Edward D. Chan, MD
Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado, USA
Dr. Chan and his family emigrated from Rangoon, Burma in December 1967 to Manitou Springs, Colorado because of unrest and military brutality in Burma. His father worked for the American Embassy in Rangoon, first as an office helper and then as a bookkeeper. His father became life-long friends with many Americans who were stationed there. One particular friend was Mr. (Sergeant) John and Mrs. Margaret Belden, who were instrumental in persuading his father and then helping his family emigrate from Burma. Dr. Chan’s family had great difficulty initially – in large part because of the language barrier, climate, and new customs – but they have grown to love this country immensely.
Dr. Chan attended college at University of Colorado in Colorado Springs and medical school at Columbia P&S. When he was in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corp, he encountered an elderly lady (wife of a retiree) with cavitary lung disease and positive acid-fast bacteria found on her sputum. He was surprised when she was found NOT to have tuberculosis (TB) but rather a lung infection due to non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), environmental organisms which he was previously taught was a “colonizer” and to ignore. HE knew so little about this condition that in 1992, Dr. Chan presented her case at National Jewish Hospital – an institution with a long-standing reputation in treating TB and NTM lung disease – whose clinicians educated me that she does in fact have NTM lung disease. This patient was instrumental in his desire to become a pulmonologist at the University of Colorado.
Presently, Dr. Chan is a pulmonologist at the Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Affairs Medical Center and do his research at National Jewish Health. His clinical interest is on NTM lung disease and whose research focuses on host-susceptibility to NTM and tuberculosis infection.