Two A*STAR Scientists Win The 2015 EMBO Young Investigator Award

Dr. Khor Chiea Chuen and Dr. Nicolas Plachta have been selected as this year’s European Molecular Biology Organization Young Investigators.

AsianScientist (Nov. 12, 2015) – Two Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) scientists have joined 21 other scientists as EMBO Young Investigators, becoming part of an international network that represents some of the best young researchers in Europe and beyond. They are Dr. Khor Chiea Chuen, Group Leader at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), and Dr. Nicolas Plachta, Senior Principal Investigator at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB).

Khor and Plachta are also among the only five scientists outside of Europe and its neighboring countries to be selected for the Young Investigator Program since its launch in 2000. In fact, out of the five Young Investigators, four have come from A*STAR and Singapore.

The EMBO Young Investigator Program recognizes young, promising researchers who are under the age of 40 and who have established their first laboratories in Europe or the EMBO cooperation partner countries in the past four years. Singapore has been an EMBO cooperation partner since 2011 and has recently become the first Associate Member State of the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC). The agreement will facilitate stronger scientific interaction and collaborative research between Singapore and Europe.

Dr. Khor Chiea Chuen is the first Singaporean EMBO Young Investigator recipient. His research focuses on the identification of genetic markers for common human diseases such as exfoliation syndrome and typhoid sepsis. He was awarded the 2013 Singapore National Academy of Science Young Scientist Award for Biological and Biomedical Sciences for his research excellence in genetics and heredity.

“It is indeed a privilege to be part of this community of distinguished young scientists from across the world. The EMBO Young Investigator Program offers me greater opportunities to interact and exchange scientific ideas with top international scientists, and such network and collaborative activities are key to furthering the biomedical sciences in Singapore,” said Khor.

Dr. Nicolas Plachta joined IMCB under the A*STAR Investigatorship Program, a platform that was established to support and promote early independence and career development of future world leaders in scientific research. Plachta’s main research interest lies in understanding how mammalian life begins by studying living embryos in real time using live cell imaging techniques.

Plachta’s accomplishments and potential in the area of molecular biology was recognized by several prominent research organisations around the world, including fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation, EMBO, California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and Viertel Foundation.

On being selected for the EMBO Young Investigator Program, Plachta said, “I’m humbled by the recognition given and honored to be receiving this award as a representative of A*STAR and Singapore.”

Mr. Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR, said, “I congratulate Chiea Chuen and Nicolas for winning this prestigious award. Having two world-class EMBO recipients this year is testimony to the success of A*STAR’s talent development strategy of nurturing a strong pool of local talent that is complemented by a rich diversity of outstanding international scientists.”


Source: Agency for Science, Technology and Research.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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