February 2019 | Issue 40
LKCMedicine hosts inaugural Joint Symposium on Infection

On January 31 to February 1, the inaugural Joint Symposium on Infection, outlined by LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best, National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) Executive Director Professor Leo Yee Sin and Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine Dean Professor Jonathan Weber, was held at LKCMedicine Novena Campus. Co-organised by NCID Infectious Diseases Research and Training Office Director Associate Professor David Lye and Prof Bangham, the two-day symposium was filled with discussions and presentations. Bringing together local and international experts in Infection from LKCMedicine, Imperial, NCID, National University Hospital Singapore and Oxford University Research Unit, there were valuable opportunities to chart and execute strategies for a tripartite research partnership between LKCMedicine, NCID and Imperial.

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LKCMedicine Dean Prof James Best gives his welcome speech at the Joint Symposium on Infection

Graced by National Healthcare Group Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer for Education and Research Professor Lim Tock Han, the symposium was well attended by more than 100 clinicians, faculty members and research staff from NTU Singapore and public healthcare clusters. The programme's line-up covered the latest trends and developments in antimicrobial resistance and epidemiology, bacteriology, virology, rapid diagnostics, parasitology, and human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis.

Prof Best spoke on the history of Tan Sri Dato Dr Lee Kong Chian as South-east Asia's "Rubber and Pineapple King" and education philanthropist before expressing his appreciation to Imperial for the design of the LKCMedicine integrated undergraduate curriculum and for sending a 12-member senior delegation to Singapore for this symposium. Highlighting the importance of research advancement for the School's next milestone, Prof Best indicated strong interests in developing complementary expertise in the domain of infectious diseases with an emphasis on joint supervision of research projects and graduate students.

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Prof Leo gives her opening address and an overview of the organisational structure in NCID to enhance Singapore's ability to respond effectively to infections

Prof Leo, in her opening address, gave an overview of the overarching organisational structure of NCID with seven functional units and their national mission to enhance Singapore's ability to respond effectively to infections, undertake outbreak management and strengthen capabilities in infectious disease prevention. Situated at the heart of HealthCity Novena, NCID is well connected to LKCMedicine and Tan Tock Seng Hospital for academic and research collaborations such as annual signature scientific conferences and joint research programmes.

Chair of Immunology at Imperial Faculty of Medicine, Professor Charles Bangham shared on the four key sections of the Division of Infectious Diseases which had a total competitive revenue of USD 80 million in 2018. He unveiled the plan for an extensive revamp to establish a university-level interfaculty and multidisciplinary institute, housing researchers and scientists across three disciplines of Engineering, Medicine and Natural Sciences. Echoing Prof Best's welcome remarks, he added that LKCMedicine graduate students could be co-supervised by Imperial faculty and spend a part of their candidatures in London.

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Academics and clinicians from healthcare institutions attended an engaging two-day symposium on infection