March 31, 2021, by Susan Lim

UNM Academic featured in magazine for groundbreaking research

Dr Weang Kee Ho, associate professor from the School of Mathematical Sciences of the Faculty of Science and Engineering was featured in Prestige Magazine on 8 February 2021 for her groundbreaking research on the prediction of breast cancer among Asian women.

Her research, which stemmed from the shocking statistics that breast cancer will affect at least one in every 22 Chinese, 23 Indian and 30 Malay women at some point in their lives, aims to build a risk prediction model that can be used to identify Asian women who are at higher risk of getting breast cancer.

Dr Ho was delighted when Prestige Magazine reached out to her, as it helped broaden the reach for her research due to the magazine’s diverse readership, which was a step in the right direction towards bridging the gap between science and society.

This was not Dr Ho’s first time being featured in the magazine. In 2018, she was selected as one of Prestige’s “40 under 40” for her contributions in science and for being a role model in science for younger members of society.

Having had her placement in UNM as her first job upon her return to Malaysia, Dr Ho told us UNM helped kick start her research career by giving her the opportunity to meet many mentors and help her pave her way to where she is. In terms of future plans for her research, Dr Ho, together with collaborators from UK, Singapore as well as Malaysia, is working on integrating both genetic and non-genetic risk factors into a breast cancer risk prediction tool.

Dr Ho also advises all women, even younger women, to have regular self-exams to understand the normal look and feel of their breasts and immediately consult a doctor if they notice any abnormal changes.

Finally, for young researchers, Dr Ho has the following advice: “First, always work with purpose and meaning, and second, grab the opportunities when they come.”

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