April 2017 | Issue 29
LKCMedicine scoops two Nanyang Awards

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The LKCMedicine, and NTU Museum and Student Life team (not pictured Prof Kwok Kian Woon), receive their Nanyang Award for Teamwork from NTU President Prof Bertil Andersson and Chief-of-Staff and Vice-President for Research Prof Lam Khin Yong

LKCMedicine scooped two university-level Nanyang Awards, which were presented by NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson at Celebrate NTU! held at Nanyang Auditorium on 16 March, winning both the Nanyang Award for Teamwork and a Nanyang Research Award.

In addition to the university-level awards, Associate Professor of Human & Microbial Genetics Eric Yap and Lead for Pathology and Clinical Teacher Associate Professor Nandini Rao were honoured with School-level Nanyang Education Awards.

Teaming up to save trees
Turning trees felled to make way for campus development into works of art brought together NTU Museum, Student Life and LKCMedicine. This stellar team effort not only championed sustainability in the NTU community, but continued to bear fruit in the form of the Nanyang Award for Teamwork.

The prestigious university-level award recognises teams whose outstanding teamwork in a major university project has brought success and honour to the university. Last year, the team behind the School’s e-learning ecosystem was recognised with the same award.

On receiving the award, NTU Associate Provost for Student Life Professor Kwok Kian Woon said, “Winning this award shows that NTU champions interdisciplinary collaboration and prizes environmental sustainability, a theme which is central in our research, teaching and in our campus life.”

In addition to Prof Kwok, the team comprises LKCMedicine Executive Vice-Dean Professor Lionel Lee, NTU Museum Deputy Director Faith Teh, LKCMedicine Deputy Director and Head of Medical Library & Heritage Centre Caroline Pang and NTU Research Director of Strategy & Biosciences Dr Kristen Sadler.

The project, which took some two years to complete, involved seven local artists and 19 members of staff, faculty and students, and culminated in the “NTU Trees: Upcycled” exhibition, which was on display last year in the Level 3 Collaboration Space of LKCMedicine’s Experimental Medicine Building (EMB). The exhibition attracted an estimated 10,000 visitors, including other organisations keen to learn about repurposing trees.

Since then, the more than 50 pieces have been rehomed across NTU, including LKCMedicine’s EMB, Clinical Sciences and Headquarters Buildings in Novena, NTU Alumni Club House at Marina Square and the School of Humanities & Social Sciences on NTU’s main campus.

Prof Lee said, “Having works of art, such as these unique pieces from NTU Trees Upcycled on our campus is a visual reminder of the emphasis we place on humanity in medicine and the art of medicine.”

Bringing prominence through infectious disease research
The Nanyang Research Award, which was awarded to Prof Wilder-Smith, is the highest recognition bestowed on individuals or teams who have made outstanding contributions in extending the frontiers of knowledge.

Prof Wilder-Smith, one of three recipients of the Nanyang Research Award, was recognised for her many accomplishments at the forefront of emerging infectious diseases, international health, travel and tropical medicine and public health.

In particular, she has brought NTU to prominence through her active involvement in the study and management of Zika and dengue outbreaks, and her roles with international health bodies, including the World Health Organisation. Through the DengueTools grant, supported by the European Commission, Prof Wilder-Smith’s research has reached out to communities in Sri Lanka, Thailand and beyond.

Prof Wilder-Smith said, “I am very happy to receive this award which is really a culmination of two decades of work on emerging infectious and vaccine-preventable diseases.”

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Prof Annelies Wilder-Smith is one of three
recipients of the Nanyang Research Award 2017

Teaching excellence at LKCMedicine
At the same ceremony, Assoc Prof Yap and Assoc Prof Rao received School-level Nanyang Education Awards, in recognition of their excellent teaching practices and enrichment of students’ learning experiences. Assoc Prof Yap, a scientist educator, stood out among teaching faculty for his passion, outstanding mentorship and inspirational teaching, in particular during the Year 4 Scholarly Project.

Explaining his passion for teaching, the Associate Professor of Human & Microbial Genetics said, “Today, everyone can access the world’s best educational resources. But only the personal example and nurturing guidance of mentors can provide encouragement, inspiration and wisdom.”

Assoc Prof Rao, a clinician educator, Lead for Pathology and House Tutor, received the award in recognition of her efforts to nurture critical thinking and igniting students’ spirit of inquiry.

On what the award means to her, Assoc Prof Rao, who is also a Senior Consultant with Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Department of Pathology, said, “I believe in inspiring and guiding the next generation of doctors. I am also thankful to all my students who are my inspiration.”

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Assoc Prof Eric Yap (left) and Assoc Prof Nandini Rao (right) are proud recipients of the School-level Nanyang Education Awards for their passion in teaching and 4 mentoring students