AsianScientist (Mar. 17, 2014) – Dr Li Jingmei, a post-doctoral researcher at the A*STAR Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), has been honored for her work on breast cancer by the 2014 L’Oréal For Women in Science National Fellowships.
Dr Li is the third Singaporean to be awarded the prestigious UNESCO-L’Oreal Women In Science International Fellowship. She was one of three Singaporeans whose applications was nominated by the international committee and one of 15 in the world to receive the award.
Professor Leo Tan, jury chairman for the UNESCO-L’Oréal For Women In Science Awards in Singapore, said: “I am delighted that Jingmei has been recognized as an International Fellow of the UNESCO-L’Oréal For Women In Science Awards. This award is not only a distinct honor for her and Singapore’s women in science, but will serve to encourage more women to pursue satisfying careers in science and technology.”
Although several strong inherited mutations conferring a 60-85 percent lifetime risk of breast cancer have been identified, they account for only 5-10 percent of actual cancers. Researchers now believe that the majority of inherited breast cancers stem from combinations of weaker genetic factors, each conferring a small amount of risk individually but when present together greatly increasing the odds of developing the disease.
Dr Li’s research aims to ascertain which of these weaker genetic factors are associated with particularly aggressive tumors and poorer prognosis. Her results could help shed light on some of the important drivers of the disease and improve the identification of women at risk of developing the most severe forms of breast cancer who might otherwise be diagnosed at a stage too late for effective treatment. She will also attempt to uncover combinations of survival factors that can help doctors with decision-making and enable new personalized treatments for cancer patients.
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