Tran research wins multiple research awards

By Roman Petrowski, Office of Communications
May 18, 2022

Dr. Thu Tran (middle, left), won a pair of awards for her research on the impact of vitamin d on hyperoxia acute lung injury.

Dr. Thu Tran (middle, left), won a pair of awards for her research on the impact of vitamin d on hyperoxia acute lung injury.

Recent research from Thu Tran, DO, neonatal-perinatal fellow, PGY-6, in the Department of Pediatrics, has garnered a pair of awards from the Southern Society for Pediatric Research and the Pediatric Academic Society.

Tran was honored with the Southern Society for Pediatric Research 2022 Basic Science Young Investigator award at the 2022 SSPR Conference Feb. 10-12 in New Orleans, where she presented her research, “Impact of Vitamin D on Hyperoxia Acute Lung Injury in a Neonatal Murine Model.” She then earned the Society of Pediatric Research Fellows’ Basic Research Award for the same research at the Pediatric Academic Society, April 21-25 in Denver.

Supplemental oxygen is often necessary for survival for premature infants due to an incomplete development of their lungs at birth. However, prolonged exposure to excess oxygen (hyperoxia) can impact lung function throughout the infant’s life by causing acute lung injury.

“Using a pre-clinical model of premature birth, Dr. Tran found that oral administration of vitamin D during hyperoxic exposure not only reduces acute lung injury, but improves lung function when the model is older,” said Joseph Alcorn, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and research mentor to Tran. “Despite the difficulty of the model, Dr. Tran’s perseverance and research skills resulted in convincing data suggesting that administration of vitamin D to infants during hyperoxia to prevent adverse outcomes warrants further study.”

Tran received her doctor of osteopathic medicine from William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2016. She joined the Department of Pediatrics as a fellow following the completion of her pediatric residency at Texas Tech University Health Science Center in Amarillo, Texas.

“This award serves as validation for all the effort I poured into my research and gave me a lot of new opportunities to advance my career,” Tran said. ”I sincerely want to thank Dr. Joseph Alcorn for being an exceptional mentor and providing unwavering support in my journey to become a clinician scientist.”

The SSPR was organized in 1960 as a forum for pediatric investigators from the south to present their work and to support career development and leadership in academic pediatrics. The primary mission of the SSPR is to support and grow the next generation of academic pediatricians and to propel them to national and international recognition.