mid-1990s, using data from the Dubbo study, he and his colleagues were among the first to show that the interaction between low bone mass and muscle weakness predicted fracture risk. Further work revealed that bone loss at clinically important sites (eg femoral neck) in the elderely neither decreased or stabilised as often stated in medical textbooks, but rather progressively increased with advancing age in men and women, and that bone loss contributed to the increased risk of fracture.  

Dr. Nguyen and his research group have been pioneering in the development of predictive models for assessing fracture risk and better disease management. One of his achievements is the translation of 20-year research into a personal risk assessment tool called “Garvan Fracture Risk Calculator”. This model was developed based on the concept of individualised assessment which he had advanced previously. The model has been implemented in mobile devices and a dedicated website (www.fractureriskcalculator.com) which has been used daily by doctors and patients from all over the world.  

Dr. Nguyen is a prominent figure in the field of genetics of osteoporosis through his work since mid-1990s. Using the candidate gene approach, his group has demonstrated the contributions of polymorphisms in the VDR, COLIA1, LRP5, and FTO genes to the prediction of fracture risk. Recently, the group has participated in international consortia that have discovered 56 bone mass loci. A genetic signature called "Osteogenomic Profile" was subsequently created from this discovery for better predicting personalised fracture risk assessment. The group is now engaging in genomewide association study to identify genetic variants that are associated with bone loss.

Publication

Dr. Nguyen has published more than 320 peer reviewed publications, including original articles, review articles, book chapters, and commentaries or editorials, largely from his current research interests. His work has been published in highest impact journals in the field, notably the J Bone Miner Res, J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Osteoporosis International, and Bone. A number of key papers are published in more general journals, including New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, JAMA, BMJ, Ann Int Med, Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Rev Endocrinol. Many of his papers have generated a great deal of interests from colleagues around the world, and in many aspects, have been highly influential. Overall, his publications have been cited >30,000 times by other authors (as at 22/12/2020). His careerwise H index is 92 (Scopus), and he is among the world's most-cited researchers (PLoS Biol 2020).

Professional activities

Dr. Nguyen has contributed to the profession through his services in journal editorial boards and peer review. He is currently an Associate Editor of Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease, Academic Editor for Scientific Reports, PLoS ONE and PeerJ, and former Associate Editor of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. He is a regular reviewer for more than 20 medical and bone journals. He also contributed to grant review for many funding agencies around the world, including NHMRC, Wellcome Trust, NIH, WHO, Elan (Germany), New Zealand, Iceland, Israel, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Czech Health Research Council.  He has been called on to offer opinions on applications for full professorship in the UCSD and UCLA. Dr. Nguyen regularly speaks or gives lectures in major osteoporosis conferences. He has also been invited to serve on organising committees of various international conferences. In 2018, he was admitted to be a Fellow of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research for his distinguished accomplishments and contributions to the musculoskeletal field and many years of contributions to the Society. 

International contributions

Dr. Nguyen has extensive research collaborations, both nationally and internationally. To date, he has published with more than 150 co-authors from 10 different countries in 21 institutions from the USA, Europe and Asia. He has been appointed as a Visiting Professor at the Khon Kaen University School of Medicine (Thailand), Hanoi Medical School (Vietnam), University of Danang (Vietnam), Hanoi University of Pharmacy (Vietnam) and Ton Duc Thang University (Vietnam). During the past 15 years, he has conducted more than 50 workshops in research methodology, scientific writing, epidemiology and biostatistics, osteoporosis, and evidence based medicine in Thailand and Vietnam. His highly popular workshops have attracted and improved research capacity for thousands of doctors, health care professionals, and scientists in Vietnam. He has published 15 books from his workshops in Vietnam, and has received a number of national awards and honours for his work in his native country. He has recently helped establish a bone and muscle research laboratory in Vietnam. This lab is conducting large scale study called "Vietnam Osteoporosis Study" (VOS) which complements his work in Australia.

Dr. Nguyen is considered himself lucky to have worked with many great mentors and students from all over the world.  Through interaction with colleagues around the world, he often comes to the realisation that that he knows next to nothing.

