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Dr. Kin Lam Wong receives Dean’s Convocation Medal
Dr. Kin Lam Wong’s doctoral thesis, Decoding nutrient sensing and metabolic regulation in the Drosophila Hipk tumor model, examined the molecular links between diet and cancer. Using fruit flies as a model, he discovered that nutrient sensors and metabolic enzymes work closely with cancer-causing genes, favoring abnormal cell growth. His work provides a better understanding of cells that could be exploited in targeted cancer therapy in humans.
Kin Lam received a number of awards, including Dr. Bruce Brandhorst Graduate Prizes for the best PhD thesis (2020), best publication (2019) and best oral presentation (2018) within Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. He is a natural leader, mentoring many undergraduate students, who have now gone on to graduate school themselves, and doing most of his writing, lab work and research independently.
“I feel that [his] accomplishments are outstanding, and I rate him in the top 1% of graduate students that I have supervised and evaluated as a faculty member. I cannot think of a more worthy candidate,” says his supervisor, Esther Verheyen.
Says Wong, “My supervisor, Esther, is a superb mentor. She always encourages me to be curious and ask questions. She has passed on her enthusiasm and reasoning to me, and I will definitely keep all these virtues in mind no matter where I am.”
He is now a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Liqun Luo's lab at Stanford University, taking advantage of fly genetics to create tools to study neural circuit assembly in the developing brain.