Ten East Asian Scientists Recognized By Nature

Nature has identified ten outstanding scientists working in East Asia for a special feature on science in the region.

AsianScientist (Jun. 29, 2018) – East Asia has become a hotspot for research and development in recent years. A special issue of the journal Nature highlighted ten exceptional scientists from the region for their significant contributions to diverse fields, ranging from infectious diseases to sustainable energy and gene editing.

Dr. Li Jingmei from the Genome Institute of Singapore was recognized for her research on breast cancer mutations. Her compatriot from the National University of Singapore, Professor Loh Kian Ping, also made the list for his work on graphene and other superthin two-dimensional materials.

Moving north of Singapore, two scientists from Malaysia were featured on Nature’s list. They are: Professor Yvonne Lim Ai Lian, a parasitologist at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur whose work helps in the fight against infections among the indigenous people of Malaysia; and Associate Professor Suzana Yusup of the Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS who has devised a method to upcycle crop waste into alternative and sustainable energy in the form of biofuel.

Meanwhile, Professor Vivian Yam of the University of Hong Kong was acknowledged for her efforts to create organic light-emitting diodes that convert electricity to light more efficiently. Her colleague, Professor Malik Peiris, also received recognition for his study of viral pathogens that may become global health threats.

From Taiwan, Professor Jenny Su, who is the first woman president of the National Cheng Kung University, was shortlisted because of her research on the population health effects of air pollution. Professor Lee Lin-Shan of the National Taiwan University was also commended for pioneering Mandarin spoken-language language processing.

The remaining two spots on Nature’s list went to researchers from South Korea. Professor Kim Jin-Soo of the Institute for Basic Science seeks to use the revolutionary CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool to improve crop yields, while Professor V. Narry Kim of Seoul National University is best known for her work on RNA-mediated regulation of gene expression.

“The work of these researchers exemplifies East Asia’s growing scientific prowess. Their discoveries not only boost the standing of these regions, but help improve lives through advances in health, agriculture and technology,” said Ms. Nicky Phillips, Nature’s Asia-Pacific bureau chief.

Click here to read the full citation for each researcher.


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Jeremy received his PhD from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where he studied the role of the tumor microenvironment in cancer progression.

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