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Nottingham student receives grant from Toray Science Foundation

Toray article image

Tham Shiau Ying, a PhD student at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC), has recently been awarded a Science and Technology Research Grant (STRG) from Malaysia Toray Science Foundation (MTSF), worth RM20,000. The grant is funded by Toray Science Foundation, Japan.

According to MTSF, the foundation received a total of 563 applications for STRG alone this year, observing a 41 percent increase as compared to last year. As such, Shiau Ying’s achievement is even more commendable.

Shiau Ying's PhD research focuses on studying the combined effects of chemotherapy and tocotrienol, a component which belongs to the Vitamin E family, to treat colorectal cancer cells. In her findings, she proposed that in the presence of tocotrienol, colorectal cancer cells are more receptive to chemo-drugs treatment when delivered in a lower dosage as compared to chemotherapy alone. Therefore, common side effects of chemotherapy such as toxicity and drug resistance could possibly be reduced. With the funding from MTSF, her current works are dedicated to study the fundamental aspects of the combined treatment response on colorectal cancer in the laboratory.

"It is indeed a great honour and achievement in my PhD journey, I'm truly thankful to MTSF for funding my research work. I'm also grateful to my supervisors, Professor Sandy Loh and Dr Mai Chun Wai from IMU, and Dr Fu Ju Yen from Malaysian Palm Oil Board for their continual guidance and support for my study,'' Shiau Ying said.

Professor Sandy Loh said: “Through a stringent and competitive selection process, Shiau Ying was shortlisted for an interview which was held last September. Her sound grasp of knowledge in the subject area and enthusiasm in research convinced the selection committee. She successfully secured the grant and stood out as one of the 17 awardees across Malaysia. This shows her excellent talent and great potential of her research project towards the contribution of the science and technology development in Malaysia.

“This is such a fabulous achievement that we are really proud of our UNMC student. I hope her success would inspire more young researchers to engage in science subjects," Professor Sandy Loh added.

In congratulating her, Professor Festo Massawe, Head of School of Biosciences at UNMC said: “Shiau Ying’s achievement is a clear demonstration of the high calibre of students at UNMC. Our heartiest congratulations go to Shiau Ying and we wish her all the best in carrying out this project.”

In April last year, Shiau Ying won the Most Recommended Paper for Oral Presentation in International Conference of Translational Molecular Imaging & Aero-Space Medicine & Physiology showcase (iCT-MIPs) which led her to present at the plenary session of the conference.

Within the University of Nottingham, she had the opportunity to travel to Nottingham campus in UK in July last year to meet with researchers in the UK who are doing research on cancer. This network, CRPA comprises of researchers within the University working on cancer research.

(Article image caption: Tham Shiau Ying  sixth from the left at the award presentation ceremony. 

(Thumbnail image caption: (from left to right): Managing Director of Toray Industries (Malaysia) Masahiko Kawamura,  President of Toray Industries, Japan YBhg Dato’ Dr. Akihiro Nikkaku, Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia Dr. M. Miyagawa ,  Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation Senior Undersecretary and Commercialization and  Fund R&D Suhaimi Bin Hamzah, Chairman of Malaysia Toray Science Foundation, YBhg Profesor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Omar Abdul Rahman, Chairman of Selection Committtee Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Augustine Ong Soon Hock and Deputy Chairman of Examination Committee Dato’ Dr. R. Ratnalingam)

 -ends-

More information is available from Tham Shiau Ying on shiauying.tham@nottingham.edu.my, Professor Sandy Loh on sandy.loh@nottingham.edu.my or Josephine Dionisappu, PR & Communications Manager on +6 (03) 8924 8746josephine.dionisappu@nottingham.edu.my .

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. More than  97% of research at The University of Nottingham is recognised internationally and it is 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

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Posted on 17th January 2017

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