April 2015 | ISSUE 17
News roundup

LKCMedicine pays tribute to late Mr Lee Kuan Yew
On 23 March, Singapore's founding father and first Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew passed away. He was 91 years old. Under his leadership, the foundations of a world-class education system were laid and he was a key contributor to the development of NTU. In remembrance of the late Mr Lee, LKCMedicine staff, faculty and students penned their tributes and condolences in a condolence book that will be presented to the Lee family. Staff and faculty also attended a special Memorial Ceremony organised by NTU to honour him and were granted time-off to pay their respects to Mr Lee at the Parliament House. A state funeral was held on 29 March at the National University of Singapore's University Cultural Centre.

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New Dean of Imperial's Faculty of Medicine visits LKCMedicine
On 11 March, Professor Gavin Screaton visited LKCMedicine, his first visit to the School as Dean of Imperial College London's Faculty of Medicine. Prof Screaton, who was on a two-day visit to Singapore, had a packed itinerary which included a visit to LKCMedicine's headquarters in Novena where he attended the Courage Fund Infectious Disease Conference 2015 pre-conference workshops. This was followed by a lunch meeting hosted by Dean of LKCMedicine Professor James Best. The lunch meeting was attended by Senior Vice-Dean Professor Jenny Higham; Executive Vice-Dean Professor Lionel Lee; Vice-Dean for Research Philip Ingham FRS; Vice-Dean for Education Associate Professor Naomi Low-Beer; Vice-Dean for Clinical Affairs Associate Professor Pang Weng Sun; and Senior Director for Corporate Services Mr Chan Wei Chuen. Prof Screaton was briefed on the School's innovative MBBS programme, integrated research strategy and campus development. In the afternoon, he met with NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson and toured the LKCMedicine research labs at Biopolis. 

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NTU to set up structural biology research lab
NTU announced plans to set up a S$30 million institute dedicated to research in structural biology, a key area of study in medicine. The NTU Institute of Structural Biology (NISB) will be fully operational in 2016, gathering more than 70 scientists and researchers from Singapore under one roof. It will be led by LKCMedicine Professor of Structural Biology Daniela Rhodes FRS, who won the S$24 million Tier 3 Ministry of Education research grant in 2013. The funds will partly bankroll the institute's research projects now in the pipeline. The NISB is to be modelled after the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge in the UK.

 

High Tea with NTU President
NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson hosted top Junior College/Integrated Programme students to tea at Marina Bay Sands on 28 March. More than 970 attendees, comprising mainly the top 15 per cent of last year's pre-university graduates, turned out for the event. Prof Andersson delivered a keynote address about NTU, which was followed by a Q&A session. Afterwards attendees were treated to a sumptuous reception where potential students and their parents had the opportunity to engage with LKCMedicine faculty and staff on the innovations of the School.

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UK-Singapore Skin Research Symposium 2015
As one of the three partners of the Skin Research Institute of Singapore, LKCMedicine took part in the UK-Singapore Skin Research Symposium 2015. The symposium's aim was to promote discussion between dermatologists and skin research scientists from the UK and Singapore and topics discussed ranged from skin stress, injury and inflammation, to skin cancer, wound healing, hair and appendages, and functional tissue modelling. During the conference, some 80 delegates took the opportunity to visit LKCMedicine's Novena Headquarters, where they were introduced to the skin research conducted at the School by faculty members. 

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NTU/LKCMedicine-NHG Research Seminar on Rehabilitative and Regenerative Medicine
On 5 February, the NTU/LKCMedicine-NHG Research Seminar on Rehabilitative and Regenerative Medicine was held at the LKCMedicine Novena Campus. Discussing the latest developments and approaches to regenerative medicine and rehabilitation, speakers at the forum highlighted the need to weave rehabilitative practices and regenerative medicine together to provide a more comprehensive recovery plan for patients.

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LKCMedicine scientist wins Young Investigator Award at 40th Lorne Conference
LKCMedicine Nanyang Assistant Professor Luo Dahai has been awarded the Young Investigator Award at the 40th Lorne Conference on Protein Structure and Function, which was held in Lorne, Victoria, Australia from 8 to 12 February. Asst Prof Luo received the award in recognition of his outstanding track record as an early career scientist. Up to four awards are given out each year. 

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LKCMedicine student participates in second National Neuroscience Institute Research Day
The Best Junior Research Platform presentations and poster exhibition at the second National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) Research Day on 6 February saw LKCMedicine Year 1 student Byorn Tan in action. Byorn had been working with Dr Liao Ping, Principal Investigator and Head, Calcium Signalling Laboratory at NNI, and his team in investigating the pathological role of calcium channels in ischemic stroke. They submitted an abstract titled Dual Role of TRPV5 in astrocytes in physiology and stroke which was displayed at the poster exhibition.


