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Friday, November 02, 2012 - OU professor recognized for postdoctoral physics work
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

Libin Rong earned the 2012 Leon Heller Postdoctoral Publication Prize.
Oakland University’s Libin Rong has been named the winner of the 2012 Leon Heller Postdoctoral Publication Prize, a biennial honor recognizing the best scholarly article in theoretical physics. 

The assistant professor of mathematics earned the award for his paper “Rapid Emergence of Protease Inhibitor Resistance in Hepatitis C,” which was published in Science Translational Medicine in May 2010. The article has also been cited by prestigious journals such as Nature Medicine, Annual Review of Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

“Hepatitis C remains a worldwide public health problem,” Dr. Rong explained. “It is great to see that my modeling work can help clinical scientists develop better treatment strategies to fight this chronic liver disease. I think it will also facilitate the intellectual penetration of such quantitative methods into the biomedical community.”

Dr. Rong conducted research at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. His postdoctoral mentor, Dr. Alan Perelson, worked with him on the project for more than a year and nominated his paper for the award.

“Libin is a very talented mathematical modeler working on nonlinear systems relevant to infectious diseases,” Dr. Perelson wrote in a nomination letter. “The article establishes a framework for exploring the development of drug resistance during treatment of HCV with a variety of new agents. It is a timely clinical topic as different treatment protocol strategies are under consideration for these new inhibitors of HCV replication. The model can be used to make predictions about the possible success of treatment strategies.” 
Along with a $500 cash award, Dr. Rong received a certificate and has been invited to present his research at a colloquium in Los Alamos this November.

For more information about Oakland's Department of Mathematics and Statistics, view the website at