In these dark and trying times, we Malaysians are in need of some good and positive stories, like this one:

Thankfully for us, there are no shortages of awesome Malaysians doing awesome things to make the country proud.

One of the top ten

Malaysian researcher Dr Chan Yoke-Fun has been named as one of the ten finalists for the 2020 ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women, an award to recognise promising ASEAN-based, mid-career female scientists for their academic and professional contribution.

The prize, given by the United States Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), aims to strengthen the science and technology capacity in Southeast Asian countries and contribute towards gender equality.

The finalists of Science Prize for Women
The US embassy in Kuala Lumpur shared Dr Chan's nomination on their Facebook page, with a video on her work in preventive healthcare.

Dr Chan, currently an associate Professor and the Head of Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine at University of Malaya, will be going up against nine other finalists (one from each ASEAN country) for the grand prize.

Two finalists will be winning the prize, with the first prize winner receiving USD20,000 (RM86,900) and another finalist will receive an honourable mention and USD5,000 (RM20,700).

Research focusing on HFMD

Dr Chan has been working on developing vaccines, antivirals and education tools in relation to the highly contagious Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFDM) that is common among children.

She leads a virology laboratory and has over 20 years of experience in the field, with over 80 publications.

On top of that, Dr Chan has a cabinet full of trophies and awards she has won over the years.

Dr Chan is a super high-achiever in her field.
Among some of the awards Dr Chan have won include the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Malaysia Fellowship (2014), L’Oréal-UNESCO International Rising Talent (2015), Young Women Leaders award Category Science and Technology, National Council of Women’s Organizations Malaysia 2015 and the Asian Women Entrepreneurs leadership Award - Science and Environment (2019).

Needless to say, she has been an inspiration for women in science in Malaysia for years.

Good luck, Dr Chan, and Malaysia is extremely proud of you!