Cover Story: By order of the Crown

This article first appeared in Options, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on February 19, 2018 - February 25, 2018.
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Cancer Research Malaysia CEO Prof Dr Teo Soo Hwang grabbed the headlines recently when she received an honorary Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II — a well-deserved acknowledgement of her ground-breaking and extensive work with cancer research in an Asian context. Appearing on Options’ cover for the second time in a decade, Teo talks to Anandhi Gopinath about how the non-profit organisation has evolved over the years and the mark it has made and is leaving on global medical research.

For someone who does not enjoy being in front of the camera, Cancer Research Malaysia (CRM) CEO Prof Dr Teo Soo Hwang photographs well. And no wonder, for she is tall and elegant, and has a warm and friendly smile. Here’s how we got our million-dollar shot — we talked shop. The minute we start talking about cancer survivors and some of the research work she has been doing lately, Teo brightens up and relaxes visibly. “I’ve never quite gotten used to this part of the job,” she laughs, referring to the many years she has been in the news because of what the organisation she runs has achieved in the field of cancer research.

CRM and Teo made the news yet again recently when she was awarded an honorary Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II. She received the award from British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell at her residence in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 7. The pin is sitting in a leather box on Teo’s table when we met the Monday after at her office and she is more than eager to show it to me. We joke about how apt the connection of the pink ribbon is to the cause of breast cancer research and if it might snag the delicate lace of the dress she was wearing  for the photograph — Teo may be one of our nation’s most accomplished scientists but she certainly is not above a girlish laugh or two.

 

For the full story, pick up a copy of The Edge Malaysia (Feb 12) at your nearest newsstands or visit optionstheedge.com.