October 2015 | Issue 20
News roundup


NTU continues its climb up world university rankings
NTU has broken into the world's Top 15 in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) world university rankings by climbing 26 places to 13th. It is a continuation of NTU's steep upward climb that started in 2011. This year, NTU improved its scores in research citations, academic reputation and student-to-faculty ratio.

The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, released this month, also attests to NTU's continued rise, placing it 55th, up six places from last year. This means that NTU soared 114 places in just four years, making it the world's fastest-rising young university, according to THE.

To read more, click here and here.


NHG-NTU/LKCMedicine MOU signed at Singapore Health and Biomedical Congress 2015

The Singapore Health and Biomedical Congress 2015 (SHBC), Singapore's largest healthcare congress, was held on 2 and 3 October at MAX Atria at the Singapore Expo. Guest-of-Honour Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong, who officially opened the event, also presided over the signing of an MOU between LKCMedicine and NHG to establish a joint research programme Predictive and Preventive: Better Health at Affordable Cost. Signed by NHG Group CEO Professor Philip Choo and LKCMedicine Executive Vice-Dean Professor Lionel Lee, the MOU establishes a partnership that seeks to break new ground by understanding disease factors unique to Asian populations. During the SHBC opening ceremony, the winners of the scientific competition were announced including Assistant Professor of Immunology and Cell Biology Navin Kumar Verma and Research Fellow Dr Mobashar Hussain Urf Turabe Fazil, whose team received both the Singapore Young Investigator and Best Poster Award.

For media coverage for the event, please click here.

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LKCMedicine at Australasian Research Management Society conference

LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best was a keynote speaker at the recent Australasian Research Management Society (ARMS) conference, which was held at Orchard Hotel Singapore between 29 September and 2 October. Some 350 participants from 14 countries attended the event. Speaking on Strategies to developing collaborations and partnerships with focus on Australia and Singapore, Prof Best shared what makes the Imperial-NTU joint medical school a true partnership, highlighting that having similar values and complementary expertise is key. After Prof Best's talk, the LKCMedicine/NTU booth saw curious visitors wanting to find out more about the medical school and its research focus. NTU is a platinum partner of the conference which also hosted NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson as keynote speaker at the first plenary session.

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LKCMedicine hosts international visitors
Over the last two months, LKCMedicine had the pleasure of hosting senior members of Health Education England led by Chairman Sir Keith Pearson, a team from Sweden’s Umeå University led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Lena Gustafsson, as well as a group of health officials from 19 countries. Hosting them at the Novena Headquarters as well as at the School’s new Experimental Medicine Building at NTU, the visitors learned more about the School, its innovative curriculum, pedagogy and research strategy. The visitors and their hosts engaged in lively discussions, asking about the challenges of setting up of a new medical school, the School’s pedagogy as well as research areas.

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Respiratory Pathogens Symposium
LKCMedicine hosted a Respiratory Pathogens Symposium on 1 September at its Novena campus. The symposium, which was organised and chaired by Professor of Infectious Diseases Annelies Wilder-Smith, was attended by some 70 local and international delegates. Speakers included NUS Professor Nick Paton, Institute for Infectious Diseases & Epidemiology Director Professor Leo Yee Sin, Imperial College London Dr Christopher Chiu, and A*STAR Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology Associate Professor John Connelly as well as several members of the Infection & Immunity Research Theme from LKCMedicine.

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Visit by Quality Assurance Frameworks for Universities External Review Panel
Led by the Ministry of Education, the Quality Assurance Frameworks for Universities (QAFU) External Review Panel (ERP) visited LKCMedicine's new Experimental Medicine Building (EMB) on 2 September as part of their review visit to NTU. The QAFU ERP led by Chairman Mr David Wong (Chairman, Board of Governors, Republic Polytechnic) was welcomed and briefed by LKCMedicine Dean Prof James Best. Prof Best, who was joined by the LKCMedicine leadership team, presented LKCMedicine's ethos, governance and leadership, partnerships, faculty, research and education which was followed by an engaging and insightful discussion about academic governance, medical education, and research between the Panel and senior management. The Panel's visit concluded with a brief tour of the EMB Campus after the meeting.

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Other news coverage
On 2 October, The Straits Times carried an interview with LKCMedicine Professor of Infectious Diseases Annelies Wilder-Smith on her study of dengue incidence over the last 40 years in Singapore, which was published in PLOSOne. The research shows that as the Republic gets more crowded, the chance of getting infected with the virus increases due to various factors including annual mean temperatures. The study analysed data from 1974 to 2011.

Read the full article here.