Prof Dr Abhi Veerakumarasivam

Sunway University
Chair, International Network for Government Science Advice Asia
Co-Chair, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Young Scientists Network

Professor Abhi Veerakumarasivam is a University of Cambridge-trained geneticist, educator and science communicator. Before taking on his current role as the Provost of Sunway University, he was the Dean of the School of Medical and Life Sciences. His research in genetics involves the elucidation of components of the regulatory pathways that drive tumour recurrence and invasion as well as dissecting Asian genetic variations that confer differences in disease-risk and response to therapy.

The Merdeka Award Grant in 2013 provided him with a fantastic opportunity to expand his global research network and align his academic portfolio to support the science-policy-society nexus. In recognition of his achievements, he has been awarded multiple awards including the National Cancer Council Malaysia Cancer Research Award, and the Gen.T List. In 2016, he became the first Asian to be crowned as the Best Science Communicator at the International FameLab Finals at the Cheltenham Science Festival, UK.

He is currently the Co-Chair of the ASEAN Young Scientists Network that represents top young scientists in the region who not only demonstrate academic excellence but also contribute towards nation-building through STEM promotion and advocacy. He also currently chairs the International Network for Government Science Advice Asia that aims to support the use of scientific evidence in informing policy at all levels of government; including pandemic/crises responses. He also sits on various national and regional science and educational policy committees and has co-authored various policy papers and reports. He also co-initiated and led Malaysia’s first nationwide programme on Responsible Conduct of Research to create awareness and educate the Malaysian scientific community on the importance of research integrity.

Abhi truly believes that the greatest challenges facing us in the 21st century can only be addressed through an interdisciplinary approach that promotes effective communication and policies that support the translation of scientific discoveries and enabling technologies to improve the quality of life and promote social justice.