FEATURE ARTICLE

Malaria Fighter, Prisoner of War —
NUS Medicine's First Dean

 

Chief of public health, prisoner of war and general physician to POWs interned at Changi and Sime Road camps, inaugural dean of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Malaya in 1949 — Dr Desmond William George Faris dedicated his life to the practice and teaching of medicine in colonial and post-war Singapore. His daughter, Ms Sheelagh Knight, pens a remembrance of her late father.

 

 

DEAN'S MESSAGE

 

Dear Friends,

 

Happy National Day! As the nation marks its 52nd birthday, the NUS medical school congratulates the new doctors and nurses from the NUS Class of 2017. We are confident that our new colleagues in Singapore’s professional healthcare workforce will discharge their responsibilities and duties with unwavering professionalism, competence and compassion.

 

We also extend a very warm welcome to our incoming freshmen. Like their seniors, the Class of 2022 comprises young men and women who want to make a meaningful contribution to the health and well-being of Singaporeans.

 

 

DOSSIER

 

Medical Dinner 2017 Reunites Friends

 

They came from all over Singapore: teachers, tutors, mentors, collaborators, partners, alumni, staff, guests and this year’s newly graduated Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy students. More than 750 people gathered for an evening of fellowship and reminiscences at the Fairmont Hotel.

 

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Medical Sciences Cluster at NUS Medicine Formed

 

The School has established a Medical Sciences Cluster comprising the Departments of Anatomy, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, Pharmacology and Physiology, effective June 1, 2017.

 

 

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Safe and Sound: The Quest
for Human Health and Well-Being

 

The Raffles Dialogue 2017, convened by NUS and the National University Health System, takes place from September 4-6 this year. Prof Tikki Pangestu, Visiting Professor at the NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and programme co-chairman for the 2nd Raffles Dialogue writes about the key issues to be discussed.

 

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Synthetic Biology? It's Real!

 

 

The Seventh International Meeting on Synthetic Biology (SB7.0), co-organised by NUS Synthetic Biology for Clinical and Technological Innovation (SynCTI), took place on June 13 at the University Cultural Centre. It brought together global practitioners of synthetic biology to share, learn and debate on the latest efforts in the field, and to build partnerships and collaborations.

 

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SCIENCE OF LIFE

 

Finding Answers in our Genes

 

If we lay out diseases on a scale, on one end are those highly influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors. At the other end are diseases with far stronger genetic contribution, which include Huntington disease, haemophilia, and Marfan syndrome. Some diseases are clearly linked to a specific genetic variant, which genetic testing can help uncover. Testing tells whether an individual has the specific genetic variant and is thus predisposed to develop the disease.

 

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Programming Germs to Fight Diseases

 

Applying design and production principles from synthetic biology, Associate Professor Matthew Chang from the Department of Biochemistry and the NUS Synthetic Biology for Clinical and Technological Innovation (SynCTI) is leading a new research programme to modify microbial genes to produce safe and effective therapies for a range of important diseases.

 

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The Warrior's Way to Biotech Success

 

What does it take to nurture a biotech startup into an enterprise that is worth millions?

 

Patience and perseverance. And a good healthy dose of martial arts zen, according to Associate Professor Too Heng-Phon.

 

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IN VIVO

 

Malaria Fighter, Prisoner of War —
NUS Medicine's First Dean

 

Chief of public health, prisoner of war and general physician to POWs interned at Changi and Sime Road camps, inaugural dean of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Malaya in 1949 — Dr Desmond William George Faris dedicated his life to the practice and teaching of medicine in colonial and post-war Singapore. His daughter, Ms Sheelagh Knight, pens a remembrance of her late father.

 

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WITH A LITTLE HELP

 

Living on Life's Second Lease

 

“No one in your family is compatible.” Dr William Tan vividly recalls hearing these words from his oncologist after his siblings had been tested as potential bone marrow donors. The long-time donor to NUS Medicine had undergone several bouts of chemotherapy for his Stage four chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, and now needed a bone marrow transplant.

 

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A Gift for Medical Students and Social Entreprenuers

 

Lotus Life Foundation, a Singapore-based charity focused on alleviating poverty both locally and in Nepal, is supporting the next generation of doctors and entrepreneurs through gifts totalling over S$1.2 million to the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and NUS Enterprise.

 

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Gifts Take Med-Tech Solutions From Concept to Reality

 

Philanthropic support for MERCI, part of the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, fosters innovations that have the potential to benefit millions of patients.

 

 

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PEOPLE OF NUS MEDICINE

 

It's a Matter of Breeding

 

There are 21 occupants in Jessie Tan’s four-room HDB apartment. There’s her sister, her parents and Jessie. And there’re also 17 hamsters.

 

So many fur balls, you say. That’s actually down from the 175 hamsters that populated Jessie’s home a few years ago and which made life in her apartment rather interesting, before the numbers dwindled through natural attrition.

 

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INSIGHTS

 

A Special Fraternity

 

Dr Alvin Tan Kian Wei (MBBS Class of 2017) looks back on his undergraduate days.

 

“Not pride of knowledge, but humility of wisdom” These were the words that were ingrained in all medical students at the beginning of the university year when we first matriculated.

 

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What the Living Can Learn From the Dying

 

A previous article mentioned the widespread (mis)perception that Palliative care is depressing and disheartening. What is less often discussed is how and why Palliative care workers keep doing what they do, and seem rather contented doing it.

 

 

 

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ETHICALLY SPEAKING

 

A Duty of Care

 

The discipline of bioethics can contribute actively to strengthening systems of care in our society, by engaging questions about what is owed to people growing old in Singapore and those who care for them. Supported by a gift from the Lien Foundation, a team from the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, The Hastings Center in New York and the Oxford Ethox Centre has researched and authored 10 new case studies on Caring for Older People in an Ageing Society.

 

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Total Workplace Safety and
Health Poster Design Contest 2017

 

The NUS Medicine Total Workplace Safety and Health Implementation Committee launched the Best Poster Design Contest in the early part of this year. We are proud to announce the names of the three winners.

 

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SCHEDULER

 

AUGUST - OCTOBER

Date
 Event & Venue

 
   
Aug 8 Flag Day
 
Aug 10 White Coat Ceremony
University Cultural Centre, NUS
 
Aug 12 Rag Day
University Town, NUS
 
Aug 18 Medical Grand Challenge
Auditorium, NUHS Tower Block
 
Aug 24-26 Singapore International Infectious Disease Conference (SIIDC)
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore
 
Aug 25-27 6th Wong Hock Boon Paediatric Masterclass
Auditorium, NUHS Tower Block
 
Sept 4-6 2nd Raffles Dialogue on Human Well-being and Security in 2030: The Critical Role of Innovation
University Hall, NUS
 

Sept 9-10
Oct 7-8
Neighbourhood Health Service
Eunos Crescent
Marine Terrance
 
Sept 19 Keynote Address 2017
Auditorium, NUHS Tower Block
 
Oct 6-8 13th Asian-Pacific Congress of Hypertension (APCH)
Suntec City Convention and Exhibition Centre
 
Oct 12-13 Singapore Health and Biomedical Congress
Singapore Expo
 
Oct 16 Awards & Appreciation Nite
LT37, Level 3, Tahir Foundation Building (MD1)
 
Oct 21-22 Public Health Service (PHS)
Jurong East