October 2016 | Issue 26
News roundup

NTU, LKCMedicine and NHG announce new initiatives to deliver better healthcare and fight infectious diseases at SHBC 2016
LKCMedicine and its primary healthcare partner, the National Healthcare Group (NHG), announced the formation of two new centres that will advance the areas of academic family medicine and serious gaming to support healthy lifestyle changes  during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Singapore Health and Biomedical Congress (SHBC) at MAX Atria, Singapore Expo. In addition to the two new centres, NTU and NHG also announced the establishment of a Joint Research Partnership in the area of outbreak management. The opening ceremony, held on 23 September, was graced by Guest-of-Honour Minister of State for Health and Communication & Information Mr Chee Hong Tat. Outstanding researchers across a number of fields and disciplines were also recognised at the event. Among the 52 winners were four members of LKCMedicine Assistant Professor of Immunology & Cell Biology Navin Verma's lab. Research Fellow Dr Pankaj Kumar won the Young Investigator Award (Silver), Research Fellow Dr Fazil Turabe won the Young Investigator Award (Bronze), Senior Research Fellow Dr Seow Theng Ong won the Best Poster Award (Gold) for Basic Science/Translational Medicine, and Research Assistant Ms Praseetha P won the Best Power Award (Bronze) for Basic Science/Translational Medicine. This is the third consecutive year that Asst Prof Verma's team were recognised with awards at the Congress.


LKCMedicine inducts its largest cohort at White Coat Ceremony
On 8 August, The Nanyang Auditorium was teeming with life as students, parents, faculty and staff gathered to witness LKCMedicine’s newest and largest cohort be officially inducted into the ranks of medical students at the School’s fourth White Coat Ceremony. The event was graced by Permanent Secretary for Education at the Ministry of Education Ms Chan Lai Fung as Guest-of-Honour.

Browse more photos of the event here.

 

 

LKCMedicine unveils commemorative artwork by inaugural cohort
On 11 August, more than 100 guests gathered at the Collaboration Space on Level 3 of LKCMedicine’s Experimental Medicine Building to witness the unveiling of Apollo’s Dream, the School’s first large-scale art installation jointly created by LKCMedicine’s inaugural cohort and leading local ceramicists, Dr Suriani Suratman and Ms Hiroko Mita. Apollo’s Dream is also the School’s first commissioned piece of public art that commemorates the historic intake of LKCMedicine’s pioneer cohort in August 2013. The artwork was unveiled by three Guests-of-Honour – LKCMedicine Governing Board Chairman Mr Lim Chuan Poh, NTU Provost Professor Freddy Boey and Imperial Provost Professor James Stirling, representing the School and its two parent institutions.

Browse more photos of the event here.

 

 

Joint Seminar on Point-of-Care Technology for Emerging Infectious Diseases
On 15 September, more than 150 scientists, healthcare professionals and engineers from across Singapore attended the Seminar on Point-of-Care Technology for Emerging Infectious Diseases. The seminar was jointly organised by NTU’s Nanyang Institute of Technology in Health & Medicine, LKCMedicine and Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Institute of Infectious Diseases & Epidemiology. Fast and accurate identification of infectious diseases is key for the timely initiation of therapy and, where necessary, isolation to prevent the further spread of the disease. Point-of-care diagnostic tests provide such information and the seminar’s speakers presented their latest technologies and talked about clinical areas of need. The seminar demonstrated the value of dialogue between disciplines in refining and making the most of healthcare innovations. 


LKCMedicine students are finalists at the Public Policy Challenge
On 24 September, a team of LKCMedicine Year 2 students (Bryan Lee, Kannan Ramanathan, Johan Saiful Mizra and Ong Kim Yao) presented their ideas on "Strengthening Singapore’s economic position in an increasingly digitalised world" during the final round of the Public Policy Challenge (PPC). As one of 25 finalists, the team had spent the previous week consulting their public officer mentor National Security and Coordination Secretariat Assistant Director of Policy and International Relations Mr Clarence Lim to refine their project. Mr Lim (pictured below in the centre with the LKCMedicine team) provided guidance on the public policy making process and how their ideas could relate to the local setting. Though the team did not emerge as one of the four winners, they had a wonderful experience interacting with all the participants and learning the ropes on crafting policies.

