Vietnamese lecturer at Australian university receives $3 million for research

As the first author of six scientific articles and owner of one patent, Dr Ta Thu Hang has had great opportunities to get a promotion at a leading Australian university.

Vietnamese lecturer at Australian university receives $3 million for research

Dr Ta Thu Hang

Hang works for Griffith University in Australia. In addition to teaching, she is also the head of a laboratory which specializes in researching the application of nanomaterials in treatment and diagnosis of serious diseases such as cardiovascular disease.

She is also a Future Leader Fellow of Heart Foundation, an Australian organization specializing in cardiovascular health.

Hang was born into a family where both father and mother were teachers and built their careers themselves without any support. The parents also taught Hang how to become independent.

Graduating from the HCM City University of Technology majoring in Food Chemistry with the highest GPA, Hang became a lecturer at the school.

Like many other young people who wanted to study abroad to broaden their knowledge, Hang decided to go to Australia to study for a master’s degree in biotechnology at Queensland University. After 1.5 years of studying there, Hang decided to apply for a scholarship to become a PhD student at Melbourne University.

“During the three years as a PhD student, I realized that I have a special interest in the medical applications of nanotechnology,” she recalled.

After two years of implementing projects, Hang obtained funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC). At that time, she decided to set up a lab with focus on research about the applications of nanotechnology in treating and diagnosing cardiovascular diseases.

Her research team designed and developed smart MRI nanosensors that not only help detect but also report the stages or progression of cardiovascular disease, such as thrombosis.

Early detection and precise characterization of life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer is important in treatment.

“The information about thrombosis, if it has just taken shape or has existed for a long time in blood vessels, is very important, which helps doctors determine the treatment regimen,” Hang said.

Great efforts made to maintain lab

According to Hang, universities in Australia encourage and are willing to provide places to lecturers to build labs, provided that they can get funding for their research and buy equipment.

However, it is difficult to find sponsors because of the success probability rate of less than 10 percent. In general, the schools of higher rank will be able to get more money to fund their projects. This means that newly set up labs may ‘die young’ if they don’t have many projects.

With her efforts, her lab luckily has received many research projects.

As the first author of six scientific articles and owner of one patent, Dr Ta Thu Hang has had great opportunities to get a promotion at a leading Australian university.
 

“You need to do many things to ask for money to carry out your research. You not only have to read books and carry out experiments, but also have to attend conferences and seminars, give lectures, participate in scientific organizations, comment on scientific articles and join the editorial board of science journals,” she explained.

Another problem was that it was difficult to recruit workers for newly set up labs.

At first, only new graduates or postgraduates who were studying for a master’s degree joined the lab to carry out some small projects, lasting 3-6 months. And the students did not have much experience.

Therefore, Hang was busy guiding five or six students to carry out experiments each day. Because of the time limitation and the lack of money to buy chemicals and run machines, Hang admitted she had to struggle to maintain the lab.

Later, after some projects were fulfilled well, the lab became better known among more postgraduates.

“They said they read information about my projects on the school’s website and they felt the research was following a new interesting path, so they wanted to join my lab,” she said, adding that she began paying attention to polishing the image of the lab by introducing her projects on the school’s website.

At present, the lab headed by the Vietnamese lecturer has eight PhD students and one postdoc student.

Scientists need many new ideas

Recalling her tough days, Hang said at the time of the lab establishment, she had just given birth to her daughter. When the child turned 10 months old, she sent her to a kindergarten.

Now, the daughter is 7 years old, and Hang is still busy teaching and researching.

She has received 1,800 scientific citations and prestigious awards, as well as 3.9 million AUD ($3 million) in funding for research.

According to Hang, in order to have new research projects, scientists need to have new ideas. And to do so, they need to regularly read scientific articles to know what has been done in these fields and what still cannot be done. Hang reads information in her core scientific research field but also in other relevant fields. This can lead to ideas. Sometimes, the ideas have to "go out of the box", she said. 

Thuy Nga - Phuong Thu

Female scientist dreams of reviving contaminated land

Female scientist dreams of reviving contaminated land

The image of a boy with shining eyes and crippled limbs damaged by Agent Orange prompted Ngo Thi Thuy Huong, born in 1974, "to do something" to revive contaminated land in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese scientist with 15 US patents

The Vietnamese scientist with 15 US patents

As a scientist with 15 US patents, becoming a senior manager of a research and product development group at a corporation with revenue of nearly US$20 billion, Dr. Cong admitted he didn’t know what major to pursue when he was younger.

 
 

Other News

.
How can Bac Giang IZs battle the latest Covid-19 outbreak?
How can Bac Giang IZs battle the latest Covid-19 outbreak?
FEATUREicon  30/05/2021 

Soon after the first infection cases in the province were discovered, Bac Giang province immediately decided to test all the workers in IZs, trace and isolate high-risk cases, and implement medical quarantine and social distancing in at-risk areas.

Educators debate merits of using online exams
Educators debate merits of using online exams
FEATUREicon  29/05/2021 

At 8 am May 16, Hai Phong, a 12th grader at a Hanoi high school was sitting in front of his laptop, checking the internet, camera and headphone, waiting for his turn to be interviewed for admission to the Hanoi University of Science and Technology.