LKCMedicine honours outgoing member Prof Chee Yam Cheng
The LKCMedicine Governing Board, senior management, faculty and staff of the School gathered at the Summer Pavilion, Ritz Carlton on 12 February to honour the invaluable contributions of Professor Chee Yam Cheng as member of the Board. Prof Chee was a member of the Pro-Tem Governing Board since February 2011 and thereafter the Governing Board until February 2015, representing the National Healthcare Group (NHG), the School's primary healthcare partner. Professor Philip Choo succeeded Prof Chee as member of the board and Group CEO of NHG. Prof Chee retains an honorary appointment at the School and is Emeritus Consultant at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

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LKCMedicine draws crowds at career fairs
LKCMedicine participated in two school fairs, attracting big crowds at both events. At the Anglo Chinese School (Independent)(ACS-I) 9th Higher Education and Career Fair held on 4 March, LKCMedicine faculty, students and staff spoke to some 300 students about the School's innovative MBBS programme and vibrant student life. On 11 March, LKCMedicine took part in River Valley High School's first Higher Education, Career Guidance and Scholarships Day. About 100 students listened to the talks about LKCMedicine's MBBS programme and life as a doctor.

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LKCMedicine shares experience and explores new ties with overseas partners
LKCMedicine hosted several international visitors at its Novena Headquarters. Dr Michael Jackson, Immunologist and Director of Research and Bachelor of Clinical Sciences from Flinders University, Australia, visited on 10 March to explore opportunities for partnership with LKCMedicine in undergraduate student electives and exchanges, and potential research collaborations. On April 2, Professor Martin O'Reilly, member of the Board of Trustees at Kampala International University in Tanzania, visited the School to learn more about our new approaches to teaching and learning med

icine.

On 17 March, LKCMedicine senior management and faculty hosted 27 health officials from 21 countries in Asia, Middle East and Africa. They were participants of the Disaster Management and Emergency Preparedness course under The Singapore Cooperation Programme. The programme is aimed at mid to senior level officials from foreign government agencies from developing countries who are involved in healthcare and chronic disease projects, healthcare budgetary planning and management, and making healthcare policies. 

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LKCMedicine's new medical education unit begins seminar series
LKCMedicine's Medical Education Research & Scholarship Unit (MERSU) launched its seminar series with a talk on the use of photo and text analysis in qualitative research by Dr Kori LaDonna from the Centre for Education Research & Innovation, Western University, Canada. Held on 4 March, the inaugural seminar was attended by faculty and staff from LKCMedicine and NHG. On 10 March, Ms Brownell Anderson, Vice-President of International Programs for the National Board of Examiners USA, gave the second seminar. Ms Anderson explored with the audience the importance of language in the development of a physician's professional identity and professional behaviour, and highlighted the need for medical training to encompass more than the science and application of medicine.

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Students from Khon Kaen University hosted by LKCMedicine
Ten clinical year students from Khon Kaen University (KKU) in Thailand were hosted by LKCMedicine and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine students from 3 to 9 March under the Asian Medical Students' Association Exchange Programme (AMSEP). While here, they attended an "Innovations in Medicine: Developing Strategies for Bone Tissue Engineering" lecture by Prof Teoh Swee Hin and tour our Mandalay campus on March 9. Beside experiencing local food and visiting places of interest, the students also got to care for our community through an afternoon of preparing meals for low-income families at Willing Hearts, a soup kitchen. The week enriched the students' understanding of the different ways governments manage healthcare and also laid the foundation for new friendships. 

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LKCMedicine faculty joins World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders Forum
LKCMedicine Nanyang Assistant Professor Juliana Chan has been selected by the World Economic Forum to join its Forum of Young Global Leaders. She was selected for her work on using nanotechnology in drug delivery and her involvement with scientific journalism through the Asian Scientist Magazine. Click here​ to read more.


Communicating with Children and Parents
session for Year 2 students
On 17 and 20 March, Year 2 students had their first taste of communicating with children in Integrated Clinical Practice (ICP). Children of simulated patients (SPs) already familiar with the School and LKCMedicine staff were recruited to create an innovative session where students could practise their consultation skills with children aged three to 14 accompanied by SPs playing their parents. As well as providing a more authentic paediatric experience, it also allowed the students to build confidence interacting with children. 

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LKCMedicine in the news...

'Hedgehog' genes prick scientist's mind

The Sunda​y Times
The Sunday Times profiled LKCMedicine Vice-Dean for Research Professor Philip Ingham FRS and his work on a group of genetic 'hedgehogs' which control developmental processes in the human body.


LKCMedicine and Karolinska Institutet scientists find new option for colon cancer treatment
The Straits Times; Lianhe Zaobao; The Business Times
Scientists from LKCMedicine and Sweden's Karolinska Institutet have discovered that existing chemotherapy drug Imatinib, an enzyme blocker widely used to treat leukaemia, works by blocking a signalling pathway related to a group of cell receptors called EphB. When Imatinib was used to treat mice with colon tumours, it was able to halve the growth of tumours in the intestines. The finding is also significant as currently there is no drug available to prevent the recurrence of tumours in the intestine after the cancerous tumours have been removed by surgery.​