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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

Minnesota Student Receives American Heart Association’s Williams Award

University of Minnesota School of Public Health student Mr. Steve Nguyen received the Roger R. Williams Memorial Award for Genetic Epidemiology and the Prevention and Treatment of Atherosclerosis. Mr. Nguyen was honored with the award at the American Heart Association’s EPI|LIFESTYLE Scientific Sessions held in March 2016.


[Photo: Mr. Steve Nguyen (left)]

“I am very humbled and excited to win the award,” said Mr. Nguyen. “The award money will be helpful in supporting my education, and much more importantly, this achievement may open new doors in terms of collaboration and networking with other researchers.”

Mr. Nguyen is an epidemiology doctoral student focusing on obesity-related epigenetics, which is the study of DNA changes associated with lifestyle that may affect gene expression and be a precursor to the onset of disease.

“I think epigenetics is an exciting topic because it’s easier to change lifestyle than genetics,” said Mr. Nguyen.

The Williams Award acknowledges research on the genetic contributions to atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up in arteries. Mr. Nguyen received the award  for work showing that changes to DNA, through a process known as methylation, found in blood samples taken from 1990-92 were associated with coronary heart disease that may have occurred years later.