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Tan Kok Hian


Group Director, Academic Medicine, SingHealth

Senior Consultant, Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine, KK Women's and Children's Hospital


Contact: 66011251

Education Qualifications: MBBS, MMed (O&G), FRCOG (London), FAMS

Professor Tan Kok Hian obtained his MBBS & MMed from the National University of Singapore (NUS); and MRCOG and later FRCOG from Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. He is trained in Maternal Fetal Medicine and Perinatal Audit & Epidemiology under the Ministry of Health’s Health Manpower Development Plan (HMDP) scheme in University of Liverpool, UK Cochrane Centre, University of Birmingham & West Midlands Regional Perinatal Audit. He obtained his executive MBA from Singapore Management University and attended Program for Chairs of Clinical Services (PCCS) Harvard University. He is currently the Head and Senior Consultant of Perinatal Audit and Epidemiology at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH). 

Professor Tan is the Group Director and Senior Associate Dean, SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute for Patient Safety and Quality (IPSQ) since 2017. He is also KKH Campus Director of Patient Safety & Quality; and was Chairman of KKH Joint Commission International Core Committee from 2004 till 2016 for 4 cycles of accreditation. He is appointed inaugural Chair of National Quality Council (NQC) in June 2017, which serves as the national advisory panel to MOH on healthcare quality priorities and strategies. Prof Tan is a member of the SHINe Council and is a sponsor to 5 SHINe workstreams. He is also Senior Adviser to SingHeath Duke-NUS Patient Safety Standing Committee and is a member of the expert committee of Patient Safety in World Health Organisation.

Professor Tan is previously the Group Director of Academic Medicine at SingHealth, and Senior Associate Dean of Academic Medicine in Duke−NUS Medical School from 2013 till 2019. Professor Tan takes charge of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Joint Office of Academic Medicine (JOAM) which serves to catalyze and enable the implementation of Academic Medicine across SingHealth & Duke-NUS. His role is to facilitate the establishment, growth, and interactions between SingHealth Duke-NUS Joint Institutes (e.g. AMRI & AM•EI) and Academic Clinical Programs (Academic Departments) to be a leading global AMC. Prof Tan is also adjunct professor teaching in NUS YLL School of Medicine and NTU LKC School of Medicine.

Professor Tan is involved as Principal Investigator in research studies involving pregnancy cohorts and biomarkers in pregnancy, in collaboration with Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology And Research Institute of Medical Biology (A*STAR IMB) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore. He has several patent applications and issued patents. He is the Lead for RIE2020 NMRC Collaborative CG – Integrated Platform for Research in Advancing Metabolic Health Outcomes of Women and Children (IPRAMHO) which builds core research capability & capacity in KKH, SHP & NHGP; and enhance collaborative & transdisciplinary research productivity in metabolic health for women and children in Singapore.

Professor Tan has received several awards for his academic & clinical work and contributions. These included: the Inaugural National Medical Excellence Team Award 2008, World Health Organisation - UAE Health Foundation Prize 2009 as Integrated Perinatal Care Project Team Leader, the Inaugural National Outstanding Clinical Quality Activist Award 2010, SingHealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress Best Oral Paper for Translational Research 2012, the n International Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Dato’ Dr M. Kanagalingam Award – Best Oral Presentation First Prize 2013, the 23rd Benjamin Henry Sheares Memorial Lectureship Gold Medal Award 2013 & SingHealth Publish! Award 2015. 


Professional Appointments and Committee Memberships: 

  • Chairman,Congress Trust Fund (Registered Education Charity) of OGSS (2017-Present)
  • Honorary Treasurer, Society for Clinical Research And Translation of Extracellular Vesicles, Singapore (SOCRATES)  (2013-Present)
  • Chief Editor, Obstetrical & Gynaecological Society of Singapore (OGSS) (2006-Present)
  • Specialty Editor, Singapore Medical Journal, Singapore Medical Association (SMJ) (2002-Present)
  • Board Member of Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology Research, Asia Oceania Federation of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AOFOG) Editorial Advisory. (2000-Present)
  • President ,Perinatal Society of Singapore (2017-2018)
  • International Advisory Panel Member on Maternal & Perinatal Health and Obstetrics, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)  (2001-2007)
  • Council Member, Federation of Asia-Oceania Perinatal Societies (FAOPS) (2003-2005)
  • President, Obstetrical & Gynaecological Society of Singapore (OGSS) (2000-2003)


