Wan Yue & Shao Huilin Receive 2016 L’Oréal Singapore Fellowships

Drs. Wan Yue and Shao Huilin have been awarded the 2016 L’Oréal Singapore For Women In Science National Fellowships, each receiving a grant of S$30,000.

Wan Yue from the Genome Institute of Singapore, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Shao Huilin from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have been awarded the 2016 L’Oréal Singapore For Women In Science National Fellowships.

Wan, who was awarded the Life Science Fellowship, aims to identify functional ribonucleic acid (RNA) elements in transcriptomes through genome-wide detection of RNA structures. Through developing new technologies that studies how RNA folds in a high throughput manner, Wan studies how the shape of RNA in drug-resistant bacteria and in RNA viruses such as dengue and Zika influence the course of an infection. She hopes to be able to identify small molecules that can target these functional RNA structures to inhibit pathogen growth, aiding in the development of new therapies.

The Physical and Engineering Science fellowship was awarded to Shao, an assistant professor at NUS. She is also Joint Investigator, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR. Shao was recognized for her work on exosomes, nanoscale vesicles actively secreted by cancer cells into the circulation. Integrating expertise in device engineering, materials science and molecular biology, Shao’s research aims to develop nanotechnology-based biosensor platforms for sensitive, fast and cost-effective diagnostics.

“From a handful of women scientists in 2009, we now receive more applications—42 this year—from host institutions as diverse as Yale-NUS, Duke-NUS, National Eye Centre, National Dental Centre and the traditional research hothouses of A*STAR, NUS and NTU. The diversity also shows in the areas of research that the women scientists are working on and the depth of their research,” said Mr. Henric Sark, Managing Director at L’Oréal Singapore.

The fellows are selected by an esteemed jury, consisting of members who are former L’Oréal Singapore national fellows; and professors from A*STAR, the National University of Singapore, and the Singapore University of Technology and Design. Each winner receives a grant of S$30,000 (~US$21,000) to further their research.