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A*Star scientist is first S'porean to get prestigious Branco Weiss Fellowship

Dr Wan Yue receives the international recognition for her research on tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and says she hopes "this investment in science will help shape our future".

SINGAPORE: – A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) fellow, Dr Wan Yue, is the first Singaporean to receive one of the 10 Branco Weiss Fellowships given every year by the Swiss-based philanthropic organisation 'Society in Science'.

Dr Wan's research focuses on tackling the global health issue of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), and has received a grant of S$700,000 from the 'Society in Science' in recognition of her work, A*STAR announced on Thursday (July 17).

Due to common bacteria becoming resistant to treatments in many parts of the world, AMR threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an increasing range of infections, according to a 2014 World Health Organisation report. 

Dr Wan's research aims to shed light on microbial drug resistance by studying the genes or RNA of microbes, A*STAR said. One aspect of her study looks at how pathogenic microorganisms sense and respond to their environment for survival. By understanding the biological pathway of microbial ribonucleic acid (RNA), Dr Wan hopes to identify elements within the pathway that can be targeted by future drugs. 

"I am extremely honoured to receive the Branco Weiss Fellowship for Society in Science," said Dr Wan.

"The ultimate goal of scientific discoveries is to advance human society. I am excited that my technology can contribute innovative solutions to existing problems, such as anti-microbial resistance, in our society. I hope that this investment in science will help shape our future."

Prof Ng Huck Hui, Executive Director of GIS, said, "GIS is exceedingly proud of Dr Wan's achievements. It means a lot that our young scientists such as Dr Wan are able to compete internationally for an award that is given to high-potential researchers, with a passion to advance the society through blazing new trails in impactful research. Dr Wan's research in identifying unknown RNA switches in pathogens has the potential to transform the way to fight pathogens in human diseases." 

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