Professor Tuan V Nguyen


I am a Leadership Fellow (L3) of the National Health and Medical Research Council, and an Adjunct Professor of the School of Population Health, UNSW Medicine. I also hold appointments as a Distinguished Professor of Predictive Medicine & Director of the Centre for Health Technologies at UTS, and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia. 


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I am a Leadership Fellow (L3) of the National Health and Medical Research Council, and an Adjunct Professor of the School of Population Health, UNSW Medicine. I also hold appointments as a Distinguished Professor of Predictive Medicine & Director of the Centre for Health Technologies at UTS, and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia. 



Research interests

  • Discovery and translation of genetic and etiologic factors that determine individual risk of osteoporosis. I pursue both epidemiological and genetic research, often combining the two, to address issues that are transformational, shaping policy and practice leading to better treatment and control of osteoporosis.
  • Digital health for precision medicine. I am interested in the application of IT, AI and data science to support informed decisions by individuals and healthcare providers.

Publications and impact 

  • More than 350 publications (original papers, invited reviews, commentaries, editorials and debates). A number of key papers are published in more general journals, including BMJ, Lancet, JAMA, Ann Int Med, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Rev Endocrinol, PNAS, eLife. 
  • Citations: ~38,000 (Scopus, as at 5/5/2024)
  • H-index: 97 (Scopus, as at 5/5/2024)
  • Among the list of most-cited scientists worldwide (PLos Biology 2020).
  • Created a digital tool called BONEcheck™ for personalised osteoporosis risk assessment. Web:
  • Created a genomic signature called 'Osteogenomic Profile' for predicting fracture risk and bone loss.
  • Advanced a new metric called ‘Skeletal Age’ for personalised assessment of skeletal fragility.

Professional activities 

  • Associate Editor of Osteoporosis and Sarcopania, Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease; Academic Editor for Scientific Reports, PLoS ONE and PeerJ, and former Associate Editor of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
  • Occasional review: JAMA, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, and BMJ.
  • Grant review for many funding agencies around the world, including NHMRC, Wellcome Trust, NIH, WHO, Elan (Germany), New Zealand, Iceland, Israel, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Czech Health Research Council.
  • Executive member of Asia Pacific Consortium on Osteoporosis (APCO).
  • A founder of the Osteoporosis Society of Ho Chi Minh City.


I have supervised 15 PhD students (4 in Vietnam) who are now successful and independent researchers. Currently, I am supervising 3 PhD students. All of my students have published their work in high profile journals, and have won national and international prizes.  Moreover, I have supervised many postdoc fellows from Asia, Europe and USA, who are now successful researchers in their own countries. Through my former postdoc and students, I have been able to establish an extensive network of collaborations which help to validate my work in Australia. I am currently available to supervise PhD students. 


Research collaborations

I have extensive research collaborations with colleagues from Europe (Norway, France, Sweden, the Netherlands), America (USA, Canada), and Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Thailand). I have also actively co-directed large scale studies in Thailand and Vietnam. I and my colleagues have conducted a major osteoporotic study in Vietnam called Vietnam Osteoporosis Study (VOS) that involved more than 4200 individuals. The aim of VOS is to search for genetic variants and environmental factors that are associated with bone phenotypes. Moreover, I am collaborating with the GeFOS Consortium (GEnetic Factors for OSteoporosis) to search for genes that are associated with bone loss.  


Other involvements

I have been appointed as a Visiting Professor at the Khon Kaen University School of Medicine (Thailand), Hanoi Medical University (Vietnam), Ton Duc Thang University (Vietnam), and Tromso University (Norway). During the past 15 years, I have conducted more than 20 workshops in research methodology, scientific writing, epidemiology & biostatistics, and evidence-based medicine in Thailand and Vietnam. My highly popular workshops have attracted and improved the research capacity for thousands of doctors, healthcare professionals, and scientists in Vietnam. I have published 12 books in Vietnam, and has received a number of national awards and honours for my work in Vietnam. I have established the Bone and Muscle Research Laboratory at the Ton Duc Thang University, Vietnam. This lab is conducting large-scale clinical and research projects that complement my work in Australia. 



My Grants

Most of my work has been supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). I have been supported by 2 NHMRC fellowships to which I am forever grateful. 

  • NHMRC APP1195305 (2021-2026): Investigator Fellowship. Prediction of fracture by clinico-genetic profiling. Funding: $2,339,215 (CI: Nguyen)
  • Amgen Global Competitive Grant (2020-2022).  Development of a clinico-genetic model for predicting fracture and post-fracture mortality. Funding: $280,000. (CI: Nguyen) 
  • NHMRC APP1176600 (2020-2022): Translation of best practice in osteoporosis refracture prevention: stopping fragility fraturs to keep Australians out of hospital. Budget: $855,000 (CIs: Perry, Center, Harris, Clifton-Bligh, Hassett, Nguyen, McInnes, White, Frost). 
  • NHMRC APP1141361 (2018-2020): Deregulation of DNA hydroxymethylases Tet1 and Tet2 compromises skeletal integrity during ageing and osteoporosis (Project Grant). CIs: Gronthos, Nguyen, Davis.
  • NHMRC APP1102286 (2015-2017): Non-invasive detection of hypoglycaemia in people with diabetes using brain wave activity (Project Grant). Funding: $310,000. (PIs: Nguyen H, Jones T, Nguyen T).
  • NHMRC APP1070187 (2014-2016):  Fracture associated premature mortality: An international consortium (Project Grant). Funding: $560,558. (PIs: Center, Nguyen, Eisman)
  • NHMRC APP1007539 (2012-2014): Prediction of osteoporosis outcomes.  Funding: $700,854. (PIs: Nguyen, Center, Eisman).
  • NHMRC APP1039085 (2011-2013): Patient specific electronic decision support for the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and the prevention of fracture. Funding: $309,262. (PIs: Eisman, Center, Nguyen, Peiris, Selecki).
  • NHMRC APP1003612 (2011-2013): Vitamin D, bone loss, fracture and mortality outcome (Project Grant).  Funding: $624,310. (PIs: Eisman, Nguyen, Center, Seibel, Sambrook, Elder).
  • NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (2008-2014): Genetics of osteoporosis. Funding: ~$700,000 (PI: Nguyen). 
  • NHMRC Project Grant (2005-2007): Genetic Prediction of Fractures in a Risk-stratified Population.  Funding: $358,125. (PI: Nguyen, Eisman, Center, Esteban). 
  • NHMRC Project Grant (2004-2006): Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study. Funding: $665,025. (PI: Nguyen, Center, Eisman, Cumming). 
  • NHMRC Project Grant (2001-2003): MERIT study -- Effectiveness of the Medical Emergency System. Funding: $621,000. (PI: Hillman, Nguyen, Fifer, Doyles).

