November 4, 2011 5:43 AM
The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine invested Hong-Wen Deng as the first holder of the Edward G. Schlieder Chair in Biostatistics at a ceremony held in the Diboll Auditorium on Oct. 26.
“Hong-Wen Deng is not just another chair holder,” said Tulane President Scott Cowen. “He is a chair holder doing magnificent work that will ultimately touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”
Deng has built a career on research and teaching others how advances in genomics impact medicine and society. As director of the new Tulane Center for Bioinformatics and Genomics, Deng and his team are gathering and analyzing large amounts of data to understand how biological organisms (such as humans) respond to the environment and other factors.
Their research also examines prevention, treatment and how drugs can be individualized based on a person’s genetic code.
One of Deng’s most ambitious projects is the Louisiana Osteoporosis Study. Currently under way, the study’s purpose is to understand the genetic origins of osteoporosis and a range of other ailments including alcoholism and obesity. Deng seeks to understand how a person’s genetic code may link to the onset of menopause in women and muscles weakening as the body ages.
“The new center at Tulane inherits the work we have done in the past,” said Deng.
Before coming to Tulane last year, Deng served as an endowed chair of orthopedic surgery at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, and directed the genetics laboratories at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., where he and his colleagues discovered a few risk genes for osteoporosis.
The chair was established at Tulane through a $1.5 million gift from the New Orleans-based Edward G. Schlieder Educational Foundation.
Michael Ramos is a senior writer in the Office of Development.
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