GWOT 2016 Associate Professor Sierin Lim
Associate Professor Sierin Lim, 39, Assistant Chair (Research), School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University

In her role, Associate Professor Lim juggles the multi-faceted roles of a scientist, teacher, motivator, mentor, business manager, and writer. Her Bioengineered and Applied Nanomateirals Laboratory (BeANs Lab) focuses on the design, engineering, and development of hybrid nano/microscale devices from biological parts by utilising protein engineering as a tool. These nature-derived proteins are then used to deliver molecules (for example, for anti-cancer drugs, cosmetic actives, nutrients) and contrast agents (that enhance images during medical imaging procedures, such as MRIs). Says the STEM ambassador for the Singapore Committee for UN Women, “We can start off with a 50:50 ratio, but over time, some women switch fields or stop being involved.” She adds, “Societal support and systemic change are necessary to encourage more women to stay in science. For example, the recalibration of achievements versus time, may be one way of helping women to come back after a pause.”

My mum is my main driving force…
“When I was little, she used to drop my brother and me off at the science section of book shops. I started reading science books, and developed my interest from there.”

I feel fulfilled working towards something bigger…
“My co-workers and I are constantly working for the betterment of mankind. One day, I hope to see the fruits of my labour realised as products in the market, as a result of research produced by my lab.”

I persevere and keep an optimistic view on life…
“In reality, the experiments that we design don’t always turn out the way we expect them to, and it is absolute determination and perseverance, that helps me to push forward instead of giving up.”

If Associate Professor Sierin Lim inspires you, vote for her in The Most Inspiring Award here. You will stand a chance to win prizes worth up to $1,230!

The Great Women Of Our Time 2016 is presented by Skin Inc and co-sponsored by Swarovski.