  • Benjamin Henry Sheares Professor in Obstetrics & Gynaecology (2019)
  • Learning Enhancement and Progress (LEAP) Mentor Award – Merit, Singapore (2017)
  • SingHealth Residency (RiSE) Faculty Appreciation Award - APD Transitional Year , Singapore (2016)
  • Duke Medicine CIO Coin of Excellence, USA (2015)
  • Asia Hospital Management Excellence Award 2015 – Winner Patient Safety category, Philippines (2015)
  • SingHealth Publish! Award (Medical Research), Singapore (2015)
  • Singapore Health Quality Service Award - Gold Award, Singapore (2014)
  • National Day Awards: Long Service Medal Award - Pingkat Bakti Setia, Singpore (2014)
  • Talent Development Fund (Education) Award, Singapore (2013)
  • Outstanding Faculty for Advocacy Award (O&G), DUKE-NUS Singapore (2013)
  • 10 Years Long Service Award (Specialty Editor for SMJ) Singapore Medical Association, Singapore (2013)

Leadership Positions / Roles in Education:

  • NUS Division of Graduate Medical Studies (DGMS) MMed (O&G) Committee (2013-Present)
  • SingHealth Education Council Member (2012-Present)
  • Member of Standard Setting Committee for Obstetrics & Gynaecology Postgraduate Medical Examination MOH & ABMS-S (2016 & 2017) 
  • Ministry of Health (MOH) Singapore O&G Residency Advisory Committee (RAC) Member (2010-2013, renewed 2014-2017)
  • Physician Faculty SingHealth OBGYN Residency (2011-2017) 
  • SingHealth Residency Faculty Development Standing Committee Member, Singhealth GME (Oct 2010 to 2013) 
  • Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (GMS) Joint Clinical Curriculum Review Committee (2012) 
  • Ministry of Health (MOH) Obstetrics and Gynaecology Workgroup for Joint Examinations with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Member (2011)
  • Ministry of Health (MOH) Singapore O&G Specialist Training Committee (STC) Member (2004-2011)
Research Interests: Improving health and pregnancy outcomes for women by creating new ways of predicting, assessing and reducing adverse risk factors and outcomes. His interest include: Perinatal Epidemiology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Preeclampsia, Gestational Diabetes, Pregnancy Cohort Studies and Extracellular Vesicles and Exosomes.

Selected Publications:

Perinatal Epidemiology

Tan KH, Rajasekaran T. Physiologic Skin Changes During Pregnancy. Singapore Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 2015;46(2):57-60

Lee SY, Tan KH. Antenatally-diagnosed congenital diaphragmatic hernia: A 5-year series in Singapore. Singapore Med J 2013; 54(8): 432-436. doi:10.11622/smedj.2013149 

Tan KB, Tan KH, Yeo GS. Cleft deformities in Singapore: a population-based series 1993-2002. Singapore Med J. 2008 Sep; 49(9):710-4 

Tan KB, Tan KH, Chew SK, Yeo GS. Gastroschisis and omphalocele in Singapore: a ten-year series from 1993 to 2002. Singapore Med J. 2008 Jan; 49(1):31-36. 

Tan KH, Kwek K, Yeo GSH. Epidemiology of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore. Singapore Med J. 2006 Jan; 47(1):48-53  

Tan KH. Further decline in the incidence of eclampsia in Singapore. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2005 May;84(5):496. 

Tan KH, Tan TY, Tan J, Tan I, Chew SK, Yeo GSH. Birth defects in Singapore: 1994-2000. Singapore Med J. 2005 Oct;46(10):545-52. 

Chen H, Chan YH, Tan KH, Lee T. Depressive symptomatology in pregnancy - A Singaporean perspective. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2004 Dec;39 (12):975-9. 

Lai FM, Woo BH, Tan KH, Huang J, Lee ST, Yan TB, Tan BH, Chew SK, Yeo GSH. Birth prevalence of Down syndrome in Singapore from 1993 to 1998. Singapore Med J. 2002 Feb; 43(2):070-6. 

Tan KH, Kilby MD, Whittle MJ, Beattie BR, Booth IW, Botting BJ. Congenital anterior abdominal wall defects in England and Wales 1987-93. BMJ 1996 Oct 12, 313:7062 903-2.  

Maternal Fetal Medicine

Tan KH, Smyth RMD, Wei X. Fetal vibroacoustic stimulation for facilitation of tests of fetal wellbeing (Cochrane Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD002963. 

Sia AT, Tan KH, Sng BL, LimY, Chan ESY, Siddiqui FJ. Use of hyperbaric versus isobaric bupivacaine for spinal anaesthesia for caesarean section. Anesthesia & Analgesia 2015; 120(1):132-40. 

Tan KH, Sabapathy A, Wei X. Fetal manipulation for facilitating tests of fetal wellbeing (Cochrane Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD003396.  

