SINGAPORE: Four outstanding research scientists and engineers received the President’s Science and Technology Awards (PSTA) on Tuesday. This was for their achievements in raising Singapore’s research profile in the global arena, while generating new businesses and manufacturing activities.
The most prestigious of the awards, the President’s Science and Technology Medal, went to Professor Dim—Lee Kwong, a 58—year—old Executive Director of the Institute of Microelectronics (IME), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
He has been advancing the Singapore semiconductor industry through research and development activities, and forging strategic research partnerships between industry and public sector agencies.
He was also instrumental in attracting Applied Materials Inc. to set up a joint Centre of Excellence in Advanced Packaging in Singapore this year.
This US$100 million centre will not only tap IME’s research capabilities in complex high value manufacturing, but will also create jobs for the local population over the next five years, including technical, operations and managerial jobs.
The President’s Science Award was presented to Professor Wang Yue, 53, from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, for his research on the fungus, Candida albicans.
It is one of the leading causes of hospital—acquired infections of the blood in the world, with a high mortality rate of up to 45 per cent.
Professor Wang’s research uncovered factors that cause the fungus to transform from a benign to a virulent form, paving the way for the development of new treatments for this infection.
The President’s Technology Award went to a team comprising Associate Professor Louis Phee, 41, research scientist and engineer from Nanyang Technological University and Professor Lawrence Ho, 50, clinician from National University Hospital and Chair of University Medicine Cluster, National University Health System.
The duo had developed the world’s first robotic flexible endoscopy system for no—scar surgery. With a pair of robotic arms, surgeons can cut away tumours in the digestive tract, by passing them through natural openings such as the mouth. Without external incisions, patients experience less pain and can recover faster.
Using a prototype, the team successfully performed first—in—man trials on five patients in India and Hong Kong last year. The cancer tumours in the stomach of all five patients were removed. Three of them were even able to go home on the same day.
Their invention is called Master and Slave Transluminal Endoscopic Robot (MASTER).
The duo has set up a company, EndoMaster Pte Ltd, in late 2011, to commercialise the technology.
They have filed US patents on the device and have proceeded with the national phase filing of a patent in USA, Japan, China, Europe and Singapore. It is expected to be available in the market in 2015.
This is the fourth year that the PSTA is presented.
The winners received their awards from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at a ceremony on Tuesday.
At the awards ceremony, three promising research scientists and engineers aged 35 years and below were also presented with the Young Scientists Awards.
They are Assistant Professor Chen Wei, 34, department of Chemistry and department of Physics, faculty of Science, National University of Singapore; Assistant Professor David Lou Xiong Wen, 34, School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University; and Dr Joel Yang Kwang Wei, 34, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR.
MORE SINGAPORE NEWS
Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn
An Italian small business owner climbed onto the dome of St Peter's Basilica on Monday and unfurled a banner protesting against the social "... More An Italian small business owner climbed onto the dome of St Peter's Basilica on Monday and unfurled a banner protesting against the social "massacre" going on in recession-stricken Italy.
Date 22 mins ago, Duration 0:20, Views 0