On the Cutting Edge of Medical Science Faculty Feature: Get to Know Daniel Hsia, M.D.

On the Cutting Edge of Medical Science
Faculty Feature: Get to Know Daniel Hsia, M.D.

Released: Wednesday, May 02, 2018

A day in the life of a research physician isn't quite the same as a day in the life of a practitioner.

There isn't always a routine, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad, said Dr. Daniel Hsia, an Endocrinologist and Assistant Professor in the Clinical Trials Unit at Pennington Biomedical. He must be prepared for anything that comes his way, and a lot of critical work is done at night and on weekends. But for Hsia, that's all just part of being on the cutting edge of medical science.

"I just look forward to helping people every day," he said. "It's a privilege to work in the healthcare field and to impact people's lives through the research we do."

As part of the Clinical Trials Unit, Hsia oversees many of the clinical research studies conducted at Pennington Biomedical. While he can't pick an all-time favorite study, he does have a favorite part of each study.

"What I love about doing clinical research is that we get to spend time with our participants and don't feel the time crunch of a busy clinic," he said. "We get to know our participants and they get to know us."

Hsia's work is continuously evolving to encompass more populations and he now works with people across the lifespan from birth to adulthood. Much of his work has dealt with translating treatments approved for adults into younger populations, such as expanding therapy options for children with diabetes.

The Clinical Trials Unit has diversified its research to include infants and children as scientists better understand that the origin of many chronic diseases begins at a young age. Moreover, Hsia said, the unit's research has also expanded to encompass healthy aging and to understanding important diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Hsia calls Pennington Biomedical an "absolutely unique and amazing place."

"You couple state-of-the-art facilities with faculty and staff dedicated to better understanding the prevention of chronic diseases that affect not only Louisiana but the entire world, and you get Pennington Biomedical," he said.

Dr. William Cefalu, former executive director of the center who went on to lead the American Diabetes Association, recruited Hsia to Pennington Biomedical.

"I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with one of the most renowned scientists in the diabetes field, at one of the country's best-known centers for chronic disease research," Hsia said.

The Clinical Trials Unit has both inpatient and outpatient units. The outpatient unit provides screening of potential study participants, completion of protocol specific clinic visits, regulatory oversight for all studies, study coordination, dispensing of study medications, and completion and quality assurance of source documentation. The unit is comprised of multiple examination rooms, phlebotomy area, and pharmacy.

The inpatient unit has the ability to perform complex metabolic testing, small procedures, and overnight stays.

Interested in participating in a clinical trial? Browse our ongoing studies here, or sign up to receive updates about upcoming and ongoing studies.

For more information on how you can support this and other projects at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, visit www.pbrf.org.