East CE, Smyth RMD, Leader LR, Henshall NE, Colditz PB, Lau R, Tan KH. Vibroacoustic stimulation for fetal assessment in labour in the presence of a nonreassuring fetal heart rate trace. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD004664.  

Tan KH, Sabapathy A. Maternal glucose administration for facilitating tests of fetal wellbeing. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Sep 12;9:CD003397. 

Tan KH, Agarwal P, Hoon SJ, Sia A, Kwek K. Integrated Perinatal Care and Beyond. Proceedings of Singapore Healthcare. Volume 19. Number 2. 2010 124-131 

Mohd J, Tan KH, Yeo GSH. Induction of Labour and Perinatal Outcome in Post-term Pregnancy. Journal of Paediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology (JPOG) MAY/JUN 2008 107-114 

Tan KH, Kwek K, Wee HY, Kok J, Tee J, Yeo GSH. Risk Management in the Hospital Labour Ward. Singapore Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2006; 37(3): 138-146 

Kwek K, Yeap ML, Tan KH, Tee JC, Yeo GSH. Crash caesarean section -- decision-to-delivery interval. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2005 Sep;84(9):914-5. 

Tan KH, Luddin NS. Hydrostatic reduction of acute uterine inversion. International J Gynaecol Obstet. 2005 Oct;91(1):63-4. 

Kok J, Tan KH*, Koh S, Cheng PS, Yew ML, Yeo GSH. Antenatal Use of a Novel Vaginal Birth Training Device by Term Primiparous Women in Singapore. Singapore Med J 2004 Vol 45(7):318-323 

Rajadurai VS, Tan KH. The Use and Abuse of Steroids in Perinatal Medicine. Ann Acad Med Singapore 2003;32:344-34 

Kwek K, Chan YGS, Tan KH, Yeo GSH. Validation of an Oscillometric Electronic Sphygmomanometer in an Obstetric Population. American Journal of Hypertension 1998; 11:978-982 

Pregnancy Cohort Studies

Pin Yu Chen, Eric A. Finkelstein, Mor Jack Ng, Fabian Yap, George S.H. Yeo, Victor Samuel Rajadurai, Yap-Seng Chong, Peter D. Gluckman, Saw Seang Mei, Kenneth Kwek, and Kok-Hian Tan. Incremental Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Screening Strategies in Singapore. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health 2015 DOI: 10.1177/1010539515612908  

Pratibha Agarwal, Victor Samuel Rajadurai, Fabian Yap, George Yeo, Yap-Seng Chong, Kenneth Kwek, Seang Mei Saw, Peter D. Gluckman, Yung Seng Lee, GUSTO Study Group,  Kok Hian Tan. Comparison of customized and cohort-based birthweight standards in identification of growth restricted infants in GUSTO cohort study. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 2015 Oct 7:1-4.DOI: 10.3109/14767058.2015.1092956  

Qiu Ju Ng, Muhammad Fairuz Bin Abdul Rahman, Jing Jye Chee, May Li Lim, Kok Hian Tan. Single versus Combination Tocolytic Regimen in the Prevention of Preterm Births in Women: A Prospective Cohort Study. Journal of Perinatal Medicine 2015 Jul;43(4):423-8 

Yap-Seng Chong, Shirong Cai, Harvard Lin, Shu E Soh, Yung-Seng Lee, Melvin Khee-Shing Leow, Yiong-Huak Chan, Li Chen, Joanna D Holbrook, Kok-Hian Tan, Victor Samuel Rajadurai, George Seow-Heong Yeo, Michael S Kramer, Seang-Mei Saw, Peter D Gluckman, Keith M Godfrey and Kenneth Kwek. Ethnic differences translate to inadequacy of high-risk screening for gestational diabetes mellitus in an Asian population: a cohort study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2014; 14(1): 345.  

Tan KH, Wei X, MJ Ng. A Customised Birthweight Standard for a Multi-ethnic Asian Population. Singapore Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2013; 44(1):36-40 

Ling-Wei Chen, Mary Chong, Yen Ling Low, Doris Fok, Wee Meng Han, Yap Seng Chong, Peter Gluckman, Keith Godfrey, Kenneth Kwek, Seang-Mei Saw, Shu E Soh, Kok Hian Tan, Rob M van Dam. Dietary changes during pregnancy and the postpartum period in Singaporean Chinese, Malay, and Indian women: The GUSTO birth cohort study. Public Health Nutr. 2013 Jun 28:1-9. 

