Former PhD Student Receives Top Award for Research in Malaysia

Chong Chin Heo standing at a stage receiving a medal.

Chong Chin Heo, right, receiving the medal from Professor Emeritus Dr. C.P. Ramachandran, left. Submitted photo.

Congratulations to former Ph.D. student Chong Chin Heo as he received the research medal for his research at the 54th annual meeting of the Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine.

Heo was honored with the Nadchatram Silver Medal during the opening ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur. The award was given every year to scientists under 45 years old that have done outstanding research in both parasitology and tropical medicine fields.

Heo received his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences in 2006 and Master of Science in 2009 from the National University of Malaysia, and then his Ph.D. in Entomology from Texas A&M in 2016. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia, where he is teaching medical parasitology and entomology to pre-clinical medical students.

Before becoming a faculty member, Heo was a research officer at the Institute for Medical Research in Kuala Lumpur, and was a member of Dr. Jeff Tomberlin’s FLIES Facility when he was a grad student. Heo’s research interests are carrion decomposition ecology, biodiversity of necrophagous and coprophagous dipteran species, and forensic entomology/acarology.

Heo has given more than 70 platforms and poster presentations at conferences locally and internationally since 2017.

“Chin has always been a stellar researcher. So, I am not surprised by his receiving such a prestigious award,” Heo’s former mentor Dr. Jeffery Tomberlin said. “This recognition highlights his amazing contributions to the field of parasitology and entomology as well as his dedication to the students at his university.”

“I felt very honored to be selected by the committee as the recipient for Nadchatram Medal 2017. I am very grateful to the Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine for their recognition to young scientists in the field of parasitology and entomology.,” Heo said.

Heo was also grateful for the time that he had spent at Texas A&M and for the faculty that have trained him.

“I sincerely thank my former professors and supervisors who taught me, particularly Dr. Jeffery Tomberlin, Dr. Pete Teel, Dr. Aaron Tarone, Dr. Jacqueline Peterson (Soil and Crop Sciences, TAMU) and Dr. Tawni Crippen (USDA-ARS) for their support and help during my PhD program here at the Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University,” he said. “Being a former PhD graduate from the Department, this unique experience definitely enhances my confident and quality as a researcher, and making me a proud Aggie who work hard to promote entomological sciences, and spread the Aggie spirit and culture to the local community.”

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