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​LKCMedicine PhD student wins 2020 Ray Wu Prize

Published on: 04-Jun-2020

​LKCMedicine PhD student Low Jian Hui is among 10 recipients, mainly from mainland China and Singapore, who have won the prestigious 2020 Ray Wu Prize. 

The Ray Wu Prize for Excellence in Life Sciences was established to inspire Asia's most promising young PhD students to become future leaders in life sciences. 


Jian Hui, who is a final year PhD student at Nanyang Assistant Professor Xia Yun's laboratory, said, "I am happy to win this award for LKCMedicine. The award is a recognition for the hard work that my laboratory members and I have put in through the past years".

The prize includes USD$5,000 (S$6,900), a medal, a certificate, and a citation by the Ray Wu Memorial Fund (RWMF).

The prize is in honour of the late Professor Ray Wu, a world-renowned biologist who in the 1970s, developed the first method of DNA sequencing and pioneered the recombinant DNA technology. Prof Wu was a lifelong advocate for life science research in Asia.

The prize also comprises financial assistance for winners who wish to travel for career advancement purposes. The RWMF will also act as a liaison for the awardees who wish to seek consultation from established investigators as they develop their scientific careers.

Winners usually receive their prize at the Ray Wu Symposium held in China. However, with the Covid-19 global outbreak, the symposium is postponed to next year.

Sharing his thoughts, Jian Hui added, "These budding scientists will be supported by mentorship from established senior scientists in China and the US. I believe that this will broadly expand my network and horizons and will be a valuable collaborative network helping me throughout my career."

To apply for the prize, applicants had to be supported by at least three referees. Jian Hui's referees include Professor Philip W Ingham FRS, LKCMedicine's Toh Kian Chui Distinguished Professor and Professor of Developmental Biology, Jian Hui's supervisor Asst Prof Xia and Dr Jonathan Loh, a Principal Investigator at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology of A*Star.

Commenting on his win, Prof Ingham said he is delighted that Jian Hui has been awarded the prestigious prize. "I see it as just reward for his outstanding efforts in the lab which have led to some very exciting discoveries. It is also a reflection of the excellent guidance he has received from his supervisor, Xia Yun," he added.

Asst Prof Xia added that she is extremely happy for Jian Hui. "It is a recognition for him, for our lab, and for the PhD progamme of our medical school. Jian Hui has the first-rate qualities of a young scientist: dedication, hard-work, brilliance, and responsibility. This award will undoubtedly add to his confidence and ambition to achieve grater success in future," she added.

For his research, Jian Hui, who graduated from the NTU School of Biological Sciences in 2016, is looking at the interface of developmental biology and stem cell biology. He published his first author paper, "Generation of Human PSC-Derived Kidney Organoids with Patterned Nephron Segments and a De Novo Vascular Network" in peer-reviewed journal Cell Stem Cell last year.

"I decided to do research because I want to make the world a better place. There are a lot of things, or diseases that we do not thoroughly understand. By gaining a comprehensive understanding will we then be able to develop solutions to address these needs," said Jian Hui. 

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