2 A*STAR scientists awarded 2015 EMBO Young Investigator Award

2 A*STAR scientists awarded 2015 EMBO Young Investigator Award

The European award, launched in 2000, recognises the best young researchers in the world.

SINGAPORE: Two A*STAR scientists have won the 2015 EMBO Young Investigator Award, announced the agency on Wednesday (Nov 11). They are among the five award recipients outside of Europe and its neighbouring countries since the award's launch in 2000 - of which four are from A*STAR.

The award recognises young and promising researchers under the age of 40 who have established their first laboratories in Europe or an EMBO cooperation partner country, said A*STAR. Singapore has been recognised as a cooperation partner since 2001.

The award winners from Singapore this year are Dr Khor Chiea Chuen, Group Leader at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and Dr Nicolas Plachta, Senior Principal Investigator at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB).

Left: Dr Nicolas Plachta, Senior Principal Investigator, A*STAR’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. Right: Dr Khor Chiea Chuen, Group Leader, A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore. (Photo: A*STAR)

Said Dr Khor: "The EMBO Young Investigator Programme offers me greater opportunities to interact and exchange scientific ideas with top international scientists, and such network and collaborative activities are key to furthering the biomedical sciences in Singapore."

Dr Khor's research is centered on the identification of genetic markers for common human diseases.

Dr Plachta, whose research explores the beginnings of mammalian life by studying living embryos in real time, said that he was "humbled by the recognition given and honoured to be receiving this award as a representative of A*STAR and Singapore".

He added: "The nurturing and integrative research environment here has benefited immensely in furthering my research and giving me the opportunity to collaborate with world renowned scientists from various disciplines."

Dr Bruno Reversade from A*STAR’s Institute of Medical Biology and Dr Florent Ginhoux, A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network, are previous winners of the award.

EMBO is an organisation of researchers which aids other scientists in the advancement and promotion of their research.

Source: CNA/ky