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Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School's Dr. Michael Chee has been awarded the National Outstanding Clinician-Scientist Award 2009 for his contribution to building research in human brain imaging and cognitive neuroscience in Singapore. This award comes only one year after the Ministry of Health conferred on Dr. Chee the Singapore Translational Investigator Award (STaR) for charting a new course in translational research with his clinical studies of sleep deprivation.

The inaugural batch of Duke-NUS students joined hands with clinicians and healthcare professionals to make rounds in the local hospitals to interact with real patients and to diagnose and treat a great variety of ailments. What’s unique is that the Duke-NUS students, like their Duke counterparts, are only in their second year and they are seeing patients one year before their peers in other American medical school programs.

The human brain is one giant puzzle man has devoted centuries to uncover. Understanding how the brain functions is arguably mankind’s greatest intellectual challenge. Understanding the brain is also key to comprehending human biology and human behavior. Such knowledge is also essential for deducing the causes of the many neurological and psychiatric diseases stemming from impaired brain functions and for finding their cure. Dr. George Augustine is a man on a mission to understand the human brain.

In conversation with Dr. Patrick Casey, Senior Vice-Dean, Research, Duke-NUS

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Production and copy-editing: Adeline Sim
Vital Science is a quarterly publication produced by the Office of Communications and Development.

For this issue, the banner features research conducted in Dr. Michael Chee's laboratory. This image illustrates the frontal and parietal brain regions which are active when performing a working memory task.