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Meet The First Malaysian Scientist to Receive the Women of the Future Award



Source: New Straits Times
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Looks like we have another Malaysian to add on to the list of high achievers of our nation! #MalaysianPride. From a Michelin-starred chef to president of a leading US-based technological firm, it just proves that girl power is stronger than ever in their respective fields.

Following fellow scientist Professor Dr Ng Kwan Hoong, meet Oon Chern Ein, the winner of the Women of the Future Awards South East Asia in the Science, Technology and Digital category.

A mother, wife, senior lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia, and a highly respected expert for her work on novel molecular therapeutics in cancer, Oon was among the 12 Malaysian women shortlisted for the prestigious award in various categories, the News Straits Times reported.

The Women of the Future South East Asia Awards honours outstanding women from across ASEAN who have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities in their respective fields. This year, a total of 50 candidates from ten countries were shortlisted from 170 nominations.

The 34-year-old Penangite beat four other talented women to emerge as the final winner in the Science, Technology and Digital category at Hilton Singapore on March 20. Another fact worth noting is that there were a total of four Malaysian women among the five nominated in the category! You go, girls!

The daughter of a chemist, Oon attributes her father for her interest in science.

“I hope to inspire young people to pursue science the right way, the ethical way and to make them understand that age is just a number and that they can achieve anything if they set their mind to it,” she said.

According to the Women of the Future Awards South East Asia Facebook page, the judges were struck by Oon’s meaningful and novel research area in discovering and designing a molecular cancer therapy. Hence, they believe this award will help broaden the impact of her work. In simpler terms, her research and expertise will likely influence more effective strategies in anti-cancer drug development. Sounds cool!

In the field that is largely dominated by men, it was definitely not a smooth journey for Oon. Young age and family were always the hurdles in pursuing her career in science. Be it being doubted in taking the lead, doing certain things at her young age, or fulfilling the needs of her family as a mother, these did not stop Oon from reaching out to the stars.

Just like many working mothers, the pang of guilt was unavoidable as the time spent with her one-year-old was limited due to her busy job. But with a very supportive husband and the right mindset, Oon forged a path for herself that has given her the best of both worlds. Cue Hannah Montana’s theme song!

“As a woman, I often heard that family must come first but I wanted to have both, and now I have,” she said.

Founded in the United Kingdom in 2006 by Pinky Lilani, the Women of The Future programme was formed to celebrate, support and inspire the next generation of female leaders.

South East Asia was included in the programme as the community of influential British women grew exponentially beyond British shores. With the firm support of the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vicki Treadell, it is currently the next step in building a global network of exciting business leadership talents.

Congratulations to Oon on her outstanding accomplishment! 


Also read: Meet Prof Ng, The First Malaysian Scientist to Receive the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award

This M'sian Scientist is the First Amongst the Developing to Receive the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award - WORLD OF BUZZ 4

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