“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
Science is ever-changing. Ever-evolving. There is always something new to uncover from the countless mysteries mother nature has provided. Not to mention how sudden changes can occur and obscure stability. We have seen a concrete example of it in the form pandemic Covid19. Therefore, efforts in research need to increase as a precaution so countermeasures could be taken in the future. The success or failure of research critically depends on the personnel and their capability in the laboratory. It could be said that Scientists are the heart of a research institution.
Exeins Health Initiative (EHI) aims to be one of Indonesia’s research leaders. As it is, EHI is making a name for itself with many projects on diseases and viruses. However, EHI always aims to be better, enhancing its resources including scientists. EHI has always supported the career development of its scientists by sending them abroad to acquire in-depth knowledge in research. We hope our scientists could contribute to molecular research for Indonesia and the world.
Lembaga Penjamin Dana Pendidikan, also known as the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP), is an endowment fund that is a part of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance and receives support from other ministries for its management and policy-making. Since the LPDP opened its post-graduate scholarship programs in 2012, more than 24,000 Indonesians have committed to studying as awardees. Most of these contracts cover tuition fees and living expenses for post-graduate education in Indonesia and abroad without requiring recipients to repay the money. It is a highly prestigious award but we are excited to share that three of our young scientists: Lydia Visita Panggolo, Pinkan Kariodimedjo, and Rahma Fitri Hayati were awarded funding to pursue higher education by LPDP.
Each of them shared their motivations for joining this year’s LPDP. Lydia expressed something missing in her current self, regarding the ways that she views working in the laboratory. She believed that by going abroad, with better education, she could enrich her knowledge. Also, she longs to collaborate and reach out to fellow international scientists in hopes of gaining new points of view. Same as Lydia, Pinkan wants to gain a level of understanding in the topics she is interested in and that she wants to explore other topics. Rahma has been working in virology for eight years and her experience tells her that Indonesia is an ideal place to study arboviruses. However, she thinks that the country is still lacking in this field, both in human resources in technology. That is why she wants to upgrade her knowledge and skills in virology. She hopes to contribute to solving virology and infectious diseases in Indonesia.
Lydia is studying for a Master of Infectious Diseases in the University of Western Australia. There, she hopes to dive into immunology and the pathways in it to use later on in vaccine developments for infectious diseases in Indonesia. “I am also interested in epidemiology,” something she believes would benefit the surveillance of diseases in Indonesia. Meanwhile, Rahma is pursuing a Ph.D. at the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol in Great Britain where she is learning about immunopathology. “Clinically, dengue infection by DENV manifests in a broad range of clinical symptoms….. It is difficult to predict which type of dengue clinical manifestation..,” she expressed her concerns in Indonesia where peak dengue season could cause overwhelmed hospitalized cases. “Dengue is unique due to antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). However, the exact mechanism and key information on this subject are still incomplete. hope that I can fill in this gap. The information will be important in therapeutic aspects such as diagnosis and vaccine development.”
From the very beginning, EHI has shown appreciation and full-on support towards its scientists’ education.
“My supervisor at EHI greatly encourages her research assistants to go to school. Even the seniors also gave research ideas and visions that led me to my chosen university” – Lydia Visita Panggolo
“Knowing that there is a place where medical research can excel in Indonesia, makes the scholarship that much more meaningful for Indonesia.” – Pinkan Kariodimedjo
EHI will continuously improve itself as a research institution. We believe that sending these three young and inspired scientists would be beneficial not only for them but for Indonesia. All of them also shared their hopes and dreams for EHI:
“I hope that EHI will be the leading research institution in Indonesia that thrives and put out findings that would positively impact Indonesians directly, maybe even globally.” – Pinkan Kariodimedjo
“I have high hopes that EHI could be an internationaly qualified research institution that could find and fill in the missing pieces of health problems in Indonesia. Not just that, but have state of the art technology in molecular analysis and nurture excellent scientists in their field” -Lydia Visita Panggolo
“I hope EHI will be a key player in virology and infectious disease, especially in Indonesia. As a private institution, it has the flexibility and freedom to direct its research policy. I hope EHI continues to nurture fundamental and translational research. Both are necessary for a comprehensive understanding and problem-solving of infectious diseases in Indonesia. “ – Rahma Fitri Hayati
EHI wishes our scientists a journey full of surprises and self-realization. We believe that they would bring back valuable insights and understanding in medical research that would help us further uncover what the world has to offer.