April 2014 | ISSUE 11
News in brief

Year One students learn CPR

LKCMedicine Year One students completed their basic cardiac life support (BCLS) provider certification on 3 and 6 March 2014. BCLS includes adult and infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This means that all our students are qualified CPR providers if such skills are needed, for example, during an emergency in a clinic or on board a plane. Tan Tock Seng Hospital, a training centre recognised by the National Resuscitation Council co-organised the training and certification with LKCMedicine.

Minister of State for Universities & Science visits LKCMedicine

The UK Minister of State for Universities & Science, the Right Honourable Mr David Willetts MP, visited the School’s Novena Campus for an introduction of NTU and LKCMedicine on 5 March 2014. He was particularly interested to learn more about LKCMedicine’s teaching approach and extensive use of technology. The Minister also acted as witness to the inking of a new S$5.3 million research collaboration between NTU and British chemicals multinational Johnson Matthey. The new lab will develop areas such as battery technologies, air purification systems and valuable chemicals derived from biomass.

Second NTU/LKCMedicine – NHG Research Seminar

On 5 March 2014, LKCMedicine hosted the second NTU/LKCMedicine-NHG Research Seminar at its Novena Campus. Attended by about 70 participants, the theme for this seminar was metabolic and vascular diseases. The seminar featured LKCMedicine’s research faculty, including LKCMedicine Professor of Metabolic Disease Walter Wahli and Visiting Professor Sven Pettersson. Jointly organised with the National Healthcare Group (NHG), the bi-monthly thematic seminar series aims to bring together like-minded scientists, clinician-scientists and clinicians to explore research collaborations to integrate basic, translational and clinical expertise across the research and development value chain. 

Introducing LKCMedicine’s research faculty to the NTU community

On 7 March 2014, LKCMedicine held its very first research seminar targeted at the NTU community to showcase the research areas and ambitions of the School’s research faculty. The seminar also served as a platform for the introduction of the School’s research faculty to the scientific communities and multi-disciplinary groups within NTU. Held at NTU’s Tan Chin Tuan Lecture Theatre, the seminar featured LKCMedicine’s experts in the fields of Metabolic Disease, Infection and Immunity, Neuroscience and Mental Health, Dermatology and Skin Biology, and the cross-cutting themes in Developmental Biology, Structural Biology, Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Sequencing Technologies and Metabolomics, Translational Imaging and Health Systems.

Visit by overseas health delegation to LKCMedicine HQ

A 24-person strong delegation of health officials and medical experts largely from Asia, the Middle East and Africa was presented an overview of LKCMedicine’s innovative curriculum during a visit on 13 March 2014, to LKCMedicine's Novena Campus.

Hosted by LKCMedicine Vice-Dean for Clinical Affairs Associate Professor Pang Weng Sun, the group also got a taste of Team-Based Learning led by Senior Assistant Director and Head of Educational Development & TBL Facilitation​​ Dr Preman Rajalingam. LKCMedicine Professor of Translational Neuroscience Balasz Gulyas then took the group through the School’s overall research strategy. Senior Director for Corporate Services Mr Chan Wei Chuen then shared the Novena Health City Masterplan; following which a lively exchange ensued. The delegates asked about the merits of the School’s pedagogy and expressed interest in exploring tie-ups to give LKCMedicine students even greater international exposure. The visit concluded with a tour of the HQ building that left the visitors much impressed with the restoration of the heritage building and the state-of-the-art teaching facilities within.

Congratulations to Prof Philip Ingham FRS on receiving the Waddington Medal

LKCMedicine Vice-Dean for Research Professor Philip Ingham FRS was awarded the UK’s Waddington Medal on 18 March 2014. The Waddington Medal is the only national award in developmental biology in the UK. It is awarded for outstanding research performance as well as services to the subject community. The Medal is named after Conrad Waddington, who was a leading British embryologist and geneticist highly influential in the development of both subjects during the 1930s through to the 1960s. Nominees are outstanding developmental biologists who have made a significant contribution to UK developmental biology and who are still active in the field. Prof Ingham is also Professor of Developmental Biology and holds the inaugural Toh Kian Chui Distinguished Professorship.


Professor of Metabolic Disease Walter Wahli appointed Chaire d'Excellence Pierre de fermat Laureate

LKCMedicine is pleased to announce that Professor of Metabolic Disease Walter Wahli has been appointed to the “Chaire d’Excellence Pierre de Fermat” for two years. During this time, Prof Wahli will develop a partnership between LKCMedicine and INRA Toulouse to promote the exchange of knowledge and expertise between research staff and students. Professor Wahli will be working closely with the Toxicologie Intégrative et Métabolisme team of the Food Toxicology Joint Research Unit (Toxalim) unit at INRA Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées. In collaboration with Dr Hervé Guillou’s team, Prof Wahli will continue to study the role of peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs), which control a number of genes responsible for liver activity crucial to cell survival. These receptors are responsive to nutrient metabolites, including lipids, and xenobiotic metabolites, such as drugs and food contaminants.

High Tea with NTU President

The annual High Tea with the NTU President on 22 March 2014 was a roaring success with NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson’s passionate presentation about NTU resonating strongly with many of the attendees, most of whom were among the top 15 per cent of last year’s pre-university graduates. The panel presentation that followed Prof Andersson’s presentation was just as convincing; with NTU Provost Professor Freddy Boey talking about NTU’s future plans for infrastructure and research development. At the event held at Marina Bay Sands, LKCMedicine was presented as one of the most exciting new developments at NTU. After the presentations, a sumptuous tea buffet followed where faculty and staff hosted prospective students and parents at the respective School counters. LKCMedicine attracted keen interest with many asking about admissions procedures, tuition fees and scholarships, as well the innovative MBBS programme on offer.

NTU jumps up more than 140 places to break into Nature’s global top 100 research ranking

NTU has rocketed up more than 140 places in the global top 100 in the Nature Publishing Index, a ranking by one of the world’s most prestigious specialist research publications. NTU recorded a 250 per cent increase in research output and soared 144 places, to be ranked 73rd internationally. This places NTU in 12th place in the Asia-Pacific region, up from 35th in 2012. The number of papers that NTU published singly or with other institutions in the Nature journals rose to 37 in 2013, from 14 in 2012. Half of these papers were led by NTU researchers, with five exclusively from NTU authors, a key contributing factor to NTU’s stellar rise.

LKCMedicine student-staff games

On 2 April 2014, LKCMedicine staff and students competed against each other in a friendly sports meet at the NTU Sports Recreation Centre. The tournament included rounds of floorball, basketball, netball, soccer and dodgeball, with a winning side declared after each bout. Winners were rewarded with ice cream, ending the event on a sweet and happy note.

Imperial Centre will ‘drive healthcare agenda in Europe’

Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have been awarded Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) status by the UK’s Department of Health. The prestigious designation recognises Imperial College AHSC as a centre of excellence in healthcare, research, education and value creation. Sir Gordon Duff, Chairman of Imperial College AHSC, said, “We’re creating an AHSC that will drive – not follow – the healthcare agenda in the UK and Europe.”