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Three TWAS Young Affiliates Elected as ASM Fellows

May 30, 2019

Three TWAS Young Affiliates based in Malaysia have recently been elected as Fellows of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM). Prof. Sok Ching Cheong, Prof. Kok Keong Chong and Prof. Chin Ping Tan are all TWAS Young Affiliates and they were honored with the recognition of their national academy for the outstanding work in cancer research, solar energy research and agricultural biotech research respectively.

Dr. Cheong is the Senior Group Leader of the Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) Research Program at Cancer Research Malaysia. She works in the areas of cancer immunotherapy, drug repurposing, and uses CRISPR/Cas9 genetic screens to identify actionable targets to develop novel therapies for HNC. Her work has won many accolades including L’Oréal for Women in Science, Norman-Rowe Educational Trust, Top Research Scientist Malaysia amongst others. Prof Cheong is an Adjunct Professor at University of Malaya, a Fellow of the Union for International Caner Control (UICC), and a Fellow of the International Academy of Oral Oncology (IAOO). She is currently the Co-chair of TWAS Young Affiliates Network (TYAN).

Professor Chong has worked in the field of solar energy with research interests in concentrating solar power, high concentrator photovoltaic system, solar cell technology, photovoltaic system, and solar thermal system. Professor Chong has received numerous awards including the Malaysia Toray Science Foundation (MTSF) Science & Technology Award 2017, JCI Ten Young Outstanding Malaysian (TOYM) 2013 Award, Fulbright Scholar Award 2015-16. He was elected as a Fellow of the ASEAN Academy of Engineering & Technology in 2018, a member of the Global Young Academy (GYA) in 2014, a member of the Young Science Network-Academy of Science Malaysia (YSN-ASM) in 2012. Professor Chong was named a TWAS Young Affiliate in 2011 and remains a TYAN member today.

Professor Tan leads one of the major research programs at University Putra Malaysia. His areas of research specialization are palm oil, food nanotechnology, food emulsions, microencapsulation and the extraction of bioactive compounds from various agricultural by-products. Professor Tan has over 260 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, and has filed more than 20 patents. He has received more than 40 national and international research awards including the ProSPER.Net Scopus Young Scientist Award, German S&T Fellowship and Top Research Scientist Malaysia (TRSM) amongst others. Professor Tan was a TWAS Young Affiliate between 2010-2014 and is now a TYAN member.

TWAS started to select excellent young scientist to become TWAS Young Affiliates in 2007, with the purpose to recognize and encourage young scientific talents in the great South for better scientific work and networking. In 2016, with the generous support of Lenovo, TWAS Young Affiliates Network was launched to further strengthen this effort. TYAN is a platform for young scientists in the developing world to exchange ideas and conduct practical scientific collaborations in themed areas. The successful election of Prof. Cheong, Prof. Chong and Prof. Tan to ASM demonstrates the great potential of the young scientific talents in the South. It also testifies to the great value of TWAS young affiliate mechanism and TYAN in identifying excellent young scientists and in promoting their sustainable growth.