Awards and Honours

• NHMRC Leadership Fellowship Level III (2020)
• Elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (2019)
• UTS Chancellor Medal for Exceptional Research (2018)
• Elected Fellow of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (2018)
• Professor Honoris Causa of Hanoi Univeristy of Pharmacy (2018)
• Distinguished Visiting Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Danang, Vietnam (2017)
• Lifetime Achievement Award from the Osteoporosis Society of Ho Chi Minh City (2016)
• Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ton Duc Thang University, Vietnam (2016)
• Award from the Foreign Minister of Vietnam for contributions to higher education and science in Vietnam (2009)
• NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (2008)
• Garvan Best PhD Thesis Award (1998)
• Excellence in Research. University of New South Wales and St Vincent's 7th Research Symposium (1995, 1997)
• Sandoz Award for outstanding research and best presentation in bone and mineral research, Auckland NZ 1995.


Selected awards to research students under his supervision:
• 2018 The Christine and T Jack Martin Award from the IBMS-ANZBMS (International Bone and Mineral Society and Australian New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (Thao Ho-Le)
• 2017 Sol Posen Research Paper Award, ANZBMS (Thao Ho-Le)
• 2017 ASBMR Young Investigator Award (Thao Ho-Le)
• 2017 UTS High Quality Publication Award (Thao Ho-Le)
• 2016 Amgen-ANZBMS Outstanding Abstract Award (Thao Ho-Le)
• 2010 Roger Mellick Young Investigator Award from ANZBMS (Shuman Yang)
• 2009 The Christine and T Jack Martin Award from the IBMS-ANZBMS (International Bone and Mineral Society and Australian New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society) (Bich Tran).
• 2009 Solander Award, UNSW Sydney (Bich Tran)
• 2008 The Harvey Carey Award from the UNSW Sydney (Bich Tran)
• 2008 Best Research Award, UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine (Steven Frost)
• 2007 Young Investigator from the ASBMR (American Society for Bone and Mineral Research) (Bich Tran)
• 2006 ASBMR Young Investigator (Nguyen D. Nguyen)
• 2006 European Calcified Tissue Society Young Investigator Award (Nguyen D. Nguyen)
• 2005 IBMS Young Investigator Award (Nguyen D. Nguyen)
• 2005 ANZBMS Outstanding Poster Award (Nguyen D. Nguyen)

Education

Higher Doctorate: DSc (Medicine, 2016, UNSW Sydney, Australia)
DSc thesis: Contributions to Osteoporosis Research.

Doctorate: PhD (Medicine, 1997, UNSW Sydney, Australia)
PhD thesis: Contribution of Genetic and Environmental Factors to the Determination of Osteoporotic Fractures.

Fundings

  • NHMRC APP1195305 (2021-2026): Investigator Prediction of fracture by clinico-genetic profiling. Funding: $2,339,215 (CI: Nguyen)
  • Amgen Global Competitive Grant (2020-2022). Development of a clinico-genetic model for predicting fracture and post-fracture mortality. Funding: $280,000. (CI: Nguyen)
  • NHMRC APP1176600 (2020-2022): Translation of best practice in osteoporosis refracture prevention: stopping fragility fraturs to keep Australians out of hospital. Budget: $855,000 (CIs: Perry, Center, Harris, Clifton-Bligh, Hassett, Nguyen, McInnes, White, Frost).
  • NHMRC APP1141361 (2018-2020): Deregulation of DNA hydroxymethylases Tet1 and Tet2 compromises skeletal integrity during ageing and osteoporosis (Project Grant). CIs: Gronthos, Nguyen, Davis.
  • NHMRC APP1102286 (2015-2017): Non-invasive detection of hypoglycaemia in people with diabetes using brain wave activity (Project Grant). Funding: $310,000. (PIs: Nguyen H, Jones T, Nguyen T).
  • NHMRC APP1070187 (2014-2016): Fracture associated premature mortality: An international consortium (Project Grant). Funding: $560,558. (PIs: Center, Nguyen, Eisman)
  • NHMRC APP1007539 (2012-2014): Prediction of osteoporosis outcomes. Funding: $700,854. (PIs: Nguyen, Center, Eisman).
  • NHMRC APP1039085 (2011-2013): Patient specific electronic decision support for the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and the prevention of fracture. Funding: $309,262. (PIs: Eisman, Center, Nguyen, Peiris, Selecki).
  • NHMRC APP1003612 (2011-2013): Vitamin D, bone loss, fracture and mortality outcome (Project Grant). Funding: $624,310. (PIs: Eisman, Nguyen, Center, Seibel, Sambrook, Elder).
  • NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (2008-2014): Genetics of osteoporosis. Funding: ~$700,000 (PI: Nguyen).
  • NHMRC Project Grant (2005-2007): Genetic Prediction of Fractures in a Risk-stratified Population. Funding: $358,125. (PI: Nguyen, Eisman, Center, Esteban).
  • NHMRC Project Grant (2004-2006): Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study. Funding: $665,025. (PI: Nguyen, Center, Eisman, Cumming).
  • NHMRC Project Grant (2001-2003): MERIT study -- Effectiveness of the Medical Emergency System. Funding: $621,000. (PI: Hillman, Nguyen, Fifer, Doyles).

Selected Publications

Nguyen TV. Personalized fracture risk assessment: where are we at? Expert Review in Endocrinology and Metabolism 2021; in-press.

Nguyen TV. Personalised assessment of fracture risk: which tool? Austral J General Practice 2021; in-press. 

Ho-Le et al. Epidemiological transition to mortality and re-fracture following an initial fracture. eLife 2021. https://elifesciences.org/articles/61142

Ho-Le TP, Tran HTT, Center JR, Eisman JA, Nguyen HT, Nguyen TV. Assessing the clinical utility of genetic profiling in fracture risk prediction: a decision curve analysis. Osteoporos Int. 2020 Aug 12. doi: 10.1007/s00198-020-05403-2.

Nguyen TV. Toward the era of precision fracture risk assessment. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 Jul 1;105(7):dgaa222. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa222.

Nguyen TV, Eisman JA. Post‐GWAS Polygenic Risk Score: Utility and Challenges. JBMR Plus;4(11): e10411.

Tran ST, Bliuc D, Pham HM, van Geel T, Adachi JD, Berger C, van den Bergh Joop, Eisman JA, Geusens P, Goltzman D, Hanley DA, Josse RG, Kaiser SM, Kovacs CS, Langsetmo L, Prior JC, Nguyen TV, Center JR for the CaMos Research Group. A risk assessment tool for predicting fragility fractures and mortality in the elderly. J Bone Miner Res 2020 Oct;35(10):1923-1934.

Styrkarsdottir U, Stefansson OA, Gunnarsdottir K, Thorleifsson G, Lund SH, Juliusson K, Agustsdottir AB, Zink F, Halldorsson GH, Ivarsdottir EV, Benonisdottir S, Jonsson H, Gylfason A, Trajanoska K, Boer CG, Southam L, Leung JC, Tang NLS, Kwok T, Lee JSW, Ho SC, Byrjalsen I, Center JR, Lee SH, Koh JM, Lohmander LS, Ho-Pham LT, Nguyen TV, Eisman JA, Woo J, Leung PC, arcOGEN consortium, Loughlin J, Zeggini E , Rivadeneira F, van Meurs J, Uitterlinden AG, Mogensen B, Jonsson H, Ingvarsson T, Sigurdsson G, Benediktsson R, Sulem P, Jonsdottir I, Masson G, Holm H, Norddahl GL, Thorsteinsdottir U, Gudbjartsson DF, Stefansson K. Genome wide association study of bone size yields twelve loci that also affect height, bone density, osteoarthritis and fractures. Nature Comms 2019; 10(1):2054

Ho-Le TP, Center JR, Eisman JA, Nguyen TV, Nguyen HT. Prediction of hip fracture in post-menopausal women using artificial neural network approach. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2017 Jul;2017:4207-4210.

Ho-Le TP, Center JR, Eisman JA, Nguyen HT, Nguyen TV. Prediction of Bone Mineral Density and Fragility Fracture by Genetic Profiling. J Bone Miner Res. 2017;32(2):285-293. 

Nguyen TV. Individualized Assessment of Fracture Risk: Contribution of “Osteogenomic Profile”. J Clin Densitom 2017;20(3):353-359.