Women Now

Women on a mission: Meet the woman who's opening doors for young women in science and research

Dr Christine Cheung is a biologist by training and a research powerhouse. She's setting an example for aspiring female researchers by actively working on a research to prevent blood vessel diseases

Photography by Veronica Tay

If anyone has a clear vision and a steadfast determination to harness the power of research for life-changing discoveries, it’s Dr Christine Cheung. The vascular biologist has been on a decade long quest to find a way to accurately predict if patients are prone to blood vessel diseases such as stroke and dementia.

The now 35-year old’s research resulted in her being named an honouree – and the only one who was a woman – at the 2018 Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Singapore Awards by the Junior Chamber International Singapore.

Dr Cheung continually works on convincing local philanthropists of the need to fund basic scientific research for its far-ranging human and medical benefits.

“Basic exploratory research – as opposed to research with a specific application, such as for a cure or preventing a disease – may seem ‘aimless’ to investors, yet it’s actually very necessary,” she explains.

“It’s basic research which provides evidence from which important findings and breakthroughs come. For science to be strengthened as an enterprise, there must be real fundamental knowledge.”

Up next for her is the world stage. Dr Cheung has been selected as one of 40 scientists in the World Economic Forum’s Young Scientists Community, which is tasked to help world political and business leaders understand the impact of science on global issues. Her two-year commitment began in July with a global conference in Dalian, China.