Prestige Malaysia's Top 40 under 40 2018: Dr Ho Weng Kee
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Dr Ho Weng Kee

Dr Ho Weng Kee never dreamt of becoming a scientist – at least not until her professor introduced the concept of it into her career path. “I was never among the top students in class, but it was then that I realised that the subject I’ve loved since I was young can be such a powerful tool to answer so many important questions,” she says. Now, she is not only an associate professor with University of Nottingham Malaysia but also a collaborating scientist with Cancer Research Malaysia.

After her PhD, she pursued a career with the University of Cambridge, where she met Professor Teo Soo-Hwang, chief executive of Cancer Research Malaysia. This gave Weng Kee the avenue to expand in her current research on statistical genetics identifying genetic variants that are associated with certain diseases.

She is a recipient of the distinguished 2017 L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award, and was granted the fellowship for proposing a breast cancer assessment tool to help pinpoint women who are at higher risk. According to her, Asia is set to experience a projected increase in the disease by up to 50 per cent in Malaysia alone within the next decade.

“Early detection is the best protection, but with limited resources we cannot afford to screen every woman in the country,” she says. “We hope that by giving women a more accurate idea of the risk, it will increase their awareness and motivate them to continue attending mammography screenings.”

 

Dr Ho Weng Kee is wearing Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Moonphase Titanium White Diamonds; Jacket from Emporio Armani