Dr Kai Xun Chan named 2017 ACT Scientist of the Year

Released 11/08/2017

I am pleased to announce the 2017 ACT Scientist of the Year is Dr Kai Xun Chan, an early career researcher whose work looks at how plants respond to drought conditions.

Dr Chan’s research looks at the effect of drought conditions on plants, and the ability of some plants to sense drought stress. His career breakthrough was the identification of a novel stress sensor protein that controls the pores on leaves of drought-stressed plants. His work is helping to find ways to improve drought tolerance in crops.

Dr Chan moved to Canberra to study at the Australian National University from Malaysia ten years ago. He was enticed to our city by the research credentials of our world-class universities and has subsequently completed two degrees at the ANU over the past decade.

The ACT Scientist of the Year Award aims to inspire young people to consider a career in science and STEM more broadly. With National Science Week launching this evening I look forward to the many activities and events on offer which will inspire young people into STEM careers. The career opportunities available to those who study STEM are ever increasing and will play a significant role in the future of our city.

Dr Chan joins former recipients of the ACT Scientist of the Year Award, Dr Colin Jackson (2015) and Dr Ceridwen Fraser (2016), and will promote the ACT as a centre of excellence for science and research. Dr Chan will take up a prestigious Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2018 which will give him the opportunity to further promote the contribution that Canberra scientists and innovators are making worldwide.

I congratulate Dr Chan on being awarded the ACT Scientist of the Year Award for 2017 and I look forward to watching his career continue to grow.

To view a video of Dr Chan’s research, and for more information on the ACT Scientist of the Year Award, visit www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/communication/scientistofyear

- Statement ends -

Section:Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases

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