Huynh, Hanh

Huynh, Hanh

Interdisciplinary PhD

Academic Rank(s): Associate Professor of Teaching, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC | Vancouver Fraser Medical Program Year 1 Site Director

Affiliation(s): Life Sciences Centre

Research and Scholarly Interests: Cancer, Endocrinology, Metabolism & Nutrition, Scholarship of Teaching of Education Research

Clinical Interests:

Short Bio

Born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, Dr. Huynh came to Canada in 1980 as a political refugee. After working for 2 years in Trail at Cominco, he started his first year of Sciences at Selkirk College. In 1994 he graduated from UBC with an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Experimental Pathology.

After completing a one-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Rockefeller University in New York, he was promoted to Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at Nebraska Medical University. In 1996 he moved back to Vietnam to be with his wife who was not allowed to leave the country, as she was one of the only two female Urologists in southern Vietnam. For the next 6 years, Dr. Huynh worked for a British humanitarian organization trying to prevent exploitation of street children and for a French pharmaceutical company, Les Laboratoires Servier, as Training Manager. During the 5 year tenure with Servier, Dr. Huynh used small group teaching (called “Coaching” – similar to Problem Based Learning {PBL} tutoring) to train medical representatives and junior colleagues in the company.

In 2002, he returned to Canada with his wife Lien Vo and their two children and assisted UBC with its M.D. Undergraduate Program, tutoring PBL to medical & dental students and assisting Faculty Development with training of new PBL tutors for the program. In 2004, Dr. Huynh was appointed Director, Foundations of Medicine, Northern Medical Program (NMP) at the University of Northern British Columbia, BC, Canada. In addition to the administrative duties, Dr. Huynh continued to train new PBL tutors for the NMP until the summer of 2007 when he resigned this post to move back to Vancouver. Since rejoining the Vancouver Fraser Medical Program, Faculty of Medicine, UBC, as an Instructor, Dr. Huynh continues with his PBL tutoring and training new PBL tutors for the Medical Undergraduate Program.

His current academic and professional interest is in the field of immunometabolism, the application of evidence based principles in the prevention of Non Communicable Diseases such as Obesity, Diabetes and Cancer.



Academic Background

  • Histology
  • Immunology
  • University of British Columbia, Interdisciplinary PhD, Neurosciences & Exp. Pathology, 1989-1994
  • University of British Columbia, M.Sc., Cell Biology, 1986-1989
  • University of British Columbia, B.Sc., Cell Biology, 1983-1986

Awards and Recognition

Awards for Teaching

  • Nomimated for the “Faculty of Medicine Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Education” May 2012
  • 2010/06, Tips for Teaching in the UBC Distributed Medical Education Program, The award and certificate were presented at the Medical Education Days for Health Professionals, hosted by the Office of Faculty Development, Medicine, UBC

Awards for Scholarship

  • Student Summer Internship Program, The University of British Columbia, ($4,800 for the summer of 2009) Co-supervise with Dr. Amanda Bradley 2 medical students to develop the Basic Immunology Learning Module,June & July 2009.

Awards for Service

  • Tea and Cookies Award, The award was presented at the Curriculum Annual Retreat by the Office of Student Affairs (Drs. Sharon Salloum & Barb Fitzerald – Associate & Assistant Dean respectively – Student Affairs), Medicine, UBC,June 24, 2010, to recognize the contribution to Student Support and Development.


