President's Science and Technology Awards
Singapore's highest science honors were given out on 25 September at the President's Science and Technology Awards, which took place at Gardens By The Bay. Outstanding individuals and teams were noted for their achievements and contributions to research and development in Singapore.
The President's Science and Technology Medal was conferred by President Dr. Tony Tan Keng Yam on two scientists, Prof Barry HALLIWELL and Prof Freddy BOEY. Prof Halliwell is the Deputy President (Research and Technology) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Prof Boey is the Deputy President and Provost of Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
Among the eight of Singapore's top research scientists and engineers who received the awards was Prof YU Hao from the Department of Biological Sciences. He was recognised for his research on the molecular mechanisms underlying plant reproduction; in particular, the process of flowering in plants. Prof Yu's discoveries have helped to improve crop yield, especially in food production for economically important plants like rice and oil palm.
Prof Yu explained that he dedicated the last decade to uncover molecular genetic mechanisms of plant reproductive development, with a focus on flowering time control, floral meristem specification, floral organ patterning and phytohormone signalling in these processes.
His team is making efforts in biotechnological application, which is a key area for Singapore economic development. They are applying the findings to several crops such as rice, oil palm and orchid, in terms of improving economically important traits such as flowering time and seed yield.
This is the fifth year that the President's Science and Technology Awards were presented.