Nov. 10, 2018
“The World needs Science, Science needs women”. This slogan has inspired outstanding young Indonesian female researchers who dedicate their career to develop scientific innovations and contribute to the sustainable development and the betterment of communities all over Indonesia.
Since 2004, with a close partnership with the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia (KNIU Kemendikbud), the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science (FWIS) National program annually appointed female scientist from multidisciplinary scientific fields.
The program aims to help ensure that innovative minds will provide the steady stream of talents essential in resolving the critical issues confronting the nation. Every year, the committee appointed four young Indonesian women researchers from both Material Sciences and Life Sciences fields. They were awarded fellowships to conduct their research. By supporting young women researchers and promoting science as a career, and in celebrating the achievements of accomplished women researchers, L’Oréal-UNESCO FWIS program also help to give a public forum to speak out and reach out for science.
One of the awardee for Indonesia 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO FWIS program was Korri Elvanita El Khobar, PhD, one of the scientists from Hepatitis Unit, Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology. Dr. El Khobar received the fellowship along with a 90 million Indonesian Rupiah grant for her project entitled “Using polo like kinase 1 (PLK1) methylation status as biomarkers for early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in chronic viral hepatitis infection”.
Booth presentation at the Award ceremony displaying Dr. Korri Elvanita El Khobar and her study.
In her research, Korri, as she is called daily, will study the altered genetic and epigenetic expression of polo like kinase 1 (PLK1), a cell cycle enzyme which is commonly found dysregulated in various cancer types, in chronic hepatitis B and C patients in Indonesia. PLK1 has been identified to be involved in the transformation process of liver cancer caused by both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Thus, PLK1 may serve as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for early diagnosis of (HCC) in chronic viral hepatitis patients. By detecting not only the altered PLK1 gene expression, but also the PLK1 methylation status, she hopes to design a new diagnostic tool for early detection of liver cancer in chronic hepatitis patients in Indonesia to prevent future liver diseases complication and decrease the numbers of liver-cancer related death.
Accepting this award, Korri expressed her gratitude to L’Oréal Indonesia and KNIU Kemendikbud, her mentor Prof David Handojo Muljono, and her parents and families for their encouragement and support. As a L’Oréal-UNESCO fellow, she wishes to contribute her research for the benefit of people in Indonesia.
Pictures from the Awards ceremony
Dr. El Khobar was not the first Eijkman female scientist to receive this award. Back in 2004, Rintis Noviyanti, PhD from Malaria Pathogenesis Laboratory, and in 2011, Caecilia HC Sukowati, PhD from Hepatitis Laboratory, also received this prestigious award. Congratulations and may this award further motivates you to pursue your scientific endeavors.