KUALA LUMPUR: Leading Malaysian scientist Prof Teo Soo-Hwang has been awarded an honorary Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II for her outstanding work in cancer research.
Prof Teo, who is the chief executive officer of Cancer Research Malaysia, was recognised not only for her efforts in improving the diagnosis and treatment for a variety of cancers but for developing research collaborations between Malaysia and Britain, specialising in Asian genetics and cancers prevalent within Asian communities.
She received the award from British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell at her residence here yesterday.
“With a particular focus on breast, ovarian, nasopharyngeal and oral cancers, research conducted by Prof Teo and her team has helped inform studies that underpin the development of Precision Medicine, which is revolutionising the way medicine is practised in the UK and around the world.
“It isn’t often that we nominate people for an honorary award. The process is actually quite tough to get through.
“But it is such work that gives us hope that research will provide us the answers and give us a cure for cancer,” said Treadell in her speech.
She also congratulated Prof Teo for championing the importance of high-quality research as well as advocacy campaigns to educate the Malaysian public on early detection for cancer.
“Her fund-raising activities have enabled more than 2,000 Malaysian women to receive subsidised mammogram screenings and more than 1,000 others to get improved patient support,” said Treadell.
Prof Teo said she was honoured and acknowledged the contributions of her colleagues and mentors.
“This award belongs to a large team of individuals who have supported our efforts in changing the outcome of cancer patients through research.
“When we first started, no one thought that a non-profit Malaysian organisation in a low-resource setting could succeed in cancer research.
“Today is possible because of countless donors, supporters, partners, doctors and most importantly, patients who have walked with us along this journey,” said the University of Cambridge alumnus from Subang Jaya.
At the ceremony to celebrate her achievement were more than 100 of Prof Teo’s family, friends, colleagues as well as donors to the research work done at Cancer Research Malaysia.