Academician Ding-Shinn Chen was conferred the Order of Brilliant Star, Second Rank by President Tsai Ing-wen on July 19, 2018, in recognition of his seminal contribution to hepatitis research, especially for promoting its prevention across Taiwan.
In 1973, Dr. Chen found direct evidence showing that hepatitis B causes hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of primary liver cancer, in the Taiwanese and confirmed its route of transmission. This major research discovery prompted Taiwan to carry out a large-scale hepatitis prevention and control program, making the island the first country in the world to initiate universal vaccination against hepatitis B in newborn babies. In 1996, Dr. Chen and his research team further discovered and published their findings regarding treatment for chronic hepatitis C through combination therapy which successfully treated more than 300 million patients infected with hepatitis C.
Dr. Chen served as Dean of the College of Medicine at the National Taiwan University and was the founding director of the Hepatitis Research Center at the National Taiwan University Hospital. Throughout his distinguished career, he has been honored with numerous prestigious awards including the Ministry of Education Academic Award, Presidential Science Prize, and the Baruch. S. Blumberg Prize awarded by the Hepatitis B Foundation in the United States. Dr. Chen currently serves as a Distinguished Visiting Chair at the Genomics Research Center of Academia Sinica and a Distinguished Chair Professor at the Department of Internal Medicine of the College of Medicine at the National Taiwan University. In 1992, he was elected as an Academician of Academia Sinica.
The Order of Brilliant Star (景星勳章) is a civilian order of the Republic of China awarded by the Presidential Office to recognize outstanding contributions to the development of the nation. According to the Orders Act, this honor can be conferred to both domestic and foreign nationals.