AsianScientist (Dec. 19, 2017) – MIT Technology Review has announced the top ten young innovators under the age of 35 in Asia. Each year, ten innovators less than 35 years of age are given tribute annually at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Asia conference. The list recognizes the development of new technology or the creative application of existing technologies to solve global problems in industries such as biomedicine, computing, communications, energy, materials, web and transportation.
“We are thrilled to be supporting IU35 for the second consecutive year. At SGInnovate, we strongly believe that ‘deep-tech’ startups will be critical players in tackling global challenges in new ways. We want to encourage and help these amazing men and women to have the courage and confidence to bring their research work to the market—where millions of lives could potentially be transformed,” said Dr. Steve Leonard, founding chief executive officer of SGInnovate.
Now in its fifth edition, the ‘Innovators Under 35 Asia’ program received a total of 132 nominations from talented researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs from countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, for consideration for the 2018 list. This year, the list of ten brilliant researchers and entrepreneurs come from Singapore, Australia and Taiwan. They are:
- Ajay Prakash Kottapalli, Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), Singapore
- Anjali Jaiprakash, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
- Khoo Bee Luan, SMART, Singapore
- Feng Jiashi, National University of Singapore, Singapore
- Wesley Zheng Guangyuan, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR, Singapore
- Chun-Hao Huang, CLINICAI Inc, Taiwan
- Wong Min Hao, SMART, Singapore
- Wang Qilin, Griffith University, Australia
- Gao Weibo, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
- Chionh Yok Hian, Tychan Pte Ltd, Singapore
Nature-inspired miniaturized sensors that create new standard of care in biomedical flow sensing
In 2013, Kottapalli received his PhD from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, along with a Singapore-MIT Alliance Graduate fellowship. Between 2014-2016, he was a Postdoctoral Associate and as Research Scientist at SMART and a visiting scholar at MIT. His research focuses on nature-inspired sensor technologies, including biomimetic materials, micro and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS), nanotechnology and biomedical devices.
A young entrepreneur who leads a team of four researchers, Kottapalli has published about 45 peer-reviewed papers, authored one book and holds patents in sensor technology. In 2016, he founded a startup company called Sensornomics Pte Ltd, which envisions to create new standards of care in biomedical devices. He still holds the position of a Project Investigator (PI) for research projects funded by the SMART Innovation Center and the Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling Research Initiative.
Light field retinal diagnostic system to decrease preventable blindness globally
Jaiprakash is an Advance Queensland research fellow at the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision and the Queensland University of Technology.
A robobiologist with a PhD in Applied Science and a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and Business, Jaiprakash was announced as one of the world’s 25 women in robotics you should know about in 2017. Anjali won a 2017 Tall Poppy Science Award that recognizes the achievements of Australia’s outstanding scientific researchers and communicators.
Anjali works at the intersection of medicine, engineering and design, with a transdisciplinary approach to develop medical devices that translate robotic vision into affordable systems that can be used to improve healthcare outcomes. This includes a light field retinal diagnostic system to replace the expensive and complex cameras currently used to detect abnormalities such as glaucoma or macular degeneration and decrease preventable blindness.
Designing microfluidic models to deliver real-time therapeutic read-outs with direct translational relevance for cancer
Khoo is a biomedical scientist focused on innovating microfluidic devices for clinical utility. She leads a research team under the Young Investigator Grant award by the National Medical Research Council to use a microfluidic device for cancer management and evaluation, termed as the circulating tumour cell (CTC) Cluster Assay.
The CTC Cluster Assay aims to mimic parts of the tumour microenvironment in vitro by integrating a confined fluidic niche using microwells with hypoxia and tumour-associated immune cells. She has also developed microfluidic biochips for the isolation of primary cancer cells, diseased blood cells or malaria-infected cells with relevance to early disease detection.
Enabling computers to grow learning ability with dynamic neural networks
Feng is currently an Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NUS. He received his PhD from NUS in 2014 before heading to the University of California, Berkeley, to complete his postdoctoral fellowship from 2014 to 2015. His current research interest focuses on AI, machine learning and computer vision.