Selected Publications

  • Management of child obesity: School – Community – Family Approach. Journal of Food and Nutritional Sciences, July 2014, Vol 10 (2): 107 – 111.
  • Pathophysiology & Evidence-Based Prevention Principles for Non Communicable diseases. Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences, August 2013, Vol 9 (3): 9 – 15.
  • “Twelve tips for teaching in a provincially distributed medical education program” Medical Teacher 2012; Volume 34: 116 – 122
  • Kelly N, Gaul K, Huynh H, Linn Grunau G, Murphy C. Quality trumps face-to-face presence when delivering lectures in a distributed multi-site education programme.Medical education 2008 42 (2): 225.
  • Liao F,Huynh H, Eiroa A, Greene T, Polizzi E. and Muller W. Migration of monocytes across endothelium and passage through extracellular matrix involve separate molecular domains of PECAM-1.J. Exp. Med.Vol 182: 1337 – 1343, 1995.
  • Huynh H, Oger J, and Dorovini-Zis K. Interferon beta downregulates interferon gamma-induced class II MHC molecule expression and morphological changes in primary cultures of human brain microvessel endothelial cells.J. Neuroimmunol.Vol 60: 63 – 73, 1995.
  • Huynh H. and Dorovini-Zis K. Effects of Interferon gamma on primary cultures of human brain microvessel endothlelial cells.Am. J. Path.Vol 142(4): 1265 – 1278.
  • Dorovini-Zis K. andHuynh H. Ultrastructural Localization of Factor VIII-related antigen in cultured human brain microvessel endothelial cells.J. Hist. Cytochem.Vol 40(5): 689 – 696, 1992.
  • Oliveria L. andHuynh H. Phototrophic growth of microalgae with allantoic acid or hypoxanthine serving as nitrogen source, implications for purine Nitrogen utilization.Can. J. Fish. & Aquatic Sciences47(2): 351 – 356, 1990.
  • Oliveria L. andHuynh H. Ultrastructure and cytochemistry of Dunaliella tertiolecta Butcher and Pavlova lutheri (Droop) Green grown on three different sources of organic nitrogen.New Phytology113: 481 – 490, 1989.
  • Oliveria L. andHuynh H. Ultrastructure and cytochemistry of the marine dinoflagellate Amphidinium carterae grown on three sources of nitrogen. J. Submicrosc. Cytol. Pathol.21(4): 641 – 651, 1989.
  • Oliveria L. andHuynh H, Burns A, Mackenzie A. The utilization of Bovine Serum Albumin in the preparation of unicellular organisms for cytological studies.Cytologia54: 325 – 333, 1989.

(b) Conference Proceedings

  • Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in children in Prince George, BC Canada. Childhood and Adolescent Obesity 2006 Oct 5 – 7 2006 Vancouver BC.
  • Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes in Children – 7th National Canadian Rural & Remote Health Conference Oct 19 – 21 2006 Prince George BC.
  • Social Determinants and Childhood Obesity in School District 57 Prince George British Columbia, Canada. Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology Meeting – Peterborough, Ontario, Canada Oct 25 – 28, 2006.
  • Social Determinants of Childhood Overweight and Obesity in elementary School children from Prince George, BC, Canada. Human Biology Conference Mar 28-29 2007 Philadelphia PA USA.
  • Obesity in children & Its consequences : Congress Abstract 19th VIETNAM CONGRESS OF PEDIATRICS – For Millennium Goal of Vietnamese Child Health Ho Chi Minh City Dec 27 & 28, 2008; 62 – 67.

(c) Other

  • Quality trumps face-to-face presence when delivering lectures in a distributed multi-site medical education program. Niamh Kelly, Kathy Gaul, Hanh Huynh, Gilat Linn Grunau & Caroline Murphy. MEDICAL EDUCATION 2008, Volume 42: 225.


  • K.L. Schmidt, Lau H., Huynh H., White V., Taylor T., Dorovini-Zis K. Neuropathology of cerebral malaria. Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 29(4): 396, November 2002.
  • Huynh H. and Dorovini-Zis K. Effects of Interferon gamma and beta on the adhesion and migration of lymphocytes across human brain endothelial cells in vitro. Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 20 (Suppl. 4): S104, 1993.
  • Huynh H. and Dorovini-Zis K. Adhesion and migration of T lymphocytes across human brain endothelial cell monolayers: role of Interferon gamma. J. Neuropath. & Exp. Neurol. 52(3): 316, 1993.
  • Huynh H. and Dorovini-Zis K. Downregulation of interferon gamma induced functional and morphological changes on human brain microvessel endothelial cells by recombinant human interferon beta. J. Neuropath. & Exp. Neurol. 51(3): 378, 1992.
  • Dorovini-Zis K and Huynh H. Ultrastructural Localization of Factor VIII/von Willebrand antigen in cultured human brain microvessel endothelial cells. J. Neuropath. & Exp. Neurol. 50(3): 345, 1991.
  • Huynh H. and Dorovini-Zis K. Induction of Ia antigen expression on human brain microvessel endothelial cells by interferon gamma in vitro. J. Neuropath. & Exp. Neurol. 50(3): 354, 1991.

Research Interest

The overall foundation for my professional interest in these categories are Immunology.

  • Immunometabolism
  • Prevention of Chronic Diseases (Obesity, Diabetes, Cancer)

Clinical Service

Current Projects In My Lab Include


Teaching Interest