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Tammy Nguyen Receives NIDDK K08 Career Development Award to Investigate and Improve Non-Healing Wounds in People with Type 2 Diabetes

Date Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2022

Vascular surgeon-scientist Tammy Nguyen, MD, PhD, is the recipient of a K08 Clinical Investigator Award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to advance her independent clinical research.

Dr. Nguyen wants to understand why people with diabetes have a difficult time with wound healing, particularly foot ulcers. She’s studying the effect of type 2 diabetes (T2D) on the development of the immune system, with the goal of designing targeted therapies to combat poor wound healing. As the Medical Director of the Lower Extremity Wound Clinic at UMass Memorial Health, she continues to perform surgeries on people with diabetes who developed uncontrolled infections that led to amputations. 

“Our group is committed to advancing therapies that will improve the lives of all people with diabetes, therefore we are thrilled to have Dr. Nguyen on our research team,” said David M. Harlan, MD, co-director of the Diabetes Center of Excellence at UMass Chan Medical School. “She exudes energy, is clearly committed to her patients, and this NIH award demonstrates that our high opinion of her is widely shared.”

This National Institutes of Health funded grant comes on the heels of the Wylie Scholar Award she received earlier this year from Vascular Cures.

“This funding provides an amazing opportunity to launch my career as an impactful surgeon-scientist,” said Dr. Nguyen. “I’m honored to receive this competitive award, and look forward to growing the relationships I’ve made with my mentors in the Diabetes Center of Excellence and the Department of Vascular Surgery at UMass Chan.”

Dr. Nguyen has already developed a novel method to collect and expand human stem cells directly from the bone marrow of donors with and without T2D who underwent lower extremity amputation for non-healing wounds. 

“For a young scientist, a career development award from the NIH is recognition of their research and commitment to pursue impactful discoveries,” said Dale L. Greiner, PhD, co-director of the UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence. “This award is a validation of Dr. Nguyen’s ability to explore one of the most difficult issues in type 2 diabetes.

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