He has published over 100 research papers in machine learning, deep learning, object recognition and big data analysis. His work on object localization and face recognition have received accolades from the 2017 Imagenet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge 2017 and the Microsoft MS-Celeb-1M challenge, respectively, and he won the best paper award for transferring and adapting source knowledge in computer vision at the International Conference on Computer Vision in 2015.
Developing high energy density lithium batteries for automotive, aerial and renewable storage applications
Zheng is currently a scientist in A*STAR and an adjunct assistant professor in NUS. He received his completed his PhD and postdoctoral reseatch at Stanford University. His research work focuses on developing high capacity electrodes for the next-generation lithium batteries.
A recipient of the Material Research Society Graduate Student Award and the National Science Scholarship from A*STAR, Zheng is also a co-founder of a venture-backed startup (volans-i) to develop high-payload, long-range delivery drones.
Merging functional genomics and AI for disease detection and treatment
A cancer biologist, genetic engineer and AI entrepreneur, Huang pioneered the establishment of fast and flexible genetically engineered mouse models using gene silencing and editing technologies, and led the discovery of therapeutic strategies for treating liver cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. He also invented methods to identify disease biomarkers that predict drug responses, and applied machine learning to the study of genes.
Additionally, Huang is an UNLEASH Sustainable Development Goals winner and a fellow of the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. He received Google Scholarship to attend the Singularity University at NASA in the US, and has co-founded diagnostic company CLINICAI to early detect cancer.
Developing unique nanosensor constructs for smart agriculture application
Wong is currently a chemical engineering graduate student at MIT. His PhD research involves the development of unique nanosensor applications for agriculture, which has been featured in global media outlets such as FOX News, Forbes, TIME Magazine, the BBC and CBS News. BostInno, a news source about startups and innovation in Boston, US, named his work as one of the top 7 inventions to come out of MIT in 2016.
Using his expertise, he has started up a company working on agricultural nanosensors, called Plantea. He is also the co-president of the Southeast Asia Club, vice president of the MIT energy club, and a guest lecturer for 10.585 Engineering Nanotechnology.
Transforming wastewater treatment plants into energy generating facilities using an on-site renewable chemical
Wang is an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award research fellow and a lecturer at Griffith University. He received his PhD from The University of Queensland, Australia, in 2014. His work revolves around innovative biotechnologies for maximizing energy recovery and production from wastewater.
As a principal investigator or co-principal investigator, he has been awarded 7 competitive grants with a total research funding of about US$2.8 million from the Australian government, industry and university. He has, to date, published approximately 80 fully refereed journal papers, most of which were published in top-tier journals.
Exploration of spin photon interface for the application in quantum network and quantum information processing
Gao graduated from University of Science and Technology of China with a PhD. He then worked in ETH Zurich as a postdoctoral fellow from 2010-2014. Currently, he is a Nanyang Assistant Professor in NTU. His research in quantum information and quantum photonics has been published in several world class journals such as Nature, Nature physics, Nature Photonics and Nature Communications.
Previously, he has received the Marie-Curie Fellowship in the European Union, the National 100 Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Award in China and the Singapore National Research Foundation fellowship awards.
Rapidly developing therapeutic solutions against deadly infections
Chionh believes that the war against infections can be won if we proactively create systems that rapidly design cures, respond to, and treat patients during outbreaks. As a scientist, he discovered the fundamental properties of genetic coding that enabled pathogens to survive hostile environments. As a drug developer, he helped bring an anti-Zika therapeutic from bench-to-bedside. Finally, as a maverick, he is exploring radically different science-based regulatory frameworks to expedite regulatory approvals of therapeutics while meeting safety and efficacy requirements.
When he is not reading or writing scientific literature, he is probably drinking coffee, putting together balance sheets, or coming up with more crazy ideas.
Source: MIT Technology Review.
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