Kendrick Shih, currently a fourth year medical student at the University of Hong Kong's Medical Faculty, has been named as one of six "Rising Stars" from around the world by the International Liver Transplantation Society, for his research work on liver cancer. Kendrick took the bold and difficult decision, after completing his third year in medical school, to spend a year doing research under the supervision of Prof Lo Chung Mau and co-supervisor Dr Nancy Kwan Man.
The Rising Star Award seeks to drive and reward developments related to illnesses in patients who have received liver transplants. The Society receives several hundred research abstracts every year. Shortlisted projects are then invited to present their work at an Annual Congress held in a different global city every year. Six winner-teams are subsequently chosen based on the quality of the project.
According to Prof Lo, Kendrick's winning of the award was nothing short of amazing. He points out that this is the first time that the award has ever been won by an undergraduate and says, "Kendrick, at 21, was the youngest presenter at the Congress. He not only competed against established doctors and scientists with many years of experience in the field, the paper presented was also chosen as the best paper at the meeting. The organisers automatically assumed that Kendrick was a doctor, and included the letters MD after his name."
Kendrick however is a lot more modest. While he is very proud to have won the award together with Dr Man – Dr Man was the mentor and Kendrick the mentee, he says, "I believe that other students would have achieved the same results if they were given the opportunities that I received from Prof Lo and Dr Man. I was lucky – by giving me the opportunity to take on the research and make the presentation at the Congress, which was held in Brazil this year, Prof Lo