Transforming Health

Bring About a Better Tomorrow

Singapore faces many healthcare challenges in the coming years. With three in every 10 persons older than 65 by 2050, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and neuro-degenerative disease will increase. We want to stem this flood by changing the natural history of such diseases here and enabling people to live healthy, independent and active lives as long as possible. We can do this, with your help.

The world is rapidly greying, with the number of people older than 60 projected to double by 2050. Singapore is ageing at an even faster pace—the number of people aged 65 and older is expected to triple by 2030. NUS Medicine is at the forefront of research to enable our ageing population to remain productive and fulfilled, we invite you to partner with us in our endeavours.

In dementia for example, we are carving out new territory by imaging patients’ brains to help doctors identify Alzheimer’s disease. Another key research study explores how to use technology to ease the lives of older people, for example, by enabling at-home treatment and monitoring. Our tenacious researchers are studying new ways to prevent and treat age-related diseases such as arthritis, depression, and hearing and vision loss and devising and testing innovative programmes to keep Singapore’s seniors physically, mentally, and socially active.

Thought Leaders/Lead Investigators
Assoc Prof Christopher Chen, Assoc Prof Chong Yap Seng, Prof Carlos Ibanez,
Prof Edward Koo, Prof Kua Ee Heok and Assoc Prof Reshma Merchant

Each day, 37 people in Singapore are diagnosed with cancer. Every day, cancer kills 16 people here, with the disease accounting for one in every three deaths. Men die from lung, colorectal and liver cancers, while women succumb to breast, lung and colorectal cancers. It is likely that all of us will or have faced this disease in our families or friends. At NUS Medicine, our researchers are pressing ahead along two exciting axes to find new ways of dealing with cancer. One approach is to harness patients’ immune systems to kill the cancer cells. Another is to identify mutated cancer genes, understand their role in cancer development and find better ways to treat patients with different profiles of mutated genes. Share in our journey as we seek to push at the boundaries with our research, while at the same time strive to accelerate the translation of research into patient care.

Thought Leaders/Lead Investigators
Prof Dario Campana, Prof Chng Wee Joo, Assoc Prof Goh Boon Cher,
Assoc Prof Lee Soo Chin, Prof Daniel G. Tenen, and Assoc Prof Allen Yeoh

Diabetes is one of the top 10 causes of death in the world, via heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. Many other people with diabetes suffer blindness, limb amputation and nerve damage. By that point, treatment options are limited.

In Singapore, one in three people will develop diabetes during their lifetime. NUS Medicine researchers are studying better ways to prevent diabetes in the population and slow down the disease’s progress in people who already have diabetes. This includes better detection of people who are at risk for diabetes, more effective strategies to change diets and lifestyle, as well as improved treatment and care for diabetes. In 2016, the discovery by our researchers that gestational diabetes is grossly underdiagnosed in Singapore led to a pilot programme to screen all pregnant women for gestational diabetes in our public hospitals. Partner us in this fight against diabetes.

Thought Leaders/Lead Investigators
Assoc Prof Chong Yap Seng, Prof Tai E Shyong, and Dr Sue-Anne Toh

Death is a universal human condition, and as the prevalence of chronic diseases increases, palliative and end-of-life care must be a priority. Whatever their age or disease(s), it is essential to help patients and their families live well and comfortably, and support loved ones in their bereavement.

Researchers at NUS Medicine are looking at ways to improve care for people approaching the end of life. For example, they are gaining a better understanding of patients’ illness experience, beliefs and values, and of how these influence decision-making. Other projects have studied grief and bereavement, spirituality, healthcare systems, healthcare professionals’ attitudes and development of training across disciplines and at all levels.

Thought Leaders/Lead Investigators
Assoc Prof Noreen Chan, Assoc Prof Jacqueline Chin, Assoc Prof Gerald Koh,
Prof Kua Ee Heok, Assoc Prof Rathi Mahendran, and Assoc Prof Reshma Merchant

Patients who have suffered strokes or other injuries benefit from supervised rehabilitation, which helps to speed recovery. However, because of physical and social barriers, only one third of stroke patients continue to visit rehabilitation centres one month after being discharged from the hospital. To address this gap, NUS Medicine researchers are studying models of care that would enable such patients to undergo rehabilitation or receive care without leaving their homes.

Our researchers are exploring using two-way communications technology to bring healthcare and rehabilitative services to patients’ homes. This includes two-way video, e-mail, smart phones, tablets and wireless tools. Other programmes help patients transition successfully from hospital to gradual recovery at home by providing home visits from healthcare teams, and training patients and caregivers.

Thought Leaders/Lead Investigators
Assoc Prof Noreen Chan, Assoc Prof Gerald Koh, Prof Kua Ee Heok,
Assoc Prof Reshma Merchant, and Assoc Prof James Yip

Many important chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, and mental health conditions have prenatal origins. A woman’s health, nutritional status, and emotional state during conception and pregnancy can profoundly affect the future health and development of her child. This field of research is termed the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD).

