Neo Mei Lin & Ling Xing Yi Awarded 2015 L’Oréal Singapore National Fellowships

L’Oréal Singapore has awarded national fellowships to two female scientists, Dr. Neo Mei Lin and Assistant Professor Ling Xing Yi, as part of the 2015 L’Oréal Singapore For Women In Science National Fellowship program. Each receives a grant of SGD$30,000 (~US$21,000).

The 2015 Life Science Fellowship was awarded to Neo, a research fellow at the Tropical Marine Science Institute, National University of Singapore (NUS). Neo won this year’s Life Science Fellowship for her work in “A Trifecta Integrated Assessment for Prioritizing Conservation of the Giant Clams”.

Leveraging on the current conservation framework of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered (EDGE), Neo intends to develop conservation priorities combining phylogeny, threat level and functional diversity to primarily target old and endangered species lineages. Giant clams make significant ecological contributions in the coral reefs, and Neo’s study can help allocate conservation resources that are urgently needed to safeguard the future of giant clams.

“I strongly believe in making a scientific contribution, no matter how small it may be, as that small effort will help make a big difference to the environment,” Neo said.

The 2015 Physical and Engineering Science Fellowship was awarded to Ling, an assistant professor at the School of Physical and Mathematical Science, Nanyang Technological University (NTU). She was awarded the fellowship for her research in “Plasmonic Colloidosomes Surface-enhanced Raman Scattering Sensors for Rapid and Sensitive On-site Detection of Environmental Pollutants.”

Ling’s lab has introduced an ultrasensitive environmental sensing platform for quick on-site detection of the contamination of water and soil by environmental toxins. They develop “plasmonic colloidosome” SERS platforms, which are designed to achieve detection of environmental pollutants at trace levels.

“Women love to wonder, that is the seed of science. I wish to encourage women of tomorrow to plant these seeds, by showing that my research on fundamental nanomaterial chemistry is capable of solving real-world problems,” Ling said.

The fellows are selected by an esteemed jury, consisting of members who are former L’Oréal Singapore national fellows; and academics from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), NUS and NTU.

Commenting on L’Oréal Singapore’s commitment to encouraging women in science, Mr. Vincent Ong, general manager of Professional Products Division and Corporate Affairs at L’Oréal Singapore said, “Today, only 30 percent of the world’s researchers are women. We are convinced that science brings hope and fosters discovery, innovation and excellence, and all the best talents must be called upon to accomplish this mission.”

In no order of merit, the runners up include Polly Chen from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, Lena Ho from the Institute of Medical Biology (A*STAR), Wan Yue from the Genome Institute of Singapore, Chew Jia Wei from NTU and Qiu Anqi from NUS.