On Wednesday 25th June, 2020, Professor Ding-Shinn Chen, passed away in Taipei at the age of 76 years. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. We are all deeply saddened by his passing. Ding-Shinn Chen dedicated his life to fighting and defeating the scourge of viral hepatitis and its associated complications, including liver cancer and liver failure.
Working with his mentor, Prof J.L.Sung, they defined the natural history of chronic hepatitis B and identified mother-to-baby transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) as the major mode of spread in Taiwan. They showed that by using the recently developed hepatitis B vaccine, given simultaneously with hepatitis B immune globulin, that mother-to-baby transmission could be prevented. Their success laid the foundation for the control of chronic hepatitis B in Taiwan which became the first country in the world to initiate universal infant vaccination against hepatitis B on the 1st July, 1984. By 1997, the success of this program in Taiwan was revealed with a significant decline of liver cancer due to HBV infection, saving tens of thousands of lives. Ding-Shinn Chen was also committed to the practice of basic research and published over 600 original articles on the basic and clinical aspects of viral hepatitis and liver disease, from prevention to management.
Over the last decade, he co-founded the Coalition to Eradicate Viral Hepatitis in the Asia-Pacific (CEVHAP) region and was its founding chair. He championed with absolute commitment the development of a strong public policy response to viral hepatitis across the Asia-Pacific region. His life was a life well lived and should be an inspiration to us all. Let’s continue the fight he started and work together to achieve the elimination goals that he helped set out for CEVHAP through advocacy, policy development and education.
Thank you, DS.
Prof Stephen Locarnini
Founding Co-Director, CEVHAP