Pharmacy alumni leading the way in Asia
1 August 2013
Two University of Sydney Pharmacy alumni, Dr Desmond Heng and Dr Philip Chi Lip Kwok, were busy recently, making names for themselves in Asia's thriving pharmaceutical sciences scene.
Dr Desmond Heng (PhD 2009) was one of a very select few to receive a prestigious merit award in the Medical Innovation Category at this year's Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP) Singapore Award.
Meanwhile, Dr Philip Chi Lip Kwok (BPharm (Hons) 2002, PhD 2007) chaired and co-organised the inaugural 2013 Inhalation Asia Conference at the University of Hong Kong, a successful first-time event that attracted top researchers from around the region.
Dr Heng, now based at the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences in Singapore earned the award for his research into inhalation aerosol drug delivery, oral drug delivery, dissolution technologies and nanomedicine.
Since 1951, the TOYP awards have 'honoured young people aged under 40 who have made significant efforts and achievements in various fields, and exemplify the best attributes of the world's young people'. Past national awardees include such illustrious names as John F Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Nelson Rockefeller, Orson Wells, Henry Kissinger and the current Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong.
Dr Heng also joined the Faculty of Pharmacy's Associate Dean of Research, Professor Kim Chan, as a guest speaker at the Inhalation Asia Conference chaired by Dr Kwok. The conference, held from 24-28 June, was the first of its kind in Asia to focus on pulmonary drug delivery, and attracted around 180 international participants and 20 industrial exhibitors.
Professor Chan and Dr Heng each gave expert talks on dry powder aerosol delivery, including recent developments in formulations and therapy.
Dr Kwok, now Assistant Professor of the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy at the University of Hong Kong, said the conference was a boon for researchers in the region, where there is an abundance of expertise, including exciting new research from the Faculty.
Professor Chan congratulated Dr Heng and Dr Kwok on their individual successes and said he was proud to see University of Sydney Pharmacy alumni establishing themselves as leaders in the field.
"I was honoured to present at the Inhalation Asia Conference this year; it was an excellent conference and a remarkable achievement for Dr Kwok, who did a fantastic job of bringing together some of the top experts in the Asia-Pacific region to share new ideas and knowledge in this fast-developing area," said Professor Chan.
"I would also like to commend Dr Desmond Heng on his success in the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award," he said. "It's an exceptional accomplishment to say the least, and it was also great to see Desmond give a talk at the Inhalation Asia Conference."
"Philip and Desmond are great examples of the type of leaders produced by the Faculty and I am certain they will each see more success in the future," said Professor Chan.
The next Inhalation Asia conference will be held at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University in Shenyang, China, in 2015.