General News

Hwa Chongian Adroitly Grasps Complexities of the Brain

07 Jul 2017

The International Brain Bee (IBB) Challenge is a non-profit neuroscience competition designed to teach school students (age group of 14-19 years) about the brain, capture their imaginations, and to inspire them to pursue careers in biomedical research. Currently there are 175 Brain Bee coordinators worldwide and the Singapore Neuroscience Association (SNA) is the National coordinator of IBB in Singapore.

As part of the Challenge, Associate Professor Ng Yee Kong (Department of Anatomy), Ms Mahima Sharma (Department of Physiology), Ms Aparna Karthikeyan (Department of Anatomy) and Ms Deepika Kandilya (Department of Anatomy) from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS, delivered lectures on the brain and its functions to the young students. A written examination was thereafter conducted on 2 June. Out of 141 students from 11 prominent schools, 7 finalists were chosen to undergo an oral examination by eminent neuroscientists in Singapore, namely, Professor Ling Eng-Ang, Associate Professor S.T. Dheen, Professor Ong Wei Yi and Associate Professor Samuel Tay.

We would like to congratulate Chan Xu Rui, Isaac (17S7G) for clinching the championship in this competition. On top of a cash prize of $500, he was awarded a travel award of $2000 to attend the upcoming International Brain Bee Challenge to be held in Washington D.C., U.S.A from 3 to 6 August. He received this award from the Guest of Honour, Professor Lawrence Ho Khek-Yu, Vice Dean (Research), National University of Singapore.

With regard to competing in the Challenge, Isaac remarked that:
           "The Brain Bee challenge has certainly broadened my horizons in neuroscience. Studying and preparing for the the competition was intense and challenging, but it was definitely worth it.  This journey has helped me see neuroscience as an important interdisciplinary subject that ties together many other fields in biology.  One of the highlights of the competition was the opportunity to interact with eminent neuroscience professors, which I found thoroughly enjoyable and fruitful. I am thankful to Mdm Irene Kng, my Biology teacher from HCI, my fellow schoolmates who participated in the competition, as well as my parents for their support throughout this competition.  I would also like to acknowledge the strong competition from everyone in Brain Bee who which inspired me to work hard for the competition."

Mrs Foo-Lam Woon Keat (Director/ Studies, Head/ JC Biology) added that:
           “The Singapore Brain Bee Challenge is a rigorous and enriching competition that our students enthusiastically look forward to every year. It provides good experiences to interested school students to learn more about neuroscience and is a great platform for them to gain exposure to biomedical brain research. The interconnections of neuroscience and other fields of biology and medicine are made apparent while students engage in problem-solving. Going beyond pen-and-paper testing, the interview component / oral exam of the Singapore Brain Bee Challenge 2017 stretches the selected students to communicate coherently their scientific knowledge and to think with agility. HCI is immensely thankful to the organizers of the Singapore Brain Bee Challenge for this opportunity given to our students to explore beyond the classrooms and inspire them.”

From Left to right: Associate Professor S.T. Dheen (Department of Anatomy, NUS), Fidelia Beatrice Alvina (National Junior College) (First Runner-Up), Professor Lawrence Ho Khek Yu (Vice Dean for Research, NUS Medicine) Mr. Chan Xu Rui, Isaac (17S7G) (Champion), Ms. Nicole Han Xinrong (16S7B) (Second Runner-Up) and Ms Deepika Kandilya (Graduate Student, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine)

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