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WVU dermatology resident receives Forbes 30 Below 30 Healthcare honor

MORGANTOWN – WVU first-year dermatology resident Dr. Kevin Nguyen has been nationally acknowledged within the 2024 Forbes 30 Below 30 Healthcare class.

Forbes’ abstract says, “Kevin Nguyen is creating new diagnostic and therapy methods for pores and skin most cancers. His analysis uncovered a key predictor of survival for sufferers with a very lethal pores and skin most cancers and found the effectiveness of radiation remedy for sure courses of sufferers. The outcomes of Nguyen’s analysis have since been integrated into medical tips.”

Nguyen talked with The Dominion Publish this week about his recognition and his analysis.

His research concerned Merkel Cell Carcinoma, an especially uncommon most cancers that’s additionally extra lethal. Whereas the five-year survival fee for melanoma is 90%, the speed for Merkel Cell is 60%. As a result of it’s not as prevalent, persons are much less conscious of it.

Nguyen labored to determine biomarkers to information therapy, he mentioned. Sure biomarkers on the most cancers cells can predict the way it will behave sooner or later. “When you’ve got this biomarker, it’s best to deal with extra aggressively with radiation remedy.”

When you’ve got the marker and don’t get adjuvant – speedy post-surgical – radiation therapy, it’s possible you’ll stay 4 years. With therapy you may stay eight years, he mentioned.

Even in early-stage illness, earlier than it metastasizes, therapy nonetheless must be aggressive, he mentioned. “In the event you don’t wipe it out up entrance, it may be actually aggressive down the road.”

A Texas native, Nguyen earned his bachelor’s and grasp’s levels in science at Yale and his M.D. at UCLA. He got here to WVU in July and is within the first yr of his three-year residency.

He’s co-authored greater than 60 publications, together with three to 5 on this matter, he mentioned, and this analysis has been printed within the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

He used the Nationwide Most cancers Registry to check 1000’s of sufferers throughout a number of many years, to get the broadest potential pattern for the very best validity.

The idea isn’t new, he mentioned. “Based mostly on the expertise of consultants within the discipline, they might attempt to deal with extra aggressively based mostly on expertise, however they didn’t have any systematic information to have the ability to show their instinct.” Via his analysis he was capable of validate that instinct.

Nguyen mentioned he doesn’t know who nominated him – maybe one in every of his associates who has gained a 30 Below 30 honor prior to now, or one in every of his professors. In September-October, a Forbes editor contacted him to get to know him and his accomplishments. They’d a pair back-and-forths. However he didn’t discover out he was a winner till everybody else did – when Forbes introduced it early December.

The consideration, he mentioned, consists of a possibility to go to New York for the launch occasion this month, to fulfill different honorees; and to go to Dubai for a summit, presumably in March.

“It’s additionally networking alternative,” he mentioned. “There’s a whole lot of huge issues in society, and I really feel you’ve gotten to have the ability to collaborate with a whole lot of proficient individuals from a whole lot of completely different industries to unravel difficult points. I feel it is going to be alternative to fulfill different like-minded, formidable younger individuals in numerous fields.”

Nguyen mentioned that after UCLA he needed a change of tempo from the large metropolis and was drawn to the strengths of this system at WVU. “We have now a excessive quantity, we see a whole lot of completely different sufferers, it’s actually alternative to serve the individuals within the state.”

When he completes his residency, he’s interested by a fellowship of dermatopathology – a discipline much like his analysis, gaining understanding on the mobile stage to enhance affected person care.

From there, he’s hoping to get a job in academia – doing analysis, instructing residents.

“I feel that with the ability to deal with sufferers and enhance them on a person foundation is rewarding, however to make a very huge influence on society you must do one thing that’s scaleable,” he mentioned. “With the ability to uncover and garner new data, with the ability to form the apply of medical doctors who’re in the neighborhood, and influence sufferers you’ve by no means met earlier than, I feel that’s very rewarding.”

Within the meantime, he mentioned, he’s having fun with his time right here. “I’m actually joyful to be at WVU. I feel we’ve got the very best hospital within the state. I’ve had actually good mentors.”

Dr. Zachary Zinn, residency program director, provided a remark in an e-mail change: “This can be a well-deserved honor for Kevin. He’s dedicated to enhancing healthcare within the state of West Virginia, and enhancing dermatologic care basically. We’re proud to have him in our residency program.”

Electronic mail: [email protected]