Honouring scientific excellence

THREE women scientists in Malaysia have won the coveted L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship recently for research that tackles global challenges while potentially saving the lives of millions.

One of them is Dr Ho Weang Kee from the University of Nottingham Malaysia. The 35-year-old clinched the award for her development of a risk prediction model for breast cancer, which uses DNA and lifestyle information to identify those at risk of the cancer for early detection.

Another winner, Dr Jasy Liew Suet Yan from Universiti Sains Malaysia, is recognised for building a system that detects signs of depression by analysing emotional patterns on social media. The 32-year-old hopes that the emotion-sensitive technology will encourage early diagnosis and treatment.

Working on sustainable resource management, Dr Teh Su Yean netted the award with her unification of science, engineering, technology and mathematics to protect coastal resources in Malaysia.

The 36-year-old associate professor of the School of Mathematical Science at Universiti Sains Malaysia is building a model that will conserve groundwater, which may become crucial when other water source are depleted due to global climate change.