Don Loi Xu

Having the Heart for Medicine

  • Lee Kuan Yew Award
  • Yakult (Singapore) Gold Medal
  • OCBC Prize

As a child, Don Loi had always been interested in Biology.  Growing up, his favourite movies included Jurassic Park and Spiderman as the scientific themes inspired and fascinated him.  After receiving his GCE ‘O’ Level results, the Clementi Town Secondary School alumnus enrolled for the Singapore Polytechnic (SP)’s Diploma in Biotechnology course as he believed that SP was the most renowned and prestigious polytechnic and the course would equip him with the necessary knowledge and skills that could be applied for the greater good.

In SP, Don pursued his passion for knowledge and had the opportunity to genetically engineer e-coli bacteria to detect and degrade phenol, one of the most prominent water pollutants.  The experience sparked his interest in clinical research.

In Don’s final year of study, tragedy struck when his mother passed away from sudden cardiac arrest just a month before he was due to begin his internship at the Agency for Science, Technology And Research (A*STAR).  Despite the devastating loss of the pillar of his life, the A*STAR Science Award recipient resolved to do well for his internship as he wanted to make his late mum proud.

During his seven-month internship at A*STAR, Don collaborated with scientists on experiments and contributed to new ideas and treatments related to stem cell research.  He was also given the opportunity to present at various seminars. Impressed with his aptitude and attitude, the organisation offered Don the prestigious A*STAR MBBS-PhD National Science Scholarship in principle.

In SP, Don and his classmates initiated a community service project called “Kids Read” where they collected donated books and gave them out to primary school children to inculcate the importance of reading.  This meaningful experience inspired Don’s passion for community service and the Model Student Award recipient mentored at Queenstown Primary School every week.

Don is currently applying to The National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and aspires to become a clinician scientist.  He hopes to discover the early symptoms of cardiovascular diseases to facilitate timely medical treatment.