Thomas Kensler, PhD, professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was the recipient of the prestigious Friendship Award from the government of China during an awards ceremony at the Great Hall of the People. The annual award recognizes foreign nationals for their contributions to the Chinese people.
For the past two decades, Kensler and his research team have worked to understand the etiology of liver cancer and have pioneered approaches toward preventing liver disease in a high-risk region of eastern China. Kensler and his team are currently conducting a clinical trial in Qidong, where liver cancer is 25-fold more prevalent than in the population only 100 kilometers away. In addition to hepatitis B, exposure to aflatoxin-contaminated food is a major cause of liver cancer.
“Dr. Kensler and his team have made groundbreaking discoveries in the etiology of liver cancer and cancer prevention in China. He is an accomplished scientist, and distinguished colleague and leader who continues to make significant contributions to the study and practice of public health. This prestigious award is well-deserved and further solidifies the impact of his work and dedication to the citizens of Qidong,” says John Groopman, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences chair and professor, and research collaborator.
Kensler and his colleagues are credited with fostering collaboration with Chinese researchers and for capacity building in public health.
Kensler was presented with the award at a ceremony in China.