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LKCMedicine hosts international anatomy experts

Between 22 to 26 August, LKCMedicine had the pleasure of welcoming back LKCMedicine Visiting Professor and Emeritus Professor of Clinical Anatomy, Warwick Medical School, UK, Peter Abrahams. He spent the week with anatomy faculty, as well as students, teaching the Year 2s during their anatomy practicals. Prof Abrahams also gave an enlightening lecture, “The Tiger Bronzes: An Anatomical Whodunnit?”, captivating the audience with a passionate talk about the detective work required to identify the maker of the Rothschild Tiger Bronzes. The School also welcomed Dr Alan Detton, Vice President of Anatomical Education for 3D4Medical, San Diego, US. An expert in using the Anatomage Table, Dr Detton conducted several advanced training sessions for LKCMedicine anatomy teaching faculty and staff, demonstrating the key features of the table as well as how to use it effectively in teaching. He also gave an interactive seminar to an audience of LKCMedicine faculty and students entitled “3D4Medical and the Future of Anatomical Education for Medical Students”.

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LKCMedicine conducts TBL workshops for LKCMedicine, KTPH staff and ACJC teachers
On 21 September, LKCMedicine conducted a workshop on writing good team application exercises (AEs) for TBL classes. The session introduced participants to the principles of 4S (Significant, Same, Specific and Simultaneous) to guide the writing of AEs and provided a chance for participants to practise writing with their peers. A day earlier, 78 Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) teachers attended a TBL workshop conducted as part of ACJC’s Professional Electives Programme for the personal and professional development of teachers; while on 14 September, 25 Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) staff attended a workshop on TBL, a good opportunity for KTPH staff, who are mostly clinical educators, to consider the factors that influence students’ learning, and explore how the development of application exercises can enrich their learning.

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LKCMedicine leadership visits Hokkaido University and signs MOU
On 15 September, LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best and Executive Vice-Dean Professor Lionel Lee visited Hokkaido University School of Medicine in Japan, where aside from a half-day spent visiting several clinical teaching and research sites, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed to promote future collaboration between the Japanese university and LKCMedicine.

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LKCMedicine hosts a delegation from the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine
On 20 September, a six-member delegation from the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine, Japan, led by its Dean Prof Masayuki Matsushita, visited LKCMedicine. Warmly welcomed by LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best at the Experimental Medicine Building, the visitors were given an overview of the School, its bespoke curriculum, research strategy and campus infrastructure development. The visitors took the opportunity to introduce their university and future expansion plans under a master plan by the Japanese government to develop a large international medical hub in Okinawa. Both the hosts and visitors are keen to explore the possibilities of research collaborations as well as student exchanges, and are looking forward to more detailed discussions.

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LKCMedicine Research Guest Lecture by Dr Ang Lay Teng
On 1 September, Visiting Assistant Professor at Stanford University and Senior Research Fellow at A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore Ang Lay Teng, gave a Research Guest Lecture on “Precise Generation of Desire Human Cell-Types From Embryonic Stem Cells” to researchers and clinician-scientists from various schools and institutions at the Experimental Medicine Building. Asst Prof Ang talked about her work on generating highly pure human Embryonic Stem Cells (ESC), which can be diversified into a wide variety of endodermal and mesodermal cell-types as well as transplantable human liver cells. She demonstrated how her work on ESC may be able to improve drug testing and the foundation it lays for regenerative medicine such as cell therapy.


LKCMedicine Research Guest Lecture by Assistant Professor Nathan White
On 2 August, LKCMedicine Visiting Clinician-Scientist Assistant Professor Nathan White gave a talk to a group of clinician-scientists and researchers at the Experimental Medicine Building on the innovative approaches he is exploring to better understand and manage severe bleeding in trauma patients, which accounts for 30 per cent mortality rate. His talk focused on coagulopathy, a dysregulated clotting process which may be caused by factors including platelet dysfunction, overconsumption of coagulation factors, fibrinolysis. Asst Prof White aims to use bioengineering applications to understand the physiological process of clotting, and to prevent or reverse the effects of coagulopathy. One possible solution is PolySTAT, a synthetic polymer that can cross-link fibrin fibres, similar to the natural protein factor XIII.

