October 2018 | Issue 38
LKCMedicine faculty honoured with five Nanyang Awards

At a much awaited ceremony on September 11, helmed by NTU President and Distinguished University Professor Subra Suresh who delivered his inaugural State of the University Address, LKCMedicine faculty were lauded with five Nanyang Awards – NTU's most prestigious awards for faculty, researchers, staff and students who have excelled in service, teaching, research, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as humanitarian work.

Presented in the Nanyang Auditorium, two were university-level Nanyang Awards, for Service and Research (Young Investigator); and three for Education at college and school levels.

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NTU President and Distinguished University Professor Subra Suresh giving his inaugural State of the University Address to the School

Building strong foundations at LKCMedicine
The sole recipient of the Nanyang Award for Service, LKCMedicine Executive Vice-Dean Professor Lionel Lee has been instrumental in the growth of the young medical school. Now spearheading the School's Strategic Relations & International Affairs – a portfolio announced this September – Prof Lee started off as LKCMedicine's Chief Operating Officer in 2011, then was appointed as Executive Vice-Dean and NTU Professor two years later.  

As a pioneer leader of the School, Prof Lee guided the School through its developmental, organisational and operational phases, from its first intake of students in 2013 up to the successful graduation of the first medical cohort this year.

While Prof Lee has always been involved in fostering collaborations with various teaching hospitals, medical schools and universities in the region and further afield, he will be concentrating on this particular aspect in his new portfolio, and continuing to serve the School by building bridges and working relationships with partner organisations and institutions that will drive the reputation and growth of LKCMedicine into the future.

"This is an award not for myself but to recognise all the team members who have worked so hard and tirelessly as a team of LKCMedicine to ensure success in the establishment of Singapore's newest medical school. Thanks go to the pioneering team and the core leadership of LKCMedicine. It's really an honour to receive this award on their behalf."

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Congratulations to the five big winners at the Nanyang Awards!

Improving humanity through research
The Nanyang Research Award (Young Investigator) recognises individuals and teams 39 years old and below for their contributions toward knowledge frontiers. This year's recipient from LKCMedicine, Nanyang Assistant Professor Luo Dahai leads a team of research fellows and PhD students that focuses on the molecular battle that takes place between host and pathogens and the development of strategies needed for humanity to be at the winning end. He was also the first from NTU to be the recipient of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Young Investigator award last year.

"It is a great honour to receive this award. This is not only a recognition for my own achievement but also for LKCMedicine as well as my team working behind this achievement. I want to thank LKCMedicine for the wonderful research support," said Asst Prof Luo after the ceremony.

Keeping the teaching passion alive
A much respected educator having received many teaching awards in her career, Associate Professor Tham Kum Ying this year added the Nanyang Award for Education (College) to her list of accolades. This is her second Nanyang Award, having won the School-level Nanyang Award for Education in 2015. Currently the Subject Lead for Emergency Medicine and Assistant Dean for Year 5 at LKCMedicine, A/Prof Tham was also recently honoured for her inspirational teaching by Dr Ang Jia Wei, valedictorian of the School's first graduated cohort, the Class of 2018, who was awarded the Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Award. 

A/Prof Tham said she was inspired similarly by senior doctors who were not only great clinicians but also passionate teachers. "I want to create a similar environment that will develop our students into caring doctors that Singapore needs," she said. "This award would not have been possible without the support of the LKCMedicine leadership, colleagues and students."

Two other LKCMedicine faculty were honoured with Education awards: Associate Professor Nigel Tan, former LKCMedicine Assistant Dean Year 3, and Assistant Professor of Metabolic Disease Yusuf Ali who is also LKCMedicine Lead for Practicals.

A/Prof Tan said, "I am deeply honoured to receive this award. It was a hugely wonderful experience working with LKCMedicine, crafting the curriculum, teaching the students and a great privilege to be part of the LKCMedicine mission and the LKCMedicine team."

Said Asst Prof Yusuf, "I am really pleased, honoured and grateful to be getting this award. This award would not be possible without all the support I've had from colleagues and staff who have made science practicals and Introduction to Medical Sciences a positive learning experience for students. To teach and see our students' progress over time is an impetus to work even harder."