October 2019 | Issue 44
LKCMedicine and NHG ink agreement at Singapore Health & Biomedical Congress 2019

​Translational research boosted by an MOU, graduation of clinician-scientists from a preparatory programme, and research awards are some of the highlights at this annual healthcare and biomedical conference.

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At the Opening Ceremony of the three-day Singapore Health & Biomedical Congress (SHBC) on 10 October, LKCMedicine and its primary clinical training partner, the National Healthcare Group (NHG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a Joint Programme for Translational Research, reaffirming the commitment to set up a strong pipeline of clinician-scientists, and to strengthen Singapore’s standing as a global hub for biomedical research. 

The programme will leverage the expertise and resources of both partners, and streamline them into the set-up of a joint translation research centre to improve health outcomes in six areas: ageing/rehabilitation, dermatology, infectious diseases, mental health, metabolic-vascular diseases and population health. 

Witnessing the ceremonial signing of the MOU, Guest-of-Honour Senior Minister of State for the Health and Law Ministries Edwin Tong said, “This MOU will create opportunities and build capabilities for translating deep tech generating from research into bedside clinical practice.”

Dean of LKCMedicine Professor James Best said, “LKCMedicine is pleased to have our researchers collaborate with clinicians from NHG in bringing translation research from the bench to the bedside. We have identified these key research focus areas that are of deep significance to the health of Singaporeans. This is an extension of our strong partnership with NHG to provide innovative medical education to our growing student cohort all aiming to be doctors of the future.” 

The second day of SHBC saw the inaugural graduation of nine participants from NHG-LKCMedicine Clinician-Scientist Preparatory Programme (CSPP). The CSPP is a joint programme between NHG and LKCMedicine that aims to provide clinicians with the exposure to research in the early phase of their career through research training and project experience. 

Tracks featured LKCMedicine’s own faculty 
The programme also included tracks that featured LKCMedicine’s own faculty. LKCMedicine Assistant Professor and Provost’s Chair in Molecular Medicine Sanjay Chotirmall chaired the ‘Empowerment through Digital Digitalisation’ track, while Senior House Tutor and Clinical Practice Facilitator Dr Diana Barron served as a moderator for the ‘Humanities in Healthcare: Empathy Under Threat’ track. LKCMedicine Assistant Dean (Head of Student Wellbeing) and Lead Clinical Communication Dr Tanya Tierney spoke on the topic, ‘Keeping Them Human; Safeguarding Empathy in the Midst of the Hidden Curriculum’ at the latter. Another speaker at the same track from LKCMedicine is PhD candidate Ms Emma J Cartwright, on the topic, ‘What Do You Need To Make Things Better?’

In the afternoon, LKCMedicine Centre for Population Health Sciences Associate Professor Konstadina Griva moderated the track ‘Humanities in Healthcare: Mindfulness’. LKCMedicine Assistant Dean for Year 5 Associate Professor Tham Kum Ying was a speaker at the track, ‘Education & Pedagogies’ on the topic: Funding & Medical Education. 

SHBC Scientific Competition 2019
The annual SHBC Scientific Competition received a record number of 611 submissions from institutions across healthcare clusters and community partners. In the Singapore Young Investigator Award (Clinical Research) category, LKCMedicine Research Fellow Dr Theresia Handayani Mina was an oral finalist. In the SHBC Student Awards (Open Category), Year 5 students Chan Kai Siang and Adriel Kek were listed as oral finalists in the SHBC Scientific Competition. 

Medical Humanities exhibition 
On the sidelines of SHBC 2019, the Medical Humanities exhibition – in its seventh edition and sponsored by LKCMedicine – showcased submissions which included "I am. Only. Just Another" by Year 4 student Goh Xin Rong, "A touch of Compassion" by Year 3 student Jacy Mok and "A Compassionate Heart is an Ocean" by Year 1 student Claire Chow.