Receiving the Lee Kong Chian Graduate Scholarship, the University’s most prestigious scholarship award for graduate students, Kamonlawan Chomchopbun treasures the opportunity to pursue research in malaria
What is the subject of your PhD thesis?
My PhD is about searching for potential drugs from medicinal plants. I am working on malaria – an infectious disease that is jeopardising people’s lives especially in the tropical regions. In addition, similar to other infectious diseases, drug resistance is on the rise. Hence, it is crucial to find novel treatments to fight the infection. What I do is extracting compounds from plants and testing them for anti-malarial properties, hoping to identify drugs that might potentially be the cure for malaria.
Why do you enjoy doing research?
To me, research is about the journey to find answers to unanswered questions. It is difficult. It is very time-consuming. At times, it can be very stressful. The constant learning and challenges that we face daily are what repel many people away from research but they are also the charms that keep some of us in the field. At the end of the journey, we may not find the answers to the questions we set out to answer but I truly believe that we will definitely stumble upon answers to other questions or even totally new unanswered questions as we go along.
What difference has the Scholarship made to you?
Choosing a PhD over working means one less source of income for my family. The Scholarship does not only change my life, it also changes the lives of my parents and my siblings. It frees them from worrying about me and lessens my worries for them. The Scholarship allows me to pursue my dreams of touching the lives of others. If I am successful, the Lee Kong Chian Scholarship will have a great share of the credits. It indirectly benefits them, allowing them to benefit others and pass on this gift of kindness. Thank you.
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