photograph International acclaim for young scientist

A young Malaysian PhD student working on a major research project has attracted international interest in her findings.

Elaine Hong joined a team trying to discover more about the early stages of breast cancer development and progression.  Her work identified possible links between the female hormone, oestrogen, and the control of certain types of protein found in breast cancer cells. 

Just a few monthis into her PhD programme she published a summary of her work relating to a complex process known as "alternative splicing" in which different forms of proteins are produced from a single gene.  It appeared in the academic journal Reproductive Sciences and won a scientific award.

Her success won her a trip to Florence to present her findings in the form of a poster to the 14th World Congress of Gynaecological Endocrinology.

"The long-term goals of the research team are to understand more about the mechanisms of breast cancer progression and to identify early biomarkers, or symptoms, of breast cancer development," said Elaine, who came to Newcastle University as a postgraduate student in 2007.  She gained her Masters degree in 2009 and is currently studying for her PhD in the Institute of Cellular Medicine.

An article in the Malaysian Star celebrating her success described Elaine as "having made her nation proud".

published on: 8th August 2010