October 2018 | Issue 38
LKCMedicine welcomes two new professors

At the Professor Installation Ceremony 2018 at the NTU Auditorium on 11 September 2018, NTU welcomed two professors to the LKCMedicine faculty. 

Professor of Metabolomics and Director of Singapore Phenome Centre, Wang Yulan received her PhD in Physical Chemistry from University of East Anglia, UK and was a research fellow at Imperial where she investigated the metabolic effects of infectious diseases and nutritional interventions. Prof Wang was recruited by the Chinese Academy of Science as a professor at the Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics as part of the 1000 Talents Plan, China’s highest academic honour awarded by the State Council.

Professor Maurice van Steensel has been appointed Professor of Dermatology and Skin Biology at LKCMedicine. He completed his cum laude PhD in genetics and dermatology from Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Prof van Steensel is an experienced dermatologist and an expert in genetic skin disorders, and is also a senior principal investigator with Skin Research Institute of Singapore, which is a collaboration between A*STAR, National Skin Centre and NTU.

Both professors share their plans and thoughts about their new appointments with The LKCMedicine.

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Professor Wang Yulan

Professor of Metabolomics

I am currently focusing on developing new methods for metabonomics, and applications of the technology in the areas of biomedical research. The Singapore Phenome Centre (SPC) is one of a few phenome centres in the world with first-class equipment, and focused on phenotyping human population and improving health management. On this platform, I will have the opportunity to collaborate with scientists and clinicians within Singapore and across the world. The potential of SPC and what it could achieve are very attractive to me, and it gives me a greater platform to apply my skills and make an impact on global health.

SPC has already achieved the goal of being self-sufficient by serving the scientific community. I intend to keep what has already been achieved and in addition, I will also focus on metabolic phenotyping of human populations by collaborating with epidemiologists, biologists and clinicians, working towards improving healthcare. The second area of my focus is my own research, which is to develop new methods for metabolite detection and investigate infectious diseases. 
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Professor Maurice van Steensel
​​Professor of Dermatology and Skin Biology

I ‘m already working in A*STAR/Skin Research Institute of Singapore. From the lab perspective, taking up this LKCMedicine appointment will help to anchor the work in a more application-oriented (medical) environment. That is good for us because we are in the business of developing treatment and personal care applications where we need to know what patients and consumers need.

My main research interest is in developing better care for acne and acne-prone skin. My group intends to discover how these conditions come about and develop cellular models that we can use for drug screening. We use advanced techniques such as single cell RNA sequencing and light sheet microscopy. We also study rare genetic disorders that cause acne, as these will pinpoint the molecular mechanisms that are involved. 
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From a personal perspective, I am excited to become part of a young medical school, where it is possible to make a difference. I am passionate about science teaching and relish the opportunity to contribute to the scientific content of the LKCMedicine curriculum for years to come. I also am looking forward to sharing my experience in science, medicine and research organisations to help mentor the very talented junior staff that are driving LKCMedicine’s research. 

During the first few years of my tenure, I plan to focus on helping to shape and deliver the undergraduate curriculum, mentor junior staff and perform high-quality skin research for LKCMedicine. I will be one of the Theme Leaders in the Skin Research Institute of Singapore (SRIS), which is currently being built on level 17 of CSB. SRIS is set to become a major force in global skin research. I am excited to represent LKCMedicine in SRIS, and intend to ensure that the School benefits as much as possible from the scientific and pedagogic opportunities that SRIS offers.