My Qualifications

DSc (Medicine, 2016, UNSW Sydney, Australia)
Thesis: Contributions to Osteoporosis Research

PhD (Medicine, 1997, UNSW Sydney, Australia)
Thesis: Contribution of Genetic and Environmental Factors to the Determination of Osteoporotic Fractures. Mentors: Prof John Eisman, Later Prof Philip Sambrook, Prof Richard Heller. 

My Awards

  • Appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for contributions to medical research, osteoporosis prevention and higher education, 2022.

  • Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales (2022).

  • Distinguished Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering, UTS (2022).

  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Leadership Fellow Level 3 (2020). 

  • Elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (2019) 

  • Elected Fellow of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (2018). 

  • UTS Chancellor's Medal for Exceptional Research (2018) 

  • Professor Honoris Causa of Hanoi University of Pharmacy (2018)

  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Danang, Vietnam (2017)

  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ton Duc Thang University, Vietnam (2016)

  • Senior Research Fellow of the Australian National Health Medical Research Council (2008)

  • Award from the Foreign Minister of Vietnam for contribution to higher education and science in Vietnam.

  • Garvan's Best Thesis Award (1998). This is an annual award for the best PhD thesis submitted to the University of New South Wales

  • Excellence in research. University of New South Wales and St Vincent's 7th Research Symposium (1995, 1997)


Selected awards to research students under my supervision:

  • 2018 The Christine and T Jack Martin Award from the IBMS-ANZBMS (International Bone and Mineral Society and Australian New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society (Thao Ho-Le)

  • 2017 Sol Posen Research Paper Award, ANZBMS (Thao Ho-Le)

  • 2017 ASBMR Young Investigator Award (Thao Ho-Le)

  • 2017 UTS High Quality Publication Award (Thao Ho-Le)

  • 2016 Amgen-ANZBMS Outstanding Abstract Award (Thao Ho-Le)

  • 2010 Roger Mellick Young Investigator Award from ANZBMS (Shuman Yang)

  • 2009 The Christine and T Jack Martin Award from the IBMS-ANZBMS (International Bone and Mineral Society and Australian New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society) (Bich Tran).

  • 2009 Solander Award, UNSW Sydney (Bich Tran)

  • 2008 The Harvey Carey Award from the UNSW Sydney (Bich Tran)

  • 2008 Best Research Award, UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine (Steven Frost)

  • 2007 Young Investigator from the ASBMR (American Society for Bone and Mineral Research) (Bich Tran)

  • 2006 ASBMR Young Investigator (Nguyen D. Nguyen)

  • 2006 European Calcified Tissue Society Young Investigator Award (Nguyen D. Nguyen)

  • 2005 IBMS Young Investigator Award (Nguyen D. Nguyen)

  • 2005 ANZBMS Outstanding Poster Award (Nguyen D. Nguyen)

My Research Activities

A large component of my research has been based on two major research projects:

  • The Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study (DOES)
  • The Vietnam Osteoporosis Study (VOS)

I am a principal investigator of the Dubbo Osteoporosis Study which is commonly referred to as “DOES“. The Study was initiated in 1989, and I joined the research group in 1990. Since its inception, DOES has made important and substantial contributions to the field of osteoporosis internationally. More than 100 papers have been published in international peer–reviewed literature, with more than 10,000 citations.

I have established the Bone and Muscle Research Laboratory at Ton Duc Thang University (Vietnam). The lab is equipped with a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (Hologic Horizon, USA), a peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT, Stratec, Germany), a system of balance and muscle testing, and a system of digital X-ray for imaging analyses. The lab is also a training ground for doctors and scientists who are interested in (as the name implies) bone and muscle research. He is looking for scientists and doctors who have a good track record of bone research to join the lab.


Current research projects 

I am pursuing the following research projects:

  • Development of models for individualised prediction of fracture risk and its consequences;
  • Development of models for assessing bone loss in postmenopausal women and elderly men;
  • Translation of genomic discoveries into osteoporosis risk assessment;
  • Digital epidemiology of chronic diseases;
  • Application of AI in osteoporosis assessment;
  • Reframing health risk communication;
  • Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study (DOES) involves 4000 men and women who have been followed up for up to 30 years;
  • Vietnam Osteoporosis Study (VOS) involves 4200 men and women whose health status has been monitored for approximately 10 years.


My Research Supervision

Supervision keywords

Areas of supervision

Osteoporosis; epidemiology; biostatistics

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