Wai Yee Lim, Seang Mei Saw, Kok Hian Tan, George SH Yeo and Kenneth YC Kwek. A Cohort Evaluation on Arterial Stiffness and Hypertensive Disorders in Pregnancy. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2012 Dec 26;12(1):160 

Extracellular Vesicles and Exosomes

Tan SS, Chen TS, Tan KH, and Lim SK. An Overview of the Proteomic and miRNA cargo in MSC derived Exosomes. Book Chapter in "Mesenchymal Stem Cell Derived Exosomes: The Potential for Translational Nanomedicine"  Eds Tang & Dawn. Academic Press Elsevier 26 Sep 2015 ISBN :9780128001646 

Kok Hian TAN, Soon Sim TAN, Newman Siu Kwan SZE, Wai Kheong Ryan LEE, Mor Jack NG, Sai Kiang LIM, American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Plasma biomarker discovery in pre-eclampsia using a novel differential isolation technology for circulating extracellular vesicles Am J Obstet Gynecol 2014;211:380.e1-13. 

Tian Sheng Chen, Ronne Wee Yeh Yeo, Fatih Arslan, Yijun Yin, Soon Sim Tan, Ruenn Chai Lai, Andre Choo, Jayanthi Padmanabhan, Chuen Neng Lee, Dominique P.V. de Kleijn, Kok Hian Tan, Sai Kiang Lim. Efficiency of exosome production underpins the inverse correlation between MSC donor age and efficacy. Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2013, 3:3. 

Ruenn Chai Lai, Ronne Wee Yeh Yeo, Kok Hian Tan, Sai Kiang Lim. MSC exosome ameliorates reperfusion injury through a proteomic complementation. Regenerative Medicine, 2013, Vol. 8, No. 2, 197-209  

Ronne Wee Yeh Yeo, Ruenn Chai Lai, Kok Hian Tan, Sai Kiang Lim. Exosome: A Novel and Safer Therapeutic Refinement of Mesenchymal Stem Cell. Journal of Circulating Biomarkers (Exosomes and Microvesicles), Vol. 1, 7:2013. 1-12 

Ruenn Chai Lai, Ronne Wee Yeh Yeo, Kok Hian Tan, Sai Kiang Lim. Exosome for Drug Delivery – A Novel Application for Mesenchymal Stem Cell. Biotechnol Adv. 2013 Sep-Oct;31(5):543-51.  

Lai RC, Arslan F, Tan SS, Tan B, Choo A, Lee MM, Chen TS, Teh BJ, Eng JK, Sidik H, Tanavde V, Hwang WS, Lee CN, El Oakley RM, Pasterkamp G, de Kleijn DP, Tan KH, Lim SK. Derivation and Characterization of Human Fetal MSCs: an alternative cell source for large-scale production of cardioprotective microparticles. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2010 Jun; 48(6):1215-24.  

Education Research

Sok Hong Goh, Kok Hian Tan, Robert K Kamei, Wen Hsin Koo, Sandy Cook. Academic Medicine Education Institute (AM∙EI): Transforming the Educational Culture of Health Professionals. Annals Academy of Medicine Singapore. 2015;44:172-7 

Goh SL, Chern B, Ng MJ, Tan KH. Introduction of the Night Float System in OBGYN Residency Program. Singapore Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2013; 44(1):10-14 

Shephali Tagore, Bernard Chern Su Min, Shen Li Goh, Lay Kok Tan, Kenneth Kwek, Kok Hian Tan. Specialist Training in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Singapore: Transition to Structured Residency Program. Journal of Graduate Medical Education. 2012 Vol 4 Issue 2 (June 2012). 

Condon AF, Ng MJ, Chern B, Tan KH. Attitudes of Faculty and Junior Doctors towards a Structured Residency Program. Singapore Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2011 42(1); 29-32.  

Lim ML, Tan KH, Kwek K, Yeo GSH. Simulation Training in Obstetrics. Singapore Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 2010 41(1); 42-7  

Women’s Health

Thian YL, Tan KH, Kwek JW, Wang J, Chern B, Yam KL. Leiomyomatosis peritonealis disseminata and subcutaneous myoma - a rare complication of laparoscopic myomectomy. Abdom Imaging. 2009 Mar-Apr;34(2):235-8.

Kang W, Tan KH. A simple technique for localization of deeply inserted, non palpable Norplant implant. Contraception. 2005 May;71(5):392-4   


Jacqueline DAYUTA, Lay Teng ONG, Nguk Lan PANG, Soon Noi CHIA, Henry TAN, Joseph GOMEZ, Kok Hian TAN. Process Reengineering of Preoperative Verification, Site Marking and Time-Out for Patient Safety. World Hospitals and Health Services (WHHS) Journal 2013 Vol 49 No 2:4-9 

Tan KH & Tay EH. The History of Obstetrics & Gynaecology in Singapore /[editors: Tan Kok Hian, Tay Eng Hseon]: Obstetrical & Gynaecological Society of Singapore; 2003. ISBN 9789814045681