Merdeka Award Announces Inaugural Recipients of the Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment

28 JUNE 2013
The Board of Trustees of the Merdeka Award today announced it had awarded two eminent young Malaysians grants for short-term programmes under its Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment.
The two recipients are Assistant Professor Dr Abhimanyu Veerakumarasivam, 34, and Dr Natrah Fatin Mohd Ikhsan, 33.
The announcement was made by the Chairman of the Merdeka Award Trust, His Royal Highness Raja Dr Nazrin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah, the Regent of Perak Darul Ridzuan, at a special event held at the Malaysian Petroleum Club, Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.  The event was attended by over 120 guests, including representatives from the founding partners of the Merdeka Award Trust – PETRONAS, Shell and ExxonMobil.
In his speech, His Royal Highness said: “Both of these recipients are fine examples of young Malaysians who have persevered in their pursuit of excellence through dedication and commitment in their chosen field of research. “Both of them have chosen to focus on areas of study that are beneficial, not just to Malaysia, but to a wider global community,” His Royal Highness added. 

Dr Abhimanyu holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Oncology) qualification from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Sciences) from University Putra Malaysia. He is currently an Assistant Professor as well as Director of Scientific Foundations of Medicine at the Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine. He is planning to strengthen his research on the identification of molecular markers for the diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of bladder cancer through greater molecular understanding of the disease.

Dr Natrah holds a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences (Aquaculture) from the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at the University of Ghent, Belgium, and is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Aquaculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia.  She plans to further her work on understanding molecular microbial ecology towards sustainable agriculture production.