PhD students and early career academics mix with science greats

February 15 / 152

Sir Timothy Hunt, Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine (2001), kicked off the first day of the Global Young Scientists Summit 2015 with his plenary lecture, “How to Win a Nobel Prize: Secrets of Cell Division”. Photo: National Research Foundation Singapore
Sir Timothy Hunt, Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine (2001), kicked off the first day of the Global Young Scientists Summit 2015 with his plenary lecture, “How to Win a Nobel Prize: Secrets of Cell Division”. Photo: National Research Foundation Singapore

A group of PhD students and early career researchers invited to a global gathering of young scientists and researchers in Singapore have had a chance to mingle with science greats and peer researchers.

Organised by the National Research Foundation of Singapore, the Global Young Scientists Summit 2015 in January brought together 239 young scientists and researchers from all over the world.

The multidisciplinary summit - covering a range of topics from physiology, medicine, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science and engineering - featured 20 eminent speakers, including 12 Nobel laureates.

“Multidisciplinary approaches are becoming more and more important,’” said University of Melbourne delegate Aung Ko Win, (MDHS) an epidemiologist studying bowel cancer and the genetics behind it, “we need to collaborate with experts from other disciplines. For example IT, given that big data is becoming very important in medical research.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to meet my peers from all over the world, to meet researchers in my area and other disciplines, to make connections, to be part of this big world community working towards innovations in science.”

Mr Win was also thrilled to meet some of his heroes, including Professor Harald zur Hausen winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his groundbreaking work on the role of the human papillomavirus (HPV) in cervical cancer.

“It was exciting and inspiring to get to speak with him, to get close to his way of thinking,” he said.

Other delegates were Bryn Sobott (Physics), Danika Hill (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research) Camelia Quek (MDHS), Nick Kirkwood (Chemistry) and Mohamed Dirani (Eye and Ear Hospital).

The summit was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Teo Chee Hean, and closed by Singapore President Tony Tan Kang Yam.

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