Issue 26 / May 2018


They Need Your Help to Sleep Soundly at Night


Assoc Prof Sim is adept at counting sheeps. She chairs the school’s Safety Committee, which was introduced in 2003 to ensure safe practices are observed in all department research facilities, including 14 departments with wet laboratories. The committee comprises faculty representatives who are volunteers. Assoc Prof Sim also leads the safety committee on safety inspection rounds around the school’s laboratories and facilities, supported by a 12-strong Research Facilities Management (RFM) team.




The NUS medical school has produced close to 10,000 graduates over the course of its 113-year history. All have gone on to serve the nation and community in a variety of roles. Some have risen to the highest posts in the land, others have assumed various public and leadership duties, while most have worked faithfully and quietly in the background. Whatever their calling after medical school, it would be fair to say that generations of the men and women of Singapore’s oldest and foremost medical school have played significant roles in the development and transformation of the country’s healthcare system.


While the heads of the School during the early years were British expatriates, our own alumni have held the post of Dean since 1956. They served their alma mater with dedication and distinction, each helping to take the School to higher levels of academic standards.




New dean appointed for NUS medical school


NUS Medicine alumnus and Vice-Dean for Academic Medicine, Associate Professor Chong Yap Seng, will be the 17th Dean of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, when he succeeds Associate Professor Yeoh Khay Guan on 1 January 2019. Assoc Prof Yeoh, who has led the School since 2011, will be assuming full-time duties as the Deputy Chief Executive of the National University Health System, of which the School is a founding institution.



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15th APMEC Looks at Technology's Role

in Medical Education


Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference (APMEC) had its humble beginnings way back in 2003 when the conference series was initiated by the then – Medical Education Unit (MEU) – now referred to as the Centre for Medical Education (CenMED), Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. APMEC has progressed considerably over the years, starting with only about 100 participants.


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Vietnamese Medical Education through Singaporean Eyes


As part of a community outreach project to further the partnership between NUS Medicine and Vietnam Military Medical University (VMMU), a team comprising five medical students, two nursing students and two doctors embarked on a trip to Hanoi.




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NUS Offers Two-Year Nursing Degree Programme


To enable more mid-career professionals to join the healthcare sector as nurses, the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies (NUS Nursing) is introducing an accelerated undergraduate nursing degree programme this July. The two-year Bachelor of Science (Nursing) programme is offered under the Ministry of Health and Workforce Singapore’s degree level Professional Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses.


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Found - Protein Used by Virus to Infect Central Nervous System in Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease


The mechanisms by which EV71 infects and replicates in the CNS are not well known and have been the subject of much active research. Earlier this year, researchers at NUS Medicine were the first to identify the host protein, prohibitin (PHB), that is exploited by EV71 to infect and replicate in the CNS.



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Recreating Liver Tumours as Organoids for Faster, More Accurate Drug Screening


Led by Dr Eliza Fong and Dr Toh Tan Boon, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the NUS Departments of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering, the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, A*STAR and the National Cancer Centre Singapore has now devised a new method to grow PDX liver cancer cells in culture.


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3D Virtual Worlds a Promising Tool for Inter-Professional Education


Educators across three institutions of higher learning (National University of Singapore, Nanyang Polytechnic and Singapore Institute of Technology) have implemented and evaluated a novel way to train healthcare students from different disciplines together. Using a research grant from the Singapore Millennium Foundation, Associate Professor Liaw Sok Ying from NUS Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies led a team of educators, clinical experts and computer technologists to create a virtual world online where healthcare students can interact with one another and their “patients” using life-like, animated avatars.


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"Actors" Help Medical Students and Residents Practice Their Skill


SPs serve a very important role in training medical students and residents in skills such as communication and conducting a physical examination. SPs come from any walk of life, such as Mr Francis Leong, 70, who retired from an engineering career 18 years ago and found himself with time on his hands. He joined a singing group and found out about the SP programme at Tan Tock Seng General Hospital from his friends in the group. Later on, he joined the SP programnme at NUS Medicine.


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Blended Learning at NUS Medicine


The Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine has adopted blended learning as part of its instructional approach to the education and training of medical and nursing undergraduates. But what exactly does “blended learning” mean? And why is it important for educators to embark on “blending”? What are the resources needed and how does blended learning take place in a medical school?


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What's the Big Deal About Big Data and How Do We Think Through the Ethical Issues


The recent news that Facebook had been sloppy in the way it handled users’ personal information illustrates the urgent need for fresh perspectives and approaches to be adopted to ensure data security, given the enormous amount of information that is being mined and used by organisations. Dr Owen Schaefer, Mr Markus Labude and Dr Vicki Xafis explain.


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It Won't Kill You to Talk About It


Those of us working in Palliative Medicine do not receive gifts from appreciative patients or their families. After all, the patients and families we serve may be grappling with weighty issues like dying and death. So it’s always a surprise to receive a note of gratitude from a bereaved family, and over the years, at least a quarter of the Thank Yous have been about conversations.


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The Sum of All Fears


Life as a new doctor is fraught with risks. It is also stocked with opportunities for personal and professional growth and development. Dr Wong Wen Kai (Class of 2017) shared his experiences and perspectives.



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Eat Well, Live Strong


We are what we eat, or fail to eat. Assistant Professor Faidon Magkos, Department of Physiology and Professor Brian Kennedy (Director, Centre for Healthy Ageing, National University Health System) explain why nutrition plays such a key role in healthy ageing.


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Feeling History's Pulse


From an eyewitness’s perspective on the race riots of 1965 to pioneering and participating in groundbreaking medical innovations that included helping to save the life of Singapore’s first President, cardiologist Dr Low Lip Ping has some interesting stories to tell.


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Leader of the Band


She is a gǔ-zhēng player who once performed for former Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Pierre Trudeau. As a past President of the Rotary Club of Orchard, she led initiatives to help the down and out. She is also the leader of an intrepid team that is dedicated to protecting the life and limb of everyone working in the laboratories and research facilities of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. Meet Professor Safety – Associate Professor Sim Tiow Suan from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.


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Wushu Athelete Encouraged in Times of Need


Phase II medicine student Samuel Tan Wei Han’s pursuit of his passion in wushu, the Chinese martial arts, was fraught with challenges. The recipient of the Chan Ah Kow Scholarship shares his road from recovery after a surgery to a podium finish at the 2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games , and how the opportunities and support given by the University and the people around him were pivotal to his success.


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Date Event & Venue
May 19 Standardised Patient Day
Centre for Translational Medicine (MD6), NUS
Jul 3 Medical Dinner
Orchard Hotel Singapore, Orchard Ballroom, Level 3
Jul 14 RadioPath
Seminar Room, T06-02/03, Level 6, NUHS Tower Block
Jul 15 Commencement Ceremony
University Cultural Centre, NUS
Jul 18-19 Singapore Gastric Cancer Consortium (SGCC) 11th Annual Scientific Meeting
Auditorium, NUHS Tower Block
Jul 26 NUS Medicine Safety Day
LT 37 and Multi-Purpose Halls, Level 3, Tahir Foundation Building (MD1), NUS