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Dr. Shaw-Jenq Sean Tsai was awarded by Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) for the 2020 Fuller W. Bazer SSR International Scientist Award

Dr. Shaw-Jenq Sean Tsai, Chair Professor of the Department of Physiology at National Cheng Kung University, was awarded by the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) for the 2020 Fuller W. Bazer SSR International Scientist Award (Fuller W. Bazer Award).

 

The Fuller W. Bazer Award was established in 2017 by the SSR. It is intended to commend outstanding scientists (working outside of the United States) whose research focus on reproductive medicine and reproductive science. The nominees must be recommended by members of the SSR, and their qualification are strictly reviewed. Only one scientist receives the Fuller W. Bazer Award each year.

 

Firstly, the nominee must be an outstanding international scientist who has consistently demonstrated excellence in research in reproductive sciences and graduate education. Secondly, the nominee must be an innovative researcher in the field of reproductive sciences. Dr. Tsai is the fourth prominent scientist to have received the Fuller W. Bazer Award since the award was established. Most importantly, Dr. Tsai received the Fuller W. Bazer Award on his first nomination.

 

This award was presented to Dr. Tsai in recognition of his research on endometriosis and efforts in actively promoting the awareness, better-medical cared, and advance research of endometriosis, especially in Asia. Endometriosis is a disease affecting women of reproductive age, which causes severe pelvic pain and may result in reduced fertility. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease.

 

Dr. Tsai’s team has unveiled lots of unsolved mysteries of endometriosis. They are the first research team who found that ectopic endometriotic tissues can de novo synthesize female hormones through cholesterol, which supports the evidence that ectopic endometriotic tissues can grow outside of uterus. In addition, the research team also found prostaglandin E2 not only causes the above symptom but also suppresses immune function, which explains why ectopic endometriotic lesion acquires immune privilege that prevents them from being destroyed by immune cells.

 

Dr. Tsai’s research team also discovered hypoxia-inducible factor is abnormally accumulated in ectopic endometriotic tissues and then affects aberrant expression of thousands of genes through epigenome regulation. This research result explains why endometriosis is a complicated disease and is difficult to treat. The discovery of Dr. Tsai’s research team not only opens a new horizon but also paves the way for future research of endometriosis.

 

Dr. Tsai pointed out that endometriosis is a major disease that has been neglected for a long time. Thus, by cooperating with four doctors and scientists from Japan, Korea, Turkey and China, Dr. Tsai established “The Asian Society of Endometriosis and Adenomyosis (ASEA)” in 2012. Through annual conferences, education, and training, Dr. Tsai expects to remind governments, doctors, and people in Asia to emphasize research on and the development of an understanding of endometriosis. Moreover, Dr. Tsai urges governments in Asia to invest more resources in professional education, training, clinical care, and basic research in this area. There are 14 member states in the ASEA, and the member states are still increasing in number. Dr. Tsai is now the president of the ASEA.

 

The SSR planned to invite Dr. Tsai to give a speech and be honored at the 53rd annual meeting held in Ottawa, Canada, in July 2020. However, due to COVID-19, the annual meeting was converted to a virtual meeting. The SSR will re-invite Dr. Tsai to participate in the 54th annual meeting held in St. Louis, U.S.A. in August 2021. In addition to receiving the award, Dr. Tsai will join a round table symposium to share his research experiences with young scholars.

 

Dr. Tsai won the “Distinguished Scientist Award” offered by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine in 2014 and was credited with having written the “Most Cited Paper in Cancer Research” by the American Association for Cancer Research in 2019. The Fuller W. Bazer Award reflects that Dr. Tsai is yet again being recognized by an international research society. 

 

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Dr. Shaw-Jenq Sean Tsai was awarded by Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR) for the 2020 Fuller W. Bazer SSR International Scientist Award
 

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