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Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr. Nhat-Tu Le received bachelor’s degree in Microbiology (1997) and Master degree of Science, Microbiology (2001) from the University of Science, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She first joined LG-Vina factory-DeBon Cosmetics at Nhon Trach II Industrial Zone, Dong Nai, Vietnam as a quality control manager, then moved to ICA Pharmaceutical LTD, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as an Assistant Director of Research and Development and Regulatory Affairs.

In 2004, Dr. Le decided to move to South Korea to pursue her Ph.D. degree in Microbiology at the Sungkyungkwan University College of Pharmacy in Dr. Dong Kwon Rhee Laboratory. The focus of her PhD training was to understand the roles of the Streptococcus pneumoniae heat shock protein Caseinolytic protease L (ClpL) in pneumococcal adherence to host cells. Her first study was published in 2007, describing the effects of Streptococcus pneumoniae ClpL in the pathogenesis and translocation of virulence factors. Dr. Le received an outstanding poster award at the international meeting of the Federation of Korean Microbiological Societies for this work (2007).

Dr. Le completed her Ph.D. training program in 2008 and went on to continue her postdoctoral training at the University of Rochester, New York in Dr. Jun-ichi Abe Laboratory. For her postdoctoral training program, Dr. Le focused on the role of the p90RSK-ERK5 complex in both the heart and the vasculature. Dr. Le received American Heart Association (AHA) Best of Specialty Conferences Poster Section at the AHA Scientific Sessions (2010). Dr. Le was awarded an AHA Postdoc Fellowship Grant Funding (2010-2012) and an AHA Scientific Development Grant (2013-2016). In 2011, Dr. Le was named as The Melvin L. Marcus Young Investigator Award Finalist at the AHA Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences. In 2012, Dr. Le was appointed as a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Rochester, New York.

In 2014, Dr. Le joined the faculty of the Department of Cardiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as an Assistant Professor. She received the first place Scientific Poster Award for Excellent in Onco-Cardiology at the Fourth International Conference Cancer and the Heart at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Le was recruited to Houston Methodist as an Associate Professor in 2017.  She  was awarded a Career Corner Stone Award (2017-2021) at Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine. She is also an Associate Professor of Vascular Biology in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, and obtained adjunct associate professorship at the Department of Cardiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Texas A&M from 2018, and at Texas A&M University from 2019. Dr. Le received grant fundings from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to study the role of MAGI1 in atheroslerosis, the role of LATS1/2 in thrombosis, and the mechanisms by which cellular senescence contribute to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. She has written over 40 scientific papers and book chapters.

Research interests

Currently, the Le laboratory is investigating (i) roles for various post-translational modifications, of and regulated by, the p90RSK-ERK5 signaling in various cell types after cancer treatments, in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases; (ii) roles for shear stress and cancer treatments in promoting SUMOylation of molecules that are critical in the acceleration of endothelial senescence and activation, vascular dysfunction, and atherosclerosis; (iii) how shear stress (disturbed flow versus laminar flow) differently regulates post-translational modifications and biological functions of de-SUMOylation enzyme SENP2, which regulating endothelial activation and function; (iv) roles for the tight and adherent junction molecule MAGI1 in regulation of endothelial activation and apoptosis after various stimuli including SARS-CoV2 structural proteins; (v) roles for TNIK in viral infection, and (vi) roles for premature aging/senescence in cancer treatments-induced cardiovascular diseases. The long-term goal is to incorporate all these areas of expertise to create healthcare solutions for patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Education/Academic qualification

Cardiovascular Sciences, Postdoctoral Associate

Award Date: Sep 1 2008

Microbiology, PhD

Award Date: Aug 26 2008

Microbiology, MSc

Award Date: Oct 5 2001

Microbiology, BSc

Award Date: Oct 7 1997

External positions

Associate Professor of Vascular Biology in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College

Jul 1 2012 → …

Research Area Keywords

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunobiology & Inflammation

Free-text keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Endothelial cells
  • Shear stress and atherosclerosis
  • Cardio-oncology
  • Viral infection


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