LKCMedicine Students’ Medical Society 3rd Dinner and Dance 2016
The Students’ Medical Society (MedSoc) 3rd Dinner and Dance was held at Amara Sanctuary Resort, Sentosa, on 3 August. This year’s theme was Sugar, Spies and Everything Nice. The event was graced by LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best, who gave an interesting speech about LKCMedicine’s growth and feature in the SMA’s magazine, SMA News. Students and staff participated in a slew of games and activities, and enjoyed captivating performances by our very own students.

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Medicine Update 2016
At the inaugural Medicine Update 2016 organised by Raffles Medical Group (RMG) in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre on September 24, LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best, delivered the Opening Address as the Guest-of-Honour. Focusing on medical education and the teaching of doctors for the future, Prof Best gave highlights of the MBBS programme at LKCMedicine. He shared that LKCMedicine has a careful approach to the selection, culture, engagement, training and support of students across the five-year programme. His talk was well received by the 1,000-strong audience, which included more than 30 LKCMedicine students from the first to fourth cohorts. The Medicine Update, held in conjunction with RMG’s 40th anniversary, also marked the first anniversary of RMG becoming a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network (MCCN). Participants, who represented various healthcare industries here and overseas, engaged and shared ideas and knowledge on the conference focus “Perfecting the Mayo Model of Care and Shaping the Future of Healthcare,” with five dedicated tracks on the topics of Cardiology, General Medicine, Haematology/Oncology, Healthcare Management and Neuroscience. RMG is the only MCCN member in Asia.
 
Read more about Medicine Update 2016 here.

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9th Zebrafish Disease Models Conference Kicks Off in Singapore
The 9th Zebrafish Disease Models Conference (ZDM9) opened on October 4 with a strong attendance from scientists, researchers and clinicians from here and abroad looking to share ideas and discuss the use of Zebrafish to study human diseases. Speakers hailed from across the globe with many from the US, UK and the Asia-Pacific region, presented their findings and ideas in topics ranging from technology uses in Zebrafish research to battling diseases through these models. Held over four days at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Convention Centre, ZDM9 is organised by LKCMedicine’s Professor of Developmental Biology Philip Ingham FRS who is also the Vice-President of the Zebrafish Disease Models Society (ZDMS). LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best gave the opening address during which he highlighted Singapore’s strong investment in biomedical research and alongside that, NTU’s rise in research impact in international university rankings. The first day of the conference was topped off with a welcome reception held at LKCMedicine’s headquarters building in Novena, attended by about a hundred of the conference participants. LKCMedicine was also introduced via a booth at the conference venue in MBS, which hosted a steady stream of visitors keen to know more about the work done at the medical school. The conference had a packed programme comprising not just talks and lectures but also poster presentations, research interest group workshops and mentoring meetings for postdocs and graduates as well as a recreational visit to Singapore’s Botanic Gardens. The agenda also included the ZDMS annual general meeting, which was held at the end of the conference.

Read more about ZDM9 here.

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Meridian Junior College Careers Day 
LKCMedicine, together with 27 other organisations, took part in Meridian Junior College’s Careers Day on October 5. The annual event attracted about 1,200 students and parents who were keen to find out more about the various undergraduate and career options available after the A-levels. Staff from the Academic Affairs Department and Communications & External Relations Department were on hand to answer questions regarding the BMAT, the school’s MBBS programme and admission process.

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LKCMedicine Dean Officially Appointed Officer of the Order of Australia
On the cool evening of October 7, within the grounds of the residence of the Australian High Commissioner, LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best was presented with a medal appointing him Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in recognition for his distinguished service to medicine and medical education. High Commissioner Mr Philip Green bestowed the honour on behalf of the Governor-General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove, at a special investiture ceremony attended by some 40 guests. As part of the 2016 Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honours first announced in June, the appointment recognises exemplary individuals for their distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or to humanity at large. The Queen who is Head of the Commonwealth, celebrates a milestone birthday at 90 this year and the yearly Honours, which coincided with her birthday celebrations, lauds the efforts and achievements of 771 Australians. As well as Officers, the appointments to the Order of Australia include Companion, Member and Medal recipients for civilians, as well as a separate set of appointments for members of the Armed Forces. They confer the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service.

Read more about Prof Best accepting the appointment here.

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