Singapore President Madam Halimah Yacob presented SingHealth Group CEO and Duke-NUS Governing Board member, Professor Ivy Ng, and Professor Wang Linfa from the Duke-NUS’ Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme with the President’s Science and Technology Medal and the President’s Science Award, respectively, on 10 December 2021. It is the highest honour bestowed on exceptional individuals and teams to recognise their excellent achievements in science and technology and their invaluable contributions to the research and development landscape in Singapore.
Researchers from SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre win national research awards
Sixty-seven researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre were recognised with National Medical Research Council awards last year. Seven clinician scientists and researchers won Clinician Scientist Awards, which recognise talented clinician-scientists and researchers who pursue internationally-competitive and cutting edge translational and clinical research.
In addition, twelve budding clinician-scientists received the Transition and Clinician Innovator Development Awards as well as National Medical Research Council Research Training Fellowships. Collectively, these awards and programmes enable individuals to push the boundaries of medicine and improve patient care in Singapore and beyond.
Duke-NUS scientists make strong showing among world’s highly cited researchers
Five Duke-NUS scientists made it into the Highly Cited Researchers rankings published by data analytics firm Clarivate in 2021. This annual list recognises researchers who have published multiple highly cited papers in the last decade and demonstrated scientific excellence in one or more of 21 fields.
The Duke-NUS scientists who made the list include Professors Antonio Bertoletti and Wang Linfa from the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme and Professor Derek Hausenloy from the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Programme, who were recognised for their cross-field research. Professors Carolyn Lam and Wong Tien Yin were recognised for their contributions in the field of clinical medicine.
In addition to this recognition, more than 80 researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre demonstrated their impact when they made the World’s Top Two Per Cent Scientists List created by Stanford University. The list, launched in October 2021, identified more than 186,000 top scholars in their areas of specialty whose publications are most frequently cited by other authors around the globe.
Dean Professor Thomas Coffman speaks about innovation at the Deep Tech Summit
“The pandemic has spurred many innovations, including cPass™, which started as a clever idea sketched down on the back of a napkin in March. Eight months later, it was approved by the FDA [US Food and Drug Administration), really compressing the typical timeline to a very short interval driven by the crucible of the pandemic. And there has been quite a bit of thoughtful evaluation of the ways in which regulatory processes could be sped up without compromising safety. My hope is that those sorts of changes and innovations will persist beyond COVID-19.”
Duke-NUS Dean Professor Thomas Coffman spoke about creating an enabling culture for health science innovation at the Deep Tech Summit, which brought together a global community of Deep Tech start-ups, investors, corporate innovators, researchers, government partners and international organisations with interest in the areas of agrifood, health and biomedical sciences, advanced manufacturing and sustainability.
Duke-NUS experts featured in two books documenting Singapore’s fight against COVID-19
Duke-NUS experts and their contributions to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic are featured in books published by the Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao. Among others, the contributions of Professor Wang Linfa, Professor Ooi Eng Eong and Dr Martin Linster from the Duke-NUS’ Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme were highlighted in these two accounts, which pay tribute to the frontliners, including healthcare workers, public servants and those in essential services.
Duke-NUS student interns write and illustrate special edition COVID-19 comic book
Mr Richard Jo and Ms Huang Huanyan may currently be student interns at Duke-NUS. But they also have another passion: conveying the intricacies of science through art and stories. Merging their passion for science and art, the two founded Deko, an online educational platform that conveys science through art to help educate, engage and empower youths.
“I’ve always viewed the world through images and colours,” said Huang. “Art is crucial as a form of communication and, most importantly, it bridges communities and knowledge. Transitioning from a social science and humanities background to life sciences made me realise the gap between the scientific community and the general public, where certain terminologies and even sentence structures often feel like a foreign language to those without a strong science background.”
For their most recent project, the pair have written, drawn and published a COVID-19 book.
The comic workbook delivers COVID-19 information and encourages youths to draw out their creative ideas and reflections. It is the first ever visual workbook that allows youths aged seven to 14 to illustrate their own stories of COVID-19.
“The workbooks were first created for and donated to youths (under 17) from underprivileged and special needs backgrounds, supported by the National Youth Council Youth ChangeMakers and Yale-NUS SiTC grant,” said Jo. “We are proud to say that our art narratives have successfully broken down complex topics from virus mechanisms to vaccine development and significantly increased youths’ interest in these topics.”
The book was reviewed by author of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, award-winning comic artist Sonny Liew, as well as professors from Duke-NUS and the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.