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University of Nottingham PhD student receives L'Oreal Award

Shivaani-Mariapun article image

University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) PhD student Shivaani Mariapun, was awarded with the  L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science National Fellowship and received a research grant of RM30,000 on 17 October 2019 by YB Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis, Deputy Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change.

Shivaani, UNM student from the School of Mathematical Sciences, was selected as one of the three recipients of the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science – Malaysia National Young Talents Programme 2019.

“I am humbled by this recognition and am extremely grateful to L’Oréal-UNESCO for this award.  This award is in essence an award for the whole team at Cancer Research Malaysia, University of Nottingham Malaysia and all our local and international collaborators.

Breast Cancer is major public health problem and the way the scientific community worldwide is trying to tackle this is using a team science or multidisciplinary approach. We need large cohorts, the ability to deal with large datasets, and input from experts in the field to solve this problem,“ Shavaani said.

Shivaani is co-supervised by the winner of 2018 Rising Talents at the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science award, Dr Ho Weang Kee. Dr Ho also received received the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science National Fellowship and subsequently qualified to enter the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science award at a global level. Shivaani is also a research associate at the breast cancer research team at Cancer Research Malaysia led by Professor Datin Paduka Dr Teo Soo Hwang.

Shivaani’s  research is to understand how mammographic density contribute to prediction of breast cancer risk among Asian women.. This research work can be combined with Dr Ho’s genetic based risk prediction model to improve the accuracy of the prediction. This will help to identify women at higher risk of developing breast cancer for enhanced surveillance.

“Because of the efforts by the team at Cancer Research Malaysia, who has collected lifestyle data, blood samples and mammograms from thousands of Asian women, we have the opportunity to understand breast cancer risk factors for the women in our population and how they can be used for risk prediction ,” Shivaani explains.

 “I am delighted to celebrate a double win for our ground-breaking research on the mathematical modelling of cancer risk, at the University of Nottingham Malaysia. Shivaani is a worthy winner whose research findings will surely enhance the lives of women in Asia. Shivaani is mentored by our 2017 winner of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship, Dr Weang Kee Ho,” said Professor Deborah Hall, Vice- Provost (Research and Knowledge Exchange) at University of Nottingham Malaysia.

(Image caption: Shivaani with Dr Ho (on the left) and Professor Dr Teo Soo Hwang (right) at the award ceremony.


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Posted on 22nd October 2019

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