Dr Siti Khayriyyah Mohd Hanafiah from Malaysia, FameLab Interntional winner 2018. ©

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FameLab International Final 2018

Dr Siti Khayriyyah Mohd Hanafiah, a Biological Science lecturer from Malaysia, was crowned the 2018 FameLab International Champion at the Cheltenham Science Festival on 7 June. She beat 27 science communicators from across the world. Her winning talk focused on Tuberculosis control and she convinced the judges through her calm engaging presence on stage, her fine story telling skills and her clarity of content.

She is the second Malaysian FameLab International Champion after Professor Dr Abhimanyu Veerakumarasivam won the title in 2016.

Dr Siti Khayriyyah Mohd Hanafiah said: “When I get on the stage and I am about to speak and have dropped all of that anxiety and nerves and just commit to that moment. It is really quite magical. Being able to have that connection with the audience is great. I had the opportunity thanks to FameLab." 

Second place was awarded to two runner-ups: Vanessa Pirotta (Macquarie University) representing Australia, and Veli Vural Uslu (Heidelberg University) representing Germany. The audience vote winner was Mihnea-Ioan Nicolescu (Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest) who represented Romania.

Hundreds of people watched the final live at the Arena in Cheltenham. The judges were Vivienne Parry (science writer and broadcaster), Clifford Johnson (Professor in Physics and Astronomy, author and science communicator) and Farrah Nazir (Acting Creative and Partnerships Lead, Wellcome Trust).