BioTechinAsia 27 Nov 15;
L’Oréal Singapore has awarded national fellowships to two female scientists, Dr Neo Mei Lin and Assistant Professor Ling Xing Yi, as part of the 2015 L’Oréal Singapore For Women In Science National Fellowship programme.
Each receives a grant of SGD 30,000, which can be used for anything that they want; that is the beauty of this grant. The SGD 30,000 can be used for their research work, career development, travel expenses or even to support certain personal expenses, like hiring a nanny!
2015 Life Science Fellowship
The 2015 Life Science Fellowship was awarded to Dr Neo Mei Lin (梁玫霖), 29, Research Fellow at the Tropical Marine Science Institute, National University of Singapore. Dr Neo won this year’s Life Science Fellowship for her work in “A Trifecta Integrated Assessment for Prioritizing Conservation of the Giant Clams”.
Leveraging on the current conservation framework of EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered), Dr Neo intends to develop conservation priorities combining phylogeny, threat level and functional diversity to primarily target old and endangered species lineages. This accounts for unique traits and ecological functions that may affect future evolutionary potential. Giant clams make significant ecological contributions in the coral reefs, and Dr Neo’s study can help allocate conservation resources that are urgently needed to safeguard the future of giant clams.
She says, “I strongly believe in making a scientific contribution, no matter how small it may be, as that small effort will help make a big difference to the environment.”
When asked on how she is going to use the award money, Dr Neo said that she hopes to use it to travel across the world to meet fellow researchers in marine biology and share inspiring experiences with them and learn much more from their expertise.
2015 Physical and Engineering Science fellowship
The 2015 Physical and Engineering Science fellowship was awarded to Ling Xing Yi (林歆怡), 36, Assistant Professor, School of Physical and Mathematical Science, Nanyang Technological University. She was awarded the Fellowship for her research in “Plasmonic Colloidosomes Surface-enhanced Raman Scattering Sensors for Rapid and Sensitive On-site Detection of Environmental Pollutants”.
Prof Ling’s lab has introduced an ultrasensitive environmental sensing platform for quick on-site detection of the contamination of water and soil by environmental toxins. They develop “plasmonic colloidosome” SERS platforms, which are designed to achieve detection of environmental pollutants at trace level.
Prof Ling says of her work, “Women love to wonder, that is the seed of science. I wish to encourage women of tomorrow to plant these seeds, by showing that my research on fundamental nanomaterial chemistry is capable of solving real-world problems.”
When asked on how what she going to spend her grant money on, Dr Ling said that she wants to startup a company with it for tracking environmental pollutants using the method developed in her lab.
Commenting on L’Oréal Singapore’s commitment to encouraging women in science, Vincent Ong, General Manager of Professional Products Division and Corporate Affairs at L’Oréal Singapore said, “Today, only 30% of the world’s researchers are women. We are convinced that science brings hope and fosters discovery, innovation and excellence, and all the best talents must be called upon to accomplish this mission. The L’Oréal Singapore For Women in Science Fellowships hopes to encourage and support more women to join this mission towards scientific excellence and serve as role models for the future of science.”
The fellows are selected by an esteemed jury, consisting of members who are former L’Oréal Singapore national fellows; and professors from A*STAR, the National University of Singapore, and the Nanyang Technological University.
Not forgetting the finalists, here is the list of runners up (in no order of merit):
2015 Life Science finalists
Polly CHEN (陈蕾蕾, 36), Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore; Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, National University of Singapore
Research topic: Understanding RNA Editing Dysregulation in Human Cancers.
Lena HO (何慧敏, 34), Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Medical Biology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research
Research topic: Discovering Novel Peptides with Crucial Biological Functions.
WAN Yue (32), Junior Principal Investigator, Genome Institute Singapore, Agency for Science, Technology and Research
Research topic: Targeting Infectious Diseases through RNA.
2015 Physical & Engineering Science Finalists
CHEW Jia Wei (周佳维, 34), Assistant Professor, School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University; Cluster Leader, Singapore Membrane Technology Center, Nanyang Technological University
Research topic: Innovation and Improving Fluidization and Membrane Technologies.
QIU Anqi (仇安琪, 39), Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, National University of Singapore; Associate Professor, Clinical Imaging Research Center, National University of Singapore; Adjunct Principal Investigator, Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences
Research topic: Computational Modeling of Brain Anatomy and Function Using Multimodal Neuroimages
The jury members for 2015 included:
Professor Leo Tan, Advisor to theJury
Chairman, Science Sub-Commission Singapore National Commission for UNESCO
Director (Special Projects), Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore
Associate Professor Christina Chai, Jury Member
Assistant Dean, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore;
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore;
Principal Scientist, Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, A*STAR
Associate Professor Gan Chee Lip, Jury Member
Director, Temasek Laboratories@NTU;
Associate Professor, School of Material Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
Assistant Professor Melissa Fullwood, Jury Member
2009 L’Oréal Singapore For Women in Science Life Science Fellow;
Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute Singapore;
Nanyang Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University;
Joint Principal Investigator, Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR
Associate Professor Low Hong Yee, Jury MembeR
2010 L’Oréal Singapore For Women in Science Material Science Fellow;
Associate Professor, Engineering Product Development, Singapore University of Technology & Design
Dr Mark Phong, Jury Member
Director, Advanced Research, L’Oréal Singapore;
Director, Business Development & Scientific Foresight, L’Oréal Asia Pacific
About The L’Oréal Singapore For Women In Science National Fellowship
The L’Oréal Singapore For Women In Science National Fellowship programme was established in 2009, and is organized with the support of the Singapore National Commission for UNESCO and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). The programme recognizes talented women researchers in the scientific field, and aims to encourage women to not only pursue and maintain careers in science; but actively participate in Singapore’s research and development sector as well.
Since its inception in 2009, L’Oréal Singapore has consecutively awarded the fellowships over the past seven years; thus far, 16 women scientists have been honoured with fellowships. The fellows can use their grants with no restrictions.
17 Years of Supporting Women in Science
Created in 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowships were established by the L’Oréal Corporate Foundation as the first international awards dedicated to women scientists around the world. 17 years later, the programme continues to be a benchmark of international scientific excellence and an invaluable source of motivation, support, as well as inspiration for women in the fields of science. Since it was founded in 1998, the program has honoured 87 Award Laureates (including two who went on to win the Nobel Prize), and supported more than 2170 Fellows – women who are making contributions in every field of research. By the end of 2015, more than 2250 women scientists from over 110 countries will have benefitted from the program.
BioTechinAsia 27 Nov 15;