Winners of 2017 MTSF Awards and Grants

 Prof Chong (far right) receiving his award 

Two researchers shared their proud moments at the 24th Malaysia Toray Science Foundation (MTSF) prize presentation ceremony, held at InterContinental Kuala Lumpur on 7 December 2017, when Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) Prof Dr Chong Kok Keong was awarded the 2017 Science and Technology Award along with a cash prize of RM30,000, and Master of Science student Esther Thou Mun Huieh of Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Science (DBMS/FSc) who won the Science and Technology Research grant amounting to RM 30,000.

Present at the event were MTSF Chairman Academician Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Omar Abdul Rahman, Toray Industries Japan Executive Vice President Kazushi Hashimoto, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Malaysia His Excellency Dr Makio Miyagawa, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau, MTSF Examination Committee Chairman Academician Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim and MTSF Selection Committee Chairman Academician Tan Sri Emeritus Prof Dr Augustine Ong Soon Hock.

Organised by MSTF, Malaysia’s premier charitable science foundation established by TORAY Japan and TORAY Malaysia, the event aimed to promote science and technology in Malaysia by supporting deserving Malaysian scientists, young researchers and science educators. Prof Chong was among the two winners, selected out of 23 applicants for his category, while Thou was among the seven recipients who received the Toray Science Foundation, Japan grant. Another prize category was the Science Education Award.

"This award shows the effort of my research team and the administrative support received from the UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik. I would like to dedicate this success to my research team, namely Dr Wong Chee Woon, Dr Yew Tiong Keat, Dr Tan Ming Hui, Mr Tan Woei Chong and Dr Jessie Siaw. For the nomination and various administrative support, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Prof Ir Dr Lee Sze Wei, Prof Dr Faidz bin Abd Rahman, Prof Ir Dr Goi Bok Min,  Assoc Prof Dr Yong Thian Khok and others who were the key factors to this success,” said Prof Chong.

Thou (far right) receiving her grant

Meanwhile, Thou enthused, “I am truly honoured to receive the grant from MTSF and I would like to take this opportunity to thank MTSF for their support. Grants provided by MTSF assist researchers from academic areas and this could contribute to the advancement of our society. Special thanks to my supervisor Dr Chew Choy Hoong and co-supervisor Dr Choo Quok Cheong for their valuable advice and guidance.”

She added, “My research, titled “Molecular Regulation of ADAMTS-S by lL-17 and its Signal Transduction Pathway in Human MonocytesTHP-l Cells” is aimed to promote the understanding of how the novel and classical cytokines influence the ADAMTS-5 expression during atherosclerosis. As ADAMTS-5 plays novel roles in the regulation of proteoglycan turnover and lipoprotein retention in atherosclerosis, it is a major player in vascular health. Hence, this research will focus on the regulation and signalling pathway utilised by IL-17, a major pro-inflammatory cytokine expressed in atherosclerotic regions, on the expression of ADAMTS-5. With increasing incidences of heart diseases in Malaysia and the world, the research will help to shed some insights into the molecular regulation of ADAMTS-5.”

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