NUS Medicine researchers are seeking to find ways to give Singaporeans the best start to life in order to prevent disease and enhance human capacity. They are leading the DOHaD field with two groundbreaking studies, Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) and Singapore Preconception Study of long-Term maternal and child Outcomes (S-PRESTO). These studies are revealing the role of early life factors, such as genes, the prenatal environment and infant nutrition, in disease development.

Thought Leaders/Lead Investigators
Assoc Prof Chan Shiao-Yng, Assoc Prof Chong Yap Seng, Assoc Prof Lee Yung Seng, and Assoc Prof Lynette Shek

Children can suffer from debilitating conditions like leukaemia, diabetes, liver diseases and kidney disorders that are very distressful and disruptive to their lives and those of their parents and caregivers. Chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and allergy trace their origins to childhood. To improve adult health and quality of life, we must address childhood health issues at the earliest possible stage.

NUS Medicine researchers are taking novel approaches to detect and treat childhood conditions. They are developing personalised cancer treatment protocols that improve childhood cancer cure rates and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Our researchers are identifying the immunological and genetic profiles of children with kidney diseases and developing effective, personalised treatments. They are also ascertaining early life factors which predispose to obesity and chronic diseases later in life, using this knowledge to guide clinical care and public health policy. Our scientists are also developing recombinant allergen based immunotherapy, and DNA vaccination, to treat and potentially prevent allergen-related asthma, rhinitis, and allergic disorders.

Through our research, we strive to give our children a better chance in life, and a healthier future.

Thought Leaders/Lead Investigators
Assoc Prof Marion Aw, Assoc Prof Daniel Goh, Assoc Prof Denise Goh, Assoc Prof Lee Yung Seng, Assoc Prof Quek Swee Chye, Assoc Prof Lynette Shek,
Assoc Prof Stacey Tay, Prof Yap Hui Kim, and Assoc Prof Allen Yeoh

Patients with organ failure such as end-stage kidney disease and liver failure often require organ transplantation. Receiving a new organ also carries risks, including organ rejection and of infection in immunosuppressed patients.

Research at NUS Medicine aims to improve transplant outcomes for a multi-ethnic Asian population. The current focus is on pharmacogenomics and personalised immunosuppression, as well as the molecular and cellular factors that influence long-term survival in transplant patients.

Thought Leaders/Lead Investigators
Prof A. Vathsala, Prof Krishnakumar Madhavan, National University Centre for Organ Transplantation (NUCOT)
Kidney Transplant: Dr David Terrence Consigliere, Dr Angeline Goh, Dr Hersharan Kaur Sran, and Dr Tiong Ho Yee
Liver Transplant: Assoc Prof Dan Yock Young, Dr Iyer Shridhar Ganpathi, Dr Alfred Kow, Dr Lee Guan Huei, Dr Lee Yin Mei, Dr Kieron Lim Boon Leng, Professor Lim Seng Gee, Dr Low How Cheng and Dr Tan Poh Seng

As Singapore’s population ages, more specialists in family medicine, general internal medicine, integrated care, geriatric medicine and palliative medicine are needed to care for the growing number of seniors.

To prepare our students well for the challenges ahead, NUS Medicine is reinforcing training in these clinical areas. Efforts include increasing curriculum time, implementing new initiatives, recruiting experienced faculty and developing faculty in these fields, as well as partnering with experts from various healthcare facilities.

It is also important to us that we graduate not just excellent medical professionals but also doctors with a strong sense of commitment to our community. To date, we have 14 community improvement projects and another eight overseas that the Medical Society oversees, as well as others that students run on their own.

Thought Leaders/Lead Investigators
Dr Dujeepa D. Samarasekera, Prof Hooi Shing Chuan, Assoc Prof Gerald Koh, and Assoc Prof Lau Tang Ching

One in four of our medical students would require financial assistance to enable them to complete their five-year degree programmes despite substantial support from the government. We believe no deserving student should be denied an education because of financial hardship and we need your help to make this happen.

Partner us so that we can attract and sustain Singapore’s best and brightest at NUS Medicine, regardless of need. With your gift, we can provide the programmes and resources they need to excel and make an impact. Our students will be able to graduate with lower debt with your help and become the medical practitioners our country needs. Join us in this effort. The young men and women we help today may well be caring for you tomorrow.

Make The Difference With Us

Each of these ten projects at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine is dedicated to developing and introducing innovative and sustainable ways of bringing about a healthier population. We invite individuals, corporations and foundations to join us in our effort to transform health in Singapore and beyond.

In recognition of your generous gift, NUS Medicine is pleased to offer a range of naming opportunities that will allow you to honour a family member, friend or organisation. As financial requirements for naming opportunities differ, please contact our Development Officer for more information.

To make an immediate gift, please visit our donation portal. All donations to NUS between now and 31 December 2019 are eligible for a 250% tax deduction.

To discuss naming opportunities, please contact:

Dean’s Office (Development) NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine