PENANG, June 2015 – A world renowned X-ray crystallographer and former Professor of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) School of Physics, Emeritus Professor Fun Hoong Kun once again brought glory to Malaysia when he was chosen as the recipient of the ‘Research Productivity Award: Health Sciences Category’ from King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
This highly prestigious award in Saudi Arabia was presented by His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh in a glittering ceremony held at King Saud University, Riyadh, on May 19, 2015.
For Fun, 69, this is the first award he received since joining King Saud University in September 2012 as a professor and researcher at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy after serving almost 38 years in USM (September 1974 – August 2012).
Commenting on his latest achievement, Fun said that the Research Productivity Award is awarded by King Saud University annually to the university researchers who have succeeded in producing ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) publications that are highest in number, of outstanding quality and have huge impacts on scientific research in the last five years.
"I am overjoyed and honoured to have won this award and am grateful to King Saud University for recognising my work in the field of “Single Crystal X-ray Structure Determination”; furthermore I only served less than three years in the university compared to other researchers who have served far longer than me.
"I also did not expect to win this award because many of my colleagues from the College of Medicine, Pharmacy and Agriculture (Health Sciences category) who applied have been there longer than me, and I was the sole winner from the three colleges," said Fun who received a prize money of SAR100,000 (RM100,000), a Trophy and a Certificate of Appreciation for Scientific Excellence.
Fun is no stranger to the world of crystallography. He has produced more than 2,300 Scientific Citation Index (SCI) publications in international refereed journals. His h-index, which represents the scientific results of a researcher is 44, ranking him the 6th most referred crystallographer in the world in terms of solved structures among 447 authors in the field of crystallography as indicated by the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) based at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (January 2014 data).
This native son of Penang was recognised as the top and most productive scientist in Malaysia as reported in the ‘Science and Technology Knowledge Productivity in Malaysia Bibliometric Study 2012’, published by Malaysia Science and Technology Information Centre (MASTIC) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).
In recognition of his expertise and leadership qualities, Fun was appointed as a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia in 2009; awarded the Rotary Club of Kuala Lumpur Diraja Research Gold Medal" by H.R.H. Sultan of Selangor in 2012; bestowed the Emeritus Professor title by the USM Chancellor H.R.H. Raja of Perlis in USM’s 45th Convocation ceremony in 2012; and Top Researcher Scientist Malaysia (TRSM) award by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia in 2013.
USM is also proud of Fun’s latest achievement and hopes that with this award, he will continue to contribute significantly in crystallography research just as he did in contributing towards the achievement of USM as a Research University in 2007 and being selected to spearhead the APEX programme in 2009. - Translation & Text: Tan Ewe Hoe/Photos: Courtesy of Professor Emeritus Fun Hoong Kun