Professor Tuan Duong completed his undergraduate studies and master’s degree at the VNU University of Science in Hanoi, Vietnam. He obtained a PhD from the University of Pretoria (UP) in 2013, and followed it with a postdoctoral and research fellowship at UP’s Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI) between 2013 and 2017. He has been a permanent staff member at UP since 2017.
Prof Duong says he chose to pursue his doctorate at UP because he was interested in being involved at FABI, where he currently works.
“FABI is one of the leading international institutions in my field and it provides an engaging and pleasant work environment,” he says.
In terms of how his field of research contributes to the betterment of the world, he says: “Plants provide us with food, paper, housing, furniture and more. Protecting plant health and improving the sustainability of forestry and agriculture are crucially important for our daily life.”
Prof Duong is part of the research team that is leading genomics and genetics work at FABI. In terms of cross-faculty research, he is involved in a PhD committee for a student in the Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine at UP.
“Recent highlights of my work include the resequencing and evolutionary analysis of the genome of Protea cynaroides, which is South Africa’s national flower,” he says. “This work was conducted at FABI. Additionally, I have sequenced and analysed the genomes of several important plant pathogenic fungi that are relevant to forestry and agriculture.”
As for his academic and research work, he hopes to make significant contributions that advance our scientific knowledge, and to train excellent scientists. He advises school learners or undergraduates who are interested in his field to find their passion, and work hard to pursue it.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing and watching tennis.