'Black-credit' lenders pose serious threat to borrowers
'Black-credit' lenders pose serious threat to borrowers
FEATUREicon  28/05/2021 

Experts have repeatedly rung the alarm bell over black credit, which is causing serious consequences to families and society.

How many billionaires are there in Vietnam?
How many billionaires are there in Vietnam?
FEATUREicon  31/05/2021 

The Wealth-X and UBS reports did not disclose the exact names of billionaires, while the Panama Papers and the Bahamas reports included names in tax paradises.

Vietnam needs new requirements for foreign investors
Vietnam needs new requirements for foreign investors
FEATUREicon  31/05/2021 

Vietnam needs to be more selective when receiving foreign direct investment  (FDI), and should set requirements, just as foreign investors do in exchange for being able to invest in Vietnam, experts say.

Former maize fields turn out to be worth millions
Former maize fields turn out to be worth millions
FEATUREicon  31/05/2021 

The solitary out-of-the-way hills, where people cultivated maize and cassava, have turned out to be land areas worth millions of dollars since the day people shifted to grow other crops more than a decade ago.

Hue physician in the US shares her experiences with online Vietnamese medical community
Hue physician in the US shares her experiences with online Vietnamese medical community
FEATUREicon  29/05/2021 

When she just came to the US, Nguyen Ngoc Trang was surprised when realizing her English pronunciation was not correct. But four years later, she was the best student at her high school.

Electricity prices still not falling despite oversupply
Electricity prices still not falling despite oversupply
FEATUREicon  27/05/2021 

The Electricity of Vietnam’s (EVN) latest report showed that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a decrease in electricity demand. The real electricity output in 2020 was 247 billion kwh and the additional charge growth rate was 3 percent.

Goods face strict customs inspections as smugglers continue to violate laws
Goods face strict customs inspections as smugglers continue to violate laws
FEATUREicon  27/05/2021 

The General Department of Customs (GDC) said that risks in transit services continue to exist as smugglers try to carry prohibited goods into Vietnam.

Economist proposes measures to support enterprises in tough times
Economist proposes measures to support enterprises in tough times
FEATUREicon  28/05/2021 

Pham The Anh, chief economist at the Vietnam Institute for Economic Policy Research (VEPR), believes that social security support must be given to people who have had to shut down their business or have lost jobs because of lockdowns.

San Diu ethnic farmer grows the most expensive litchis in Vietnam
San Diu ethnic farmer grows the most expensive litchis in Vietnam
FEATUREicon  28/05/2021 

Tran Van Hanh, who lives in Chao hamlet, Luc Ngan district, Bac Giang province, one of the two largest litchi growing areas in Vietnam, owns an orchard that grows the most expensive litchis in the country.

Vietnam's post-pandemic economy
Vietnam's post-pandemic economy
FEATUREicon  27/05/2021 

As the Covid-19 pandemic persists, Vietnam's economy will still face many difficulties, but the country has the potential to increase productivity and develop at a higher rate than many other countries.

Share prices rise, strong cash flow emerges
Share prices rise, strong cash flow emerges
FEATUREicon  26/05/2021 

Vietnam’s stock market made a spectacular breakthrough in the first months of the year with the VN Index staying at the 1,200 point threshold and some blue-chip prices strongly increasing.

Vietnam loses 3% GDP from not employing people with disabilities
Vietnam loses 3% GDP from not employing people with disabilities
FEATUREicon  31/05/2021 

An International Labour Organization (ILO) report shows that Vietnam loses 3 percent of GDP by not employing people with disabilities in the labor market.

Vietnam considers tracking bracelets for quarantined persons
Vietnam considers tracking bracelets for quarantined persons
FEATUREicon  26/05/2021 

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) wants people to wear a tracking wristband during and after their concentrated quarantine period. The estimated production cost is $35.

Taxing unoccupied villas: one solution for creating fair housing market
Taxing unoccupied villas: one solution for creating fair housing market
FEATUREicon  26/05/2021 

A reasonable taxation policy is expected to help settle several problems, including excessive investment in high-end apartment and villa projects, and speculation buying.

Hard-hit bsinesses still paying high interest on loans
Hard-hit bsinesses still paying high interest on loans
FEATUREicon  25/05/2021 

The latest Covid-19 outbreak has pushed enterprises into new difficulties at a time when it is nearly impossible to access cheap capital sources.

Litchis sell well on e-commerce sites
Litchis sell well on e-commerce sites
FEATUREicon  26/05/2021 

Nguyen Van Lan’s 2-hectare litchi orchard in Luc Ngan district in Bac Giang province is ready for harvest. However, he still doesn’t know what to do to sell all the 40-50 tons of litchis amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Tourism sector suffers another hit from recent Covid outbreak
Tourism sector suffers another hit from recent Covid outbreak
FEATUREicon  25/05/2021 

Businesses have sustained a new blow from the fourth recurrence of Covid-19.

People's spirit in fighting Covid-19
People's spirit in fighting Covid-19
FEATUREicon  25/05/2021 

Recently, some businessmen told me that they are willing to contribute money to the Government to buy vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus if the Government launches a fund to supplement the budget shortage.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN