TMU alumni Dr. Chee Kin Then awarded the 2019 Clarendon Fund full scholarship at University of Oxford, UK

Source: College of Medicine

Published on 2020-02-01

TMU School of Medicine and Graduate Institute of Medical Science alumni, Dr. Chee Kin Then(鄧志堅), has been awarded the Clarendon scholarship.


Only 2 people from the Oxford Department of Oncology were given the award this year, out of a pool of approximately a hundred applicants from the department.

 Did you know?

The Clarendon Scholarship was established by former University of Oxford Chancellor, the Earl of Clarendon (1660-1667). A committee made of experts from different disciplines selected students of excellence and potential, awarding the scholarship in hopes of nurturing these students to become leaders in their respective fields. Less than 2% of students at Oxford have the chance of receiving the scholarship.

Dr. Then graduated from TMU in 2018, and is the first physician scientist in Taiwan to complete the programme within 7 years of medical school. The physician scientist programme was designed to nurture talents in the medical field and cross-discipline research, and medical students that enter the programme have to do research and publish their findings in addition to their medical degree. Although Dr. Then faced heavy pressure, he held on with his steadfast learning attitude, amazing self-discipline, and highly efficient time management skills to successfully complete the programme.

Picture: Dr. Then at the matriculation ceremony at University of Oxford

Due to his interest in cancer biology, Dr. Then joined Prof. Shing-Chuan Shen’s(沈芯伃)laboratory at the Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in his freshman year to conduct research as part of his dual-track learning in medicine and scientific research. He gave his all in both his undergraduate course and laboratory research. During this time, he also won numerous awards in journal paper competitions, such as winning the first runner up (oral presentation category) at the 33rd Joint Annual Conference of Biomedical Sciences for his work in Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr Then joined the Department of Oncology at University of Oxford after his graduation to further his work in the field of cancer research.

  • Thoughts from Dr. Chee Kin Then: TMU open up new horizons in medical research for me

I am truly thankful for the efforts of my alma mater, Taipei Medical University, in nurturing my skills, especially the School of Medicine, and the Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences. They all provided a robust foundation for me to build my expert knowledge and research skills. The solid training I received at TMU included not only expert knowledge, scientific theories, lab skill and communication abilities, but also served to enhance my stress tolerance, logical reasoning, and trouble-shooting skills.

The skills honed at TMU not only helped me ace my interview and written exam, but also allowed me to quickly adapt and become a part of the new country and the new learning environment. I have thoroughly enjoyed living here every day while focusing on learning. After I arrived at Oxford, my performance in different areas was quickly acknowledged by others. With the full support of my professors, the Department of Oncology, and Balliol College, I managed to achieve the honour of being awarded with the Clarendon full scholarship for three years. It is a huge encouragement to me continuing down the road of medical research. Looking back now, TMU opened up the beautiful new world of medical research for me, allowing me to take my dream of exploring cancer biology to Oxford, where I have the opportunities to walk together with scientists from all over the world.

Picture: TMU Alumni Dr. Chee Kin Then (back row, 1st on the right) with his labmates in a group photo taken over Christmas of 2018

Once a TMU alumni, always a TMU alumni. I am truly honoured to be a part of TMU. I have always felt that I am no different than everyone else, despite what people may think. Perhaps the only difference is that I had a clear goal, and was fortunate enough to be guided by good teachers, which enabled me to move according to plan to achieve the results I have thus far. I also hope that my example can encourage my juniors at the university: TMU has a great environment for learning. The facilities, the teachers and everything at TMU are truly world class. I hope everyone can treasure it and seize the opportunities, and I also hope that when you find the goal you want to aim for, you can reap the benefits once you fully dedicate yourself to achieving the goal.

Lastly, I would like to thank my alma mater again for my training. Oxford, as one of the top higher institutions of learning is really beautiful, but I still miss the time I spent at TMU. I would also like to convey my deepest thanks and appreciation to my supervising professor, Pro. Shing-Chuan Shen(沈芯伃), Assistant Prof. Seu-Hwa Chen(陳淑華)at the School of Medicine, and my mentors in bioinformatics, Assistant Prof. Yen-Kuang Lin(林彥光)and Associate Prof. Yuan-Chii Gladys Lee(李元綺).

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