'Virus hunter' and professor share top science award

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 29 Jul 2003


KUALA LUMPUR: “Virus hunter” Professor Datuk Dr Lam Sai Kit and chemical engineering professor Dr Mohd Ali Hashim emerged as joint winners of the National Science Awards 2001. 

Dr Lam, 64, was recognised for his research in the field of clinical virology on dengue and emerging viral diseases while Dr Mohd Ali, 52, specialised in solid-fluid interaction studies for the betterment of environment and health. 

Science, Technology and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Law Hieng Ding presented the award, certificates and prize money worth RM60,000 each to the two scientists at the awards presentation ceremony held at Palace of Golden Horses here yesterday.  

The awards, established in 1985, is presented every two years. 

Dr Lam, who discovered the Nipah virus, said global and regional outbreaks in recent years had revived the interest in virology, a field that was once abandoned by young scientists in their pursuit of high-tech projects. 

NATIONAL ACCLAIM: Dr Lam (left) chatting with Dr Mohd Ali on Monday after they were recognised for their respective research work.

“Virologists are like virus hunters, we are watching out for old and emerging viruses and probe them. We have to remain vigilant at all times,” he said after the awards ceremony. 

Dr Mohd Ali, whose research could be applied to controlling water pollution through separation of industrial pollutants from wastewater and producing oxygen-enriched air for healthcare and industrial use, said a successful scientist needed creativity and courage. 

Other awards presented at the ceremony included three awards for inventions and eight for outstanding young scientists.  

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