Dr Thomas Tu

Dr Thomas Tu
Westmead, Research institute, Dr. Thomas Tu, Hepatitis, Tall Poppy winner 2022

Group Leader, Viral Hepatitis pathogenesis lab, Storr Liver Centre, Westmead Institute for Medical Rsearch
Senior Research fellow, University of Sydney

What is the problem you are trying to address?

Every minute, a person dies from chronic hepatitis B. This is a devastating condition that affects 300 million people around the world (including myself) and it is currently incurable.

What is your research doing to solve this problem?

Our lab uses novel molecular assays to understand how the virus can persist in the liver for someone’s entire life. This work will help develop new cures for the disease and get us closer to finding out how the virus causes liver cancer.

Please list your top 5 public outreach or science communication outputs:

● Founder and Director of HepBcommunity.org, an online support network for people living with chronic hepatitis B to connect with one another and with medical/scientific experts in the field (2020-Present)
● Interviewed for Career Evolution: STEM initiative (run by Western Sydney Business Connection) to encourage school students in South West Sydney to take up careers in STEM – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT5OIb-2WW0
● Writer and Presenter of “What do we mean by Hepatitis B cure?”, an episode of HBV Cure FAQs, a community tool empowering the community by equipping them with the knowledge needed to understand research for a Hepatitis B cure – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-AkX9PJzgY
● First publicising my status as someone living with hepatitis B in October 2019: Interviewee on Drive, ABC Melbourne Radio program (https://www.abc.net.au/radio/melbourne/programs/drive/drive/11540940); Eavesdrop on Experts University of Melbourne Podcast (https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/podcasts/exposing-the-hepatitis-b-virus); ABC Health News (https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2019-10-02/hepatitis-b-diagnosis-inspires-science-career/11566428?fbclid=IwAR0oZBiSBFVQ6GX2y56NqEl4EWabp2Aw7KUZ2sjejdTZh_cAfY6oyeKoEUU); and SBS News (https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1604591171599/sbs-world-news-1-october; https://www.sbs.com.au/news/hepatitis-b-cure-will-be-found-within-10-years-pledge-international-scientists-in-australia)
● Author of Disease of the Week: weekly column in University of Adelaide newspaper On Dit (2006); syndicated 5 times in “Can you believe it?” column hosted by the SA newspaper The Advertiser (2009-2011); and continued as a blog, diseaseoftheweek.wordpress.com (2009-2011)