King's CRA wins Singapore Challenge Prize

Photo of Dr. Charlotte Houldcroft with her award.King’s alumna and College Research Associate (CRA), Dr Charlotte Houldcroft, has won a prestigious Singapore Challenge prize for her essay on using new genetic sequencing technology to combat infectious diseases.

Charlotte’s essay, “Sequencing the future: stopping infectious disease in its tracks” won the SG$7000 ‘distinguished award’ prize, awarded by Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). This international competition asks early career researchers to demonstrate how science and technology can be applied to improving health and quality of life over the next 50 to 100 years in cities like Singapore.

Charlotte’s essay was chosen as one of four ‘distinguished award' winners who were selected to present their ideas to a scientific audience in Singapore in September, attended by Nobel laureate and King’s Fellow, Professor Sydney Brenner.

Commenting on the prize, Charlotte said:

“My project as a CRA at King’s is to understand what the sequencing of ancient DNA from our distant relatives the Neanderthals can tell us about infectious diseases tens of thousands of years ago. The research I presented in Singapore looks at how sequencing the genetic material of infectious diseases in the near future will help us to lead healthier lives, even as cities like New York, London and Singapore grow in size and population density. It was fantastic to meet so many amazing young scientists and engineers using new technologies to improve urban living, and to show off the great infectious disease research happening here in the UK.”

In 2014, Charlotte was one of the first CRAs to be appointed at King’s. Six appointments are made by the Research Committee each year, with three for the sciences and three for the arts and humanities. More information about the College Research Associates can be found here.

Charlotte has an MA in Human Sciences from Oxford and a PhD in Molecular Biology from Cambridge. She is now an affiliate lecturer in the Division of Biological Anthropology.

Charlotte’s prize-winning essay is available to read